The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 25 M88A2 HERCULES and/or M88A1 long supply HERCULES refurbished armored recovery vehicles (ARV) to Morocco, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced.
According to a DSCA statement, the possible sale of the ARVs and related equipment, which is being executed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS) program, has an estimated value of $239.35 million. The principal contractor of the sale will be BAE Systems in York, Pennsylvania.
The DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 3.
The Government of Morocco has earlier requested to buy 25 M88A2 HERCULES vehicles and/or M88A1 long supply HERCULES refurbished vehicles; and 25 M2 .50 caliber machine guns.
Also included in the sales package are 25 export Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS); 25 AN/PSN-13A Defense Advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) Receiver (DAGR) with Selective-Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM); 30 AN/VAS-5B Driver Vision Enhancer (DVE) kits; 25 M239 or M250 smoke grenade launchers; 1,800 M76 (G826) or L8A1/L8A3 (G815) smoke grenade rounds; spare parts; support equipment; depot level support; Government-Furnished Equipment (GFE); repair parts; communication support equipment; communication equipment integration; tools and test equipment; training; training simulators; repair and return program; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT); and other related elements of logistics and program support.
Additionally, the following recommended basic load ammunition may be included upon request from customer: 25,000 A576 cartridges, .50 caliber linked 4 API/API-T F/M2; 300 G815 – grenade, smoke screening L8A1/A3; 2,500 A541 – 50 armor piercing incendiary, tracer M20 F/M2; 91,800 A557 – cartridge, .50 caliber 4 ball/1 tracer linked M33 F/M2; 54,000 A598 – cartridge, .50 caliber blank F/M2; other technical assistance and support equipment; and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The Royal Moroccan Army already has M88A1 armored recovery vehicles (ARVs) in its service.
Excerpt from DSCA statement:
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa.
The proposed sale will improve Morocco’s capability to meet current and future combat vehicle recovery requirements. Morocco will use the enhanced capability to enable armored forces training to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. Morocco intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces by updating their combat vehicle recovery capability in pace with their armored unit upgrades. Morocco will have no difficulty absorbing these vehicles into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and services will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The M88A2 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) Improved Recovery Vehicle is capable of recovering 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.