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M88
M88A1

Medium Recovery Vehicle M881-3

M88: General
Date of first acceptance 1960 Total acceptances 1075
Manufacturer Bowen-McLaughlin-York Company Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in cab center
  • Mechanic in cab right front
  • Rigger in cab rear
  • Driver in cab left front
M88: Dimensions
Combat weight ~110,000lbs
48,900kg
Height over AAMG ~127"
323cm
Length with boom and spade in travel position 325.5"
826.8cm
Width over tracks 135.0"
342.9cm
Tread 107.0"
271.8cm
Ground clearance 17.0"
43.2cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 10.9psi
.765kg/cm²
M88: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in cupola AA mount 1500 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
Night vision
Infrared periscopes M24 for driver and rigger
M88: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull and cab
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 1.25"
3.18cm
26°
Lower front 1.5"
3.8cm
47°
Upper sides .75"
1.9cm
15°
Lower sides 1.0"
2.5cm
Upper rear 1.0"
2.5cm
10°
Lower rear 1.25"
3.18cm
Top .75"
1.9cm
90°
Front floor 1.5"
3.8cm
90°
Rear floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
M88: Automotive
Engine Continental AVSI-1790-6A; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee supercharged fuel-injected gasoline
Horsepower Net: 814@2800rpm
Gross: 980@2800rpm
Torque Net: 1600 ft-lb@2100rpm
Gross: 1940@2300rpm
Fuel capacity 445gal
1680L
Transmission Cross-Drive XT-1410-2A, 3 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, steering wheel
Brakes Multiple disc
M88: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last road wheels/track
M88: Track
T107
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 7.09"
18.0cm
Shoes/track 84 Ground contact length 180"
cm
M88: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
50kph sustained
Max trench 103.2"
262.1cm
Max sideslope 30% Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 42"
110cm
Min turning diameter Pivot
Max fording depth 64"
160cm
Cruising range ~200mi
~320km

The M88 shared its powertrain with the heavy recovery vehicle M51. An hydraulically-controlled stabilizing spade that could also be used as a dozer blade was mounted on the vehicle's front. The 90,000lb (41,000kg)-capacity main winch was installed below the crew floor, and was fed with 200' (61m) of 1.25" (3.18cm) cable. An A-frame boom was mounted on top of the cab, and its hoist winch had a capacity of 50,000lb (23,000kg) and was fed by a four-part 200' (61m) long .625" (1.59cm) cable. Suspension lockout blocks were able to be fitted to the front road wheel on each side for use during operations requiring lifting and carrying loads of 6-20 tons (5400-18,000kg).

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Medium Recovery Vehicle M88A11-8

M88A1: General
Date of first acceptance June 1975
Manufacturer Bowen-McLaughlin-York Company Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in cab center
  • Mechanic in cab right front
  • Rigger in cab rear
  • Driver in cab left front
M88A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 112,000lbs
50,800kg
Height over AAMG 123"
312cm
Length 325.5"
826.8cm
Width over tracks 135.0"
342.9cm
Tread 107.0"
271.8cm
Ground clearance 17.0"
43.2cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 10.9psi
.765kg/cm²
M88A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in cupola AA mount 1500 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
Night vision
Infrared periscopes M24 or M24A1 for driver and rigger
M88A1: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull and cab
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 1.25"
3.18cm
26°
Lower front 1.5"
3.8cm
47°
Upper sides .75"
1.9cm
15°
Lower sides 1.0"
2.5cm
Upper rear 1.0"
2.5cm
10°
Lower rear 1.25"
3.18cm
Top .75"
1.9cm
90°
Front floor 1.5"
3.8cm
90°
Rear floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
M88A1: Automotive
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-2DR; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee supercharged diesel
Horsepower Net: 642@2400rpm
Gross: 750@2400rpm
Torque Net: 1585ft-lb@180000rpm
Gross: 1720@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 400gal
1500L
Transmission XT-1410-4, 3 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, steering wheel
Brakes Multiple disc
M88A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last road wheels/track
M88A1: Track
T107
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 7.09"
18.0cm
Shoes/track 84 Ground contact length 180"
cm
M88A1: Performance
Max level road speed 26mph
42kph
Max trench 103"
262cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 42"
110cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 56"
140cm
Cruising range ~300mi
~480km

The dieselization of the US military's vehicle fleet resulted in the AVDS-1790-2DR engine being installed in the M88, yielding the M88A1. The auxiliary generator and crew heater were also changed to diesel-powered units. The boom lift height at 8' (2.4m) of reach was 270.5" (687.1cm), and at 4' (1.2m) reach was 301.50" (765.81cm). The boom capacity with the spade stowed was 6 tons (5400kg) without the suspension locked and 20 tons (18,000kg) with the suspension locked. With the spade deployed the boom capacity increased to 25 tons (23,000kg).

The M88A1 began to struggle, however, with the introduction of the M1 Abrams and especially with M1A1, which weighed ~28,000lb (~12,700kg) more than the M60 that the M88 had been initially intended to recover. Two M88A1s were required to safely tow an Abrams tank. Thus, the M88A2 HERCULES was introduced in July 1997. Manufactured by United Defense and at the Aniston Army Depot, this version used the hull of the M88A1, but featured an improved powertrain making 1050 gross horsepower at 2400rpm; additional armor including ballistic skirts; stronger winch and hoist capacities; and suspension, brake, and hydraulic system improvements. The main winch has a 140,000lb (63,500kg) capacity and 280' (85m) of cable and the boom hoist capacity has increased to 35 tons (32,000kg). A 3-ton (2700kg) auxiliary winch was added to assist with the outlaying of the main winch cable. The crew has been reduced to 3 men with the elimination of the rigger. The M88A2 weighs 70 tons (63,500kg), has a maximum speed of 30mph (48kph), is 338" (859cm) long overall, 144" (366cm) wide, 124" (315cm) tall, and has 16" (41cm) of ground clearance.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank, volume 1. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1984.
  2. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.
  3. Federation of American Scientists. "M88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle." DOD 101. 6 Feb 2000. 19 Oct 2013 <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m88a1e1.htm>. DOD 101
  4. TM 9-2350-256-10 Operator's Manual--Recovery Vehicle, Full-Tracked: Medium, M88A1. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 18 August 1998.
  5. TM 9-2350-256-20-1 Unit Maintenance Manual for Recovery Vehicle, Full-Tracked: Medium, M88A1 Volume I. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, November 2005.
  6. TM 9-2350-256-20-2 Unit Maintenance Manual for Recovery Vehicle, Full-Tracked: Medium, M88A1 Volume II. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 27 June 2005.
  7. TM 43-0001-31 Equipment Data Sheets for TACOM Combat and Tactical Equipment, Equipment Class 1450, 2310, 2320, 2330, 2350. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, June 1985.
  8. BAE Systems Communication Department. M88A2 HERCULES Heavy Recovery Vehicle. 2013. 19 October 2013 <http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/document/mdaw/mdm3/~edisp/baes_020530.pdf>.

Last updated 19 Oct 2019.
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© Copyright 2013 Chris Conners