Defence has bought, received and deployed six new M88A2 HERCULES armoured recovery vehicles.
CAPTION: Two new M88 HERCULES in Townsville.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the delivery of the HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) vehicles was critical to ensure the safe and effective operation of Australia’s Abrams main battle tank capability.
“HERCULES is a 64 tonne tracked vehicle used primarily for the repair and recovery of tanks and other vehicles whilst under fire and will complement the seven currently in operation,” Minister Pyne said.
“Valued at more than $58 million, the six new HERCULES will support armoured units based in Darwin and Townsville, and operator and maintenance training at Puckapunyal and Bandiana in Victoria.
“Pleasingly the maintenance, servicing and engineering support for this equipment will be delivered regionally by Broadspectrum, with four new jobs to be created in Darwin.”
Since their delivery to Defence, all six vehicles have been accepted into service, painted in Australian camouflage and sent to their units.
HERCULES features overlay armour protection, ballistic skirts, a 35-ton boom, a 63-tonne constant-pull main winch with 85m cable, and an auxiliary 3-tonne winch to aid main-winch-cable deployment.
Gross vehicle weight 63,500kg
Personnel capacity 7
Gross horsepower 1050@2400 rpm
Estimated cruising range 480km
Trench crossing 2.6m
Vertical wall crossing 1m
Overall length 8.5m
Ground clearance 400mm