Six new M88A2 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) armoured recovery vehicles have officially been accepted into service, marking an important milestone for the Australian Army.
The delivery, valued at $58 million, is critical to ensure the safe and effective operation of Australia's Abrams Main Battle Tank capability, according to Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne.
"The HERCULES is a 64 tonne tacked vehicles used primarily for the repair and recovery of tanks and other vehicles whilst under fire and will complement the seven currently in operation," Mr Pyne said.
"Valued at more than $58 million, the six new HERCULES will support armoured units based in Darwin and Townsville, and operator and maintenance training at Puckapunyal and Bandiana in Victoria."
Mr Pyne said the six vehicles will create jobs in the Northern Territory.
"Pleasingly, the maintenance, servicing and engineering support for this equipment will be delivered regionally by Broadspectrum, with four new jobs to be created in Darwin."
Since their delivery to Defence in December 2016, all six vehicles have been accepted into service, camouflaged and sent to their units.
The vehicles are expected to enhance Australia's capability to conduct heavy ground operations and support the country's deterrent capabilities against regional threats.
The principal contractor for the vehicles was BAE Systems in York, Pennsylvania, in the US.