Kuwait Cleared to Procure 19 Additional M88A2 HERCULES Recovery Vehicles

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 19 M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lifting Extraction System (HERCULES) recovery vehicles and related equipment and support to Kuwait for an estimated cost of $281 million.

The sale will be conducted through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress on Oct. 10.

The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale of 19 M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lifting Extraction System (HERCULES) recovery vehicles and 19 .50 caliber machine guns. Also included is the refurbishment/overhaul of existing fleet of M88Al/A2 recovery vehicles; M239 Smoke Grenade Launchers; AN/PVS-7D Night Vision Goggles; Driver Vision Enhancer DVE-CV (platform-mounted Night Vision Device) for vehicles; Vehicle Intercom Set (VIC-3); Commander’s Cupola gun shield assembly for vehicle crew chief; Remote Thermal Sights/kits (vehicle-mounted sights); SINCGARS AN-VRC92E Export Radio System and support; logistics support fielding packages; special tools and test equipment; spare and maintenance support parts for vehicles and machine guns; transportation services; Repair and Return services for vehicle components; de-processing team; contractor System Technical Support (STS) and Field Service Representatives (FSRs); training; and U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The M88A2 HERCULES is a full tracked armored vehicle used to perform battlefield rescue and recovery missions. The M88A2 is essential to the long-term sustainability of the Kuwait Army’s new M1A2 Abrams main battle tank fleet for national defense.

The principal contractors involved in this program are the BAE Systems – York, PA; US Ordnance – McCarran, NV; DRS Technologies – Arlington, VA; Harris Corp. – Tysons Corner, VA; Northrup Grumman – West Falls Church, VA; and Raytheon – McKinney, TX.


The M88A2 Improved Recovery Vehicle HERCULES recovers tanks mired to different depths, removes and replaces tank turrets and power packs, and uprights overturned heavy combat vehicles.

The main winch on the M88A2 is capable of a 70-ton, single-line recovery, allowing the HERCULES to provide recovery of the 70-ton M1A2 Abrams main battle tank. The A-frame boom and hoist winch of the M88A2 can lift 35 tons. The spade can be used to anchor the vehicle when using the main winch and can be used for light earthmoving to prepare a recovery area. The M88A2 employs an auxiliary power unit to provide auxiliary electrical and hydraulic power when the main engine is not in operation. It can also be used to slave start other vehicles, as well as a means to refuel or defuel vehicles. The M88A2 can refuel Abrams tanks from its own fuel tanks.

The M88A2 HERCULES is the successor vehicle to the M88A1, which only had 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.

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