General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) announced that it has signed a contract for the production and delivery of the latest variant of the M3 Amphibious Bridge and Ferry System for a customer in south-east Asia. The deliveries will also include an ILS package consisting of a simulator system, training, special tools and manuals.
NATO and non-NATO nations use the M3 in different roles, from combat operations to civil defence missions.
"The award of the contract once again underlines the quality and superior performance of General Dynamics European Land Systems’ mobile bridge systems and the high reputation our company and products have in the defence market as the most modern and most powerful amphibious bridge and ferry system," said Dr Thomas Kauffmann, VP International Business and Services for General Dynamics European Land Systems.
M3 Amphibious Bridge and Ferry System can carry payloads of up to MLC85 tracked vehicles and MLC 132 wheeled vehicles, as well as build a 100m (330ft) floating bridge in less than ten minutes.
Watching the 350m floating bridge built with German and British M3s during the NATO exercise Anakonda in June 2016, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, the US Army Europe commander, was quoted in Defense News as saying, "This is the best bridge I´ve ever seen in my life.
"You’ve got a wonderful example of interoperability. This is a great example of an ally providing the capability that everybody else needs."
German Brigadier General and chief of staff for US Army Europe Markus Laubenthal also told Defense News on the way back from Chelmno to Warsaw after the exercises, which operated the longest M3 floating bridge ever built to cross the Vistula river, that the capability is ‘unique’ in NATO provided by just the German and British armies.
"It differs from the traditional military bridging equipment because it also can function as a ferry," he said. "This is a very speedy, fast way to cross the river."