The M88A3 Hercules vehicle will be capable of performing hoisting, winching, and towing operations for advanced battle tanks. The enhancements will improve the speed, hoisting and winching capacity, survivability and reliability of the vehicle. The US previously approved a potential sale of 19 M88A2 recovery vehicles to Kuwait for $281m in October 2019.
The port is protected by a winch cable access door with integral rollers to reduce wear. The cable, which is 200 feet (61 meters) long and ⅝ of an inch (16mm) in diameter, then stretches up to the pulley at the top. When raised, the boom is supported by stayline cables which are anchored on the left and right rear of the engine deck. The dozer blade, or “spade,” as the Army calls it, allows a Hercules to dig in and anchor itself while it pulls tanks in distress. The A-frame allows the Hercules to lift tank turrets and engines up and off the vehicle for service or repair purposes.
The US Army placed a $318m contract with BAE Systems for the upgrade of M88A2 recovery vehicles to the M88A3 configuration, in September 2019. The contract was awarded under other transactional authority (OTA) acquisition model. The hydraulic system was designed to provide sufficient power to maintain tracks and recovery operations with a 19mm drive hydraulic winch.
The M88 and M88A1 saw long service in Israel, with a number of M88s upgraded to A1 standard. As is common, the Israelis heavily modified their vehicles to keep them up-to-date. In the case of the M88, this included the heavy application of bar and slat armor to protect against RPGs (Rocket-Propelled Grenades) and shaped-charge ordnance. In addition, a large turret constructed from armored panels and bullet-proof glass blocks was installed over the commander’s position. The M88s are set to be retired in the coming years, and will be replaced by the Merkava-based Nemmera ARV. The hull of the M88A2 Hercules was designed to offer protection against anti-personnel mines, artillery fragments and small arms fire.
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With its 45 ton (41 tonne) capacity, the main winch is responsible for the recovery of heavy vehicles such as medium tanks, like the M60 or M48. With roughly half the capacity of the winch, the boom is mostly used for the recovery of lighter wheeled vehicles or light armored vehicles like the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). It is predominantly used for the hoisting of heavy equipment, such as cannons or mine plows, and automotive components, such as engine and transmission units.
« In addition to the Abrams, we’re also procuring eight M88 recovery vehicles as part of this package, » the official added. « These are the vehicles that go with the Abrams to be able to provide … recovery operations to make sure that the Ukrainians will be able to keep these Abrams up and running. » Along with the Abrams, the US will send another armored vehicle designed to haul tanks and other vehicles off the battlefield. The Hercules is an unglamorous, but absolutely essential, vehicle for any mechanized army.
- Mock-ups of the two rear-end focused designs, and Bowen’s front end design were prepared.
- In 1997, after tests, this new upgraded version of the M88 was designated the M88A2, it shared a few of the features tested on the M88A1E1.
- This once again allowed a single M88A2 to service a single Abrams tank.
- In the financial year (FY) 2020, the investment is used for vehicle’s design, development, integration and prototype building.
- All those vehicles can travel at least 40 mph, have decades of combat experience, and are equipped with a variety of armaments like cannons, machine guns, and anti-tank missiles.
- Some 4.8% identify themselves as Muslim, 1.5% Hindu, 0.4% Buddhist, 0.5% Jewish, 0.8% Sikh, and 0.4% as other religions, while the remaining 7.2% did not state their religious views.
Like all land vehicles, tanks break down, and sometimes need a tow. This is a particular problem for tanks, which suffer damage from enemy fire, cross-country travel, and the excessive wear of operating under wartime conditions. BAE Systems delivered 500 vehicles to the US Army and 75 vehicles to the US Marine Corps by October 2012 for the US Army requirement of 748 armoured recovery vehicles.
When not in use, the spade is stored in a horizontal position just above the idler wheels. While these armored fighting vehicles give Ukraine a significant boost in firepower and ground combat capability, Ukrainian leaders have continuously pressed for the delivery of Western tanks. Sweden moved to send Combat Vehicle 90 infantry fighting vehicles, which weigh roughly 30 tons, and Germany said it would provide Marder infantry fighting vehicles, which weigh between 30 and 40 tons. The US has said that it intends to send scores of Stryker armored personnel carriers, which weigh 18 to 20 tons, and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, which weigh nearly 30 tons.
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The vehicle contains a XT A cross-drive transmission, which works three-speed forward, one- speed reverse gears. The M88A2 vehicle can carry a crew of three, which includes commander, operator, and mechanic. The vehicle was designed and equipped to carry out repairs to other supported vehicles in the battlefield. The M88A2 armoured recovery vehicles were introduced into the US Army in 1997 and deployed in wars in the Gulf and Kosovo. The M88A2 recovery vehicle meets the US Army’s requirements for a well-equipped recovery vehicle, which safely performs towing, winching and recovery operations in war zones. The M88A2 vehicle can also winch inoperative heavyweight M1A1/2 Abrams tanks.