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May 2012 Military Power: Tank Tow Truck

Move Over AAA

Text By Jason Thompson, Photography by Sergeant Matthew Steinberger

Move Over AAA, Make Way For This 140,000-Pound-Capacity Hauler
From pulling the statue of Saddam Hussein down in 2003 to clearing vehicles hit by roadside bombs to its rebuilding tasks in Afghanistan today, the M88A2 Hercules performs many labors. This is the tow truck our military calls into action when one of our M1 Abrams main battle tanks needs a ride on the hook.

The M88A2 is based on the M88 and M88A1 medium-weight recovery vehicles designed in the ’60s by Bowen McLaughlin York. The vehicle’s chassis is based on parts used in the M48 Patton and M60 tank. The key upgrades of the M88A2 (from the M88A1) include improved power steering and braking, an updated electrical system, and increased horsepower.

MIL-SPEC: M88A2 Hercules
Manufacturer: BAE Systems
Engine: L-3 Communications Combat Propulsion Systems (CPS) AVDS-1790-8A
Type: 90-degree V-12 with dual overhead camshafts (DOHC)
Forced induction: Turbocharged with intercooler; airflow is 2,045 cfm
Bore and stroke: 5.75 inches x 5.75 inches
Compression ratio: 14.5:1
Lubrication capacity: 23 gallons
Fuel consumption at 2,400 rpm: 415 pounds per hour
Fuel type: JP-8, DF-A, DF-1, DF-2
Cooling system: Air-cooled, certified for temperatures of up to 125 degrees
Normal oil temperature: 180 degrees at 60 degrees ambient
Maximum oil temperature: 260 degrees at 115 degrees ambient
Engine Weight: 5,100 pounds
Horsepower: 1,050 at 2,400 rpm
Torque: 2,510 lb-ft at 2,400 rpm
Drivetrain: XT-1410-5A cross-drive transmission with three forward gears and one reverse gear
Gross Vehicle Weight: 140,000 pounds
Personnel capacity: 7
Speed: 26 to 30 mph
Braking distance with load at 15 mph: 50 feet
Braking distance without load at 20 mph: 35 feet Estimated cruising range: 300 miles
Slope it can climb: 60 percent
Trench crossing: 103 inches
Vertical wall crossing: 42 inches
Overall length: 338 inches
Width: 144 inches
Height: 124 inches
Ground clearance: 16 inches

L-3 Communications
BAE Systems
1601 Research Blvd.
MD  20850
By Jason Thompson
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