The most badass tow-truck ever

The US government, in between hours spent squabbling over the price of a cheese sandwich, has ordered a bunch of refurbished M88A2 HERCULES ARVs, also known as tanks that tow other tanks — and other big stuff too.

Based on the previous-generation M60 Patton tank, the M88 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Life Evacuation System) is a tracked armored recovery vehicle with the power and equipment to pull any U.S. armed forces vehicle out of trouble — and that includes the 70-ton M1 Abrams battle tank. It even carries a hoist and boom with a 35-ton capacity, for engine swaps in the field. The upgraded M88A2 went into production in 1994.

M88 series vehicles have seen action in Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Kosovo war and the Iraq war. M88 supplier, BAE Systems, will provide 29 refurbished vehicles to the US Army and 16 to the US Marine Corps at a price of $108.4 million. (via a tweet from Telstar Logistics.)