The U.S. Army has awarded Sterling Heights defense contractor BAE Systems a $318 million contract to supply the upgraded M88A3, single-vehicle tank recovery vehicle.
The new M88A3 configuration eliminates the need to use two vehicles to raise and move the latest version of the Abrams tank, which has increased in weight in recent years.
“We have partnered closely with the Army and industry partners to develop a solution that addresses the single-vehicle recovery gap,” says Dennis Hancock, recovery programs director for BAE Systems’ Combat Vehicles business. “We are proud to continue to support the Army’s recovery needs by providing a next-generation solution to effectively rescue disabled tanks from the battlefield.”
The upgraded M88A3 features an improved powertrain, suspension, and tracks, increasing the vehicle’s speed, survivability, and reliability. The M88A3 also features a seventh road wheel to reduce ground pressure and new hydropneumatic suspension units that enable the track to be locked out for greater control when recovering vehicles.
BAE Systems’ M88 family of recovery vehicles has provided the Army with the capability to recoverstranded or disabled combat vehicles since the 1960s. Due to incremental weight increases of the Army’s main battle tank over the years, the M88A3’s predecessor, the M88A2, currently is unable to safely perform single-vehicle recovery of the Abrams. BAE Systems has invested Independent research and development to develop the M88A3 for three years in an effort to identify, understand, and provide solutions to return to single-vehicle recovery of the tank.
The work will be performed at BAE Systems’ facilities in York, Penn., Aiken, S.C., Anniston, Ala., and in Sterling Heights.