Defence has received six new M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System (HERCULES) armoured recovery vehicles.
All of the vehicles have been accepted into service, painted in Australian camouflage and sent to their units.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne stated that delivery of the HERCULES vehicles ensures the safe and effective operation of the Abrams tank.
“The 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 new recovery vehicles will support armoured units based in Darwin and Townsville, and operator and maintenance training at Puckapunyal and Bandiana. Maintenance, servicing and engineering support for this equipment will be delivered by Broadspectrum, with four new jobs to be created in Darwin.
Approval of the sale to Australia of up to six M88A2 vehicles under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program was announced in January 2015, with BAE Systems as the principal contractor.