The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed Congress on 10 October of State Department approval for a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Kuwait for the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lifting Extraction System (HERCULES) recovery vehicle and related equipment and support.

The M88A2 HERCULES is a fully tracked armoured vehicle used to perform battlefield rescue and recovery missions. It is essential to the long-term sustainability of Kuwait's M1A2 ABRAMS tank fleet – some 218 were delivered 1994-1997.

The Kuwaiti government has requested 19 HERCULES and 19 .50 calibre machineguns and has further requested refurbishment and overhaul of the existing fleet of M88A1/A2 recovery vehicles, of which MON understands some 14 remain in service. The estimated value of the FMS contract is $281 million (€253 million).

Included in the contract are appropriate quantities M239 Smoke Grenade Launchers; AN/PVS-7D Night Vision Goggles; Driver Vision Enhancer DVE-CV (platform-mounted night vision device) for vehicles; Vehicle Intercom Set (VIC-3); Commander's cupola gun shield assembly for vehicle crew chief; remote thermal sights/kits (vehicle-mounted sights); SINCGARS AN-VRC92E export radio system and support; logistics support fielding packages; special tools and test equipment; spare and maintenance support parts for vehicles and machine guns; transportation services; repair and return services for vehicle components; de-processing team; contractor system technical support and field service representatives; training; plus US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and programme support.

The principal contractors involved in this programme are BAE Systems, York, PA; US Ordnance, McCarran, NV; DRS Technologies, Arlington, VA; Harris Corp., Tysons Corner, VA; Northrop Grumman, West Falls Church, VA; and Raytheon, McKinney, TX. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The FMS contract will bring Kuwait’s total fleet of M88 recovery vehicles – new-build and refurbished – to 33. (Photo: BAE Systems)

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