Morocco has been cleared to buy the 70-tons M88A2 HERCULES recovery vehicles for an estimated value of $239.35 million.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 3 March that the State Department had approved the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Morocco of twenty five M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System (HERCULES) vehicles and/or M88A1 long supply HERCULES refurbished vehicles.
“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,”” the DSCA said. “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 M88’s primary role is to repair or replace damaged parts in fighting vehicles while under fire, as well as extricate vehicles that have become bogged down or entangled.
The M88 Recovery Vehicle is one of the largest armored recovery vehicles (ARV) currently in use by the United States Armed Forces.
The HERCULES was the primary 70-ton recovery system during Operation Iraqi Freedom. And, U.S. troops found a few other creative uses for its capabilities when they used it to pull down the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad on April 9, 2003. HERCULES utilizes a hull designed for the recovery mission and thoroughly proven by U.S. Army testing. Stability and performance are unmatched by any alternate tank-based design.
HERCULES features overlay armor protection, ballistic skirts, a longer 35-ton boom, a 140,000-pound (63,504 kg) constant pull main winch with 280 feet of cable, and an auxiliary three-ton winch to aid main winch cable deployment.