July 2011: USA Orders 45 Remanufactured M88A2 HERCULES ARVs
The M88 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Life Evacuation System) tracked armored recovery vehicle is built on a unique chassis modified from the previous-generation M60 Patton tank, and can tow or winch any American vehicle out of trouble, up to and including the 70-ton M1 Abrams battle tank. They also carry a hoist and boom with up to 35 ton capacity, for operations like engine changes in the field.
Production of the much-improved M88A2 variant began in 1994, and has continued steadily. HERCULES ARVs serve in a number of countries. Iraq is the latest addition to the type’s operating roster, via refurbishment of former US Army vehicles. In July 2011, the US military ordered more.
Aug 2/11: BAE Systems issues a release with different figures. Consultation reveals that these are the correct figures, and the Pentagon release was wrong. BAE will actually supply 45 M88A2 HERCULES vehicles for $108.4 million: 29 for the U.S. Army, and 16 for the U.S. Marine Corps. These deliveries will involve remanufactured hulls, supplied by the US government. Vehicle deliveries will run from April 2013 through December 2013, from existing workforces at BAE Systems facilities in York, PA. and Aiken, SC.
This award brings the total value of U.S. Government HERCULES contracts to $1.4 billion. So far, 394 of a planned 607 vehicles have been fielded to the Army, and another 75 vehicles have been fielded to the U.S. Marine Corps.
July 8/11: The Pentagon announces a $165.5 million firm-fixed-price contract to BAE Systems in York, PA for 43 more. Work on this new-build contract will be performed in York, PA, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/13. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-09-C-0408).
July 8/11: On the same day, BAE Systems Land & Armaments, LP in Santa Clara, CA receives a $23.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, to maintain all tracked vehicles managed by Program Manager, Heavy Brigade Combat Team for the Army Prepositioned Stock Program and the Theater Sustainment Stock fleet in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait until Aug 31/12 2012 (W52P1J-11-C-0047). That will include M88s, as well as other BAE vehicles like the M113, M2/3/6 Bradley family, etc.
M1 tank manufacturer General Dynamics received its own, similar, $10.5 million contract (W52P1J-11-C-0048).