The United States has sent Ukraine eight M88A2 ARVs (Armored Recovery Vehicles). Two of the Ukrainian M88A2s were destroyed by the Russians while the other six continue to recover disabled armored vehicles from the battlefield.
M88A2s cost about $2 million each and are essential for recovering damaged tanks and other armored vehicles from the battlefield to somewhere they can be repaired and returned to service. The U.S. army and marines have been using the M88 since it was developed in the 1960s. About 1,700 have been built so far with the U.S. Army and marines obtaining two-thirds of those produced. The rest have been exported to about two dozen countries. Some of these export customers have ordered more M88A2s. The new M88A3 version will be available soon. The A3 has upgraded components and more capabilities than th3 A1 and A2 versions. The A3 version can recover a vehicle weighing up to 80 tons. This means it will have an easier time recovering the latest version of the Americans M1 tank, which weighs nearly 70 tons. The A3 version includes some M1 mechanical components.
The original 56 ton M88 is based on the chassis of the M-60 tank. This model M88 entered service in 1961 and has been upgraded over the years. The M88A2 is larger and heavier (70 tons) so that it can haul any American armored vehicle, including the 70 ton M-1. The M88 has a boom that can lift 35 tons. A crew of three has numerous other tools needed for dealing with disabled armored vehicles and getting them in shape to be hauled back for repair. The armor of the M88 is proof against 30mm shells. Its only armament is a 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine-gun, and personal weapons of the crew. Top speed is 48 kilometers an hour. Using internal fuel, an M88A2 can travel 450 kilometers, pick up a broken vehicle, and return. So far, 18 foreign nations have bought the M88.