Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pentagon clears $281 million sale of HERCULES recovery vehicles to Kuwait

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced that the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Kuwait for nineteen M88A2 HERCULES recovery vehicles and related equipment and support for an estimated cost of $281 million.

The Hercules, an acronym standing for Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System, is a full tracked armored vehicle used to perform battlefield rescue and recovery missions. The M88A2 is essential to the long-term sustainability of Kuwait’s new M1A2 tank fleet for national defense.

“Kuwait will have no difficulty absorbing this additional equipment and services,” said DSCA.


Hercules is capable of towing 160,000 pounds, or 80 tons, and its boom and winch can lift 35 tons, or 70,000 pounds.

Hercules is built by the British company BAE Systems and has been in use in one form or another by the Army and Marine Corps since 1959.

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.

The vehicle is equipped with an auxiliary power unit (APU) that provides backup hydraulic and electrical power. The APU also provides power for refueling and fuel transfer. The vehicle carries a crew of three: commander, operator, and mechanic. It has compartment space for four members of the recovered vehicle.

The recovery vehicle has a longer 35-ton (31.75 metric ton) boom; a 70-ton (63.5 metric ton) constant pull main winch with 280 feet (85.3 meters) of cable; and an auxiliary 3-ton (2.7 metric ton) winch to aid main winch cable deployment.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.