M88A2 HERCULES ARV
Tracked armored recovery vehicle - United States
The M88A2 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) is an improved version of the M-88 and M88A1 heavy armored recovery vehicle. The M88A2 HERCULES is the successor vehicle to the M88A1, which had only a recovery capability of 56 tons. The M88A1’s mission was focused on the M60 Series tank while the M88A2 is focused on the Abrams tank. The upgrade was made after a request from the U.S. Army to safely tow and recover battle-damaged, mired, or inoperative Abrams's main battle tanks. The M88A2 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 tanks. The M88A2 HERCULES is a combat-proven, fully-tracked, steel-armored recovery vehicle that performs hoisting, winching and towing operations for today’s heaviest combat systems. It is equipped to assist in the repair of disabled vehicles under general field conditions and to recover vehicles under hostile fire. The M88A2 HERCULES provides towing, winching and hoisting to support battlefield recovery operations and evacuation of heavy tanks and other tracked combat vehicles. As such, HERCULES is the recovery workhorse of the Armored Brigade Combat Team. The US Army received its first M88A2 on 11 Jul 97 as the first eight vehicles were handed off to units in the 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, TX. A total of 46 vehicles were fielded to 1CD by 4QFY99.
M88A2 HERCULES ARV variants:
- M88: basic version
- M88A1: improved version of M-88, new engine, new main winch.
The M88A2 Hercules is fitted with a simple cupola armed with a 12.7 mm M2 machine gun. Mounted either side at the front of the hull is a cluster of six electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers,
|Design and protection|
M88A2 HERCULES features overlay armor protection, ballistic skirts and NBC face mask protection. The vehicle uses passive-spaced armor for the hull, providing ballistic protection against up to 30 mm caliber direct fire and 152 mm indirect fire fragmentation. The vehicle carries a crew of three: commander, operator, and mechanic. It has compartment space for four members of the recovered vehicle.
|The M88A2 Hercules suspension is similar to that used on the M60 MBT consisting of six road wheels, with the drive sprocket at the rear and the idler at the front. There are three track-return rollers. Hydraulic shock absorbers are provided for the first, second, and sixth road wheel stations. The suspension torsion bars and shock absorbers were upgraded with the increase of the weight of the vehicle with the new armor protection. The M88A2 Hercules is motorized with a 1,050 hp AVDS-1790-8CR diesel engine coupled to an Allison XT-1410-5A transmission. The M88A2 can be run at a maximum road speed of 48 km/h with a maximum range of 483 km. The upper part of the suspension is fitted with ballistic skirts.|
|All winches are hydraulically operated. The vehicle is equipped with an auxiliary power unit (APU) that powers the boom, spade, and winches if the main hydraulic system is disabled. The APU also provides power for refueling and fuel transfer. The M88A2 can refuel Abrams tanks from its own fuel tanks. The M88a2 HERCULES has a longer 35-ton boom, a 63,504 kg constant pull main winch with 85 m of cable, and an auxiliary 3-ton winch to aid main winch cable deployment. The main winch on the M88A2 is capable of a 70-ton, single-line recovery, allowing the M88A2 HERCULES to provide recovery of the 70- ton M1A2 Abrams tank. The main winch is mounted in the upper part of the front of the hull. At the front upper part of the vehicle is a hydraulically operated blade, which stabilizes the vehicle when the winch is being used and assists in bulldozing operations. Spare parts are mounted to each side of the hull.|
|One 12.7 mm machine gun||Protection against 30 mm caliber and 152 mm shell splinters and Add-on armor|
|Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Poland, Thailand, United States||63,050 kg|
|United States||48 km/h on road|
|NBC protection system, two winch, auxiliary power unit, recovery tools||480 km maximum road range|
|3||Length: 8.58 m; Width: 3.67m; Height: 3.22 m|
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