HERCULES Order Provides a Lift for BAE’s York Plant
BAE’s armored vehicle plant in York, PA could really use a lifeline right now. In August 2013, it got a small piece of planned good news. The Pentagon announced a maximum $149.9 million firm-fixed price order for 49 HERCULES Armored Recovery Vehicles and 3 sets of spares, under a no option, multi-year contract managed by US Army TACOM (W56HZV-13-C-0358). The M88A2 has been the standard order for some time now, and represents an important advance for the Army…
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, with substantial modifications. It can tow or winch any American vehicle out of trouble, up to and including the 70-ton M1 Abrams battle tank. The Army’s judgement was that the previous M88A1 Medium Recovery Vehicle lacked “the necessary power, weight, and braking ability to safely support the recovery of the Abrams…”; they need to use 2 for that job. M88A2s can winch all Abrams tank variants by themselves, and have 35-ton lifting capacity for jobs like engine switchouts, etc.
Army Technology writes that US Army requirements involve 748 HERCULES ARVs. US budget documents peg FY 2014 as the last order year, with final delivery is expected to take place in September 2015.