BAE Systems to deliver next year M88A3 Armored Recovery Vehicles to US Army

BAE Systems will deliver next year, the first prototypes of the M88A3 Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) to the U.S. Army. The ARV is an upgrade version of the M88 designed for single-vehicle recovery of the latest version of the Abrams main battle tank.
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New BAE Systems M88A3 ARV Armored Recovery Vehicle for U.S. Army. (Picture source BAE Systems)

In September 2019, it was announced that U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a $318 million contract to upgrade M88 recovery vehicles to the M88A3 configuration. The contract was awarded under an Other Transactional Authority (OTA) acquisition model for upgrading the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (HERCULES) to the next generation M88A3 HERCULES.

BAE Systems’ M88 family of recovery vehicles has provided the Army with unprecedented capability for recovering stranded or disabled combat vehicles since the 1960s. Due to incremental weight increases of the Army’s Main Battle Tank over the years, the M88A3’s predecessor, the M88A2, is currently unable to safely perform single-vehicle recovery of the Abrams.

The M88A3 HERCULES is the next iteration to the M88 HERCULES Family of Vehicles. It enhances the performance, survivability and responsiveness of the combat-proven M88A2 and it restores single vehicle recovery on tanks weighing up to 80 tons. The M88A3 performs hoisting, winching, and towing operations for today’s heaviest combat systems, like the M1 main battle tank.

The M88A3 is upgraded with a liquid-cooled powerpack provides improvements to mobility, reliability, diagnostic/ prognostic capability, and vehicle weight. The addition of a seventh road wheel also increases stability during recovery operations and improves ground pressure distribution. It can run at a maximum road speed of 56 km with a maximum cruising range of 405 km

The M88A3 HERCULES also features improved armor protection. It has a combat weight of 78 tons.