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24 Apr 13. BAE Systems received a $28.7m contract to upgrade 11 M88A1 Medium Recovery vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (HERCULES) configuration. HERCULES is the improved recovery system of choice for today’s 70-ton combat vehicles. The M88A2 HERCULES offers operational and logistics commonality with the existing M88A1 fleet, which provides simplified training and parts availability benefits to the end-user. Key upgrades for the HERCULES include: improved power-assisted braking, steering, winching, hoisting, and increased horsepower. HERCULES has the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system, answering the need for cost-effective, self-supporting heavy recovery performance. The M88A2 provides unparalleled capability for recovering today’s 70-ton combat vehicles including the M1A1, M1A2, Leopard MBT, bridging systems, and other medium weight vehicles. The upgrade work will be performed by the existing workforce at BAE Systems operations in York, Pennsylvania and Aiken, South Carolina. The contract was awarded by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command with deliveries to conclude in March 2014. The award brings the total value of U.S. Government contracts that BAE Systems has been awarded on the HERCULES program to $2.1bn. To date, 575 HERCULES vehicles have been fielded against an overall U.S. Army requirement of 632 vehicles, and a total of 84 vehicles have been fielded to the U.S. Marine Corps. The M88 plays a critical role the company’s campaign to maintain the Bradley Industrial Base by protecting the affordability of the Army’s combat vehicles. BAE Systems’ York facility is responsible for four of the five U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) vehicles, including the Bradley and the M88. In addition to proposing that Congress provide base level investment in critical combat vehicle improvements, BAE Systems is working with the Army to secure increased funding for the M88 program to help carry the workload at the facility. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

24 Apr 13. Next month, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is scheduled to award a contract to one company for at least 1,300 ground mobility vehicles (GMVs) to replace its current fleet of aging GMVs. SOCOM commander Adm. William McRaven confirmed the planned award while warning about his command’s spending on research and development during a hearing of the House Armed Services’ intelligence, emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee on April 17. The GMV program is the planned replacement for the heavier Humvee variant being used by SOCOM, and according to budget documents released in April, they would start being fielded next year. SOCOM’s fiscal 2014 budget request submitted April 10 calls for $24.7 million to purchase 101 vehicles in the coming year at $245,000 per vehicle. The three companies competing for the work, which is expected to produce about 200 vehicles a year for seven years, are General Dynamics, current GMV-maker AM General and Navistar International. Requirements documents released last year call for a vehicle that weighs less than 7,000 pounds, has the ability to carry up to seven passengers and can be transportable in an M/CH-47 Chinook helicopter. On April 5, SOCOM also released a request for proposal for what it is calling an internally transportable vehicle (ITV), which will be designed to fit in the back of a V-22 Osprey. While the specifications are classified, a draft solicitation released in June revealed that any submission must include two “critical flight mission payloads,” one at 1,000 pounds and another at 2,000 pounds, with a field-installable weapon station mount capab

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