M88 Armored Recovery Vehicle

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(Description from FAS)          The M88A2 HERCULES Hercules [Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System], formerly the M88A1E1 Improved Recovery Vehicle, addresses a long-standing US Army need to upgrade its recovery vehicles to safely tow and recover battle-damaged, mired or inoperative Abrams tanks. The HERCULES, using M88A1 hulls, modified to specification by Anniston Army Depot, upgrades the basic M88 chassis to meet the increased demands of towing, winching, and lifting the M1, M1A1, and M1A2 tank.

Among the most significant upgrades is its on-board recovery systems. The winch and hoist capacities are greatly increased to enable the vehicle to lift 40% heavier loads and winch 55% higher capacities. HERCULES features a longer 35-ton hoist capability boom, a 140,000 pound (63,504 kg) constant pull main winch with 280 feet (85.3 m) of cable and an auxiliary 3-ton winch to aid main winch cable deployment. The Hercules also incorporates improved hydraulics, enhanced propulsion system, and heavier suspension, along with overlay armor protection and ballistic skirts. The vehicle's enhanced survivability with added armor which brings its weight to more of a match for the Abrams tanks it predominantly supports. The HERCULES upgraded power train which enables it to tow a 25% larger load, with better braking capacity and higher speeds to better enable it to accompany maneuver forces. The crew has been reduced from four to three soldiers. This action results from some of the on-board innovations such as an auxiliary winch to deploy the main winch, chain/davit hoists for heavy equipment/machinery and a grease operated track adjuster.


Specifications on FAS