DRS Technologies has received a $400m indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract from the US Army to build the new joint assault bridge (JAB) system.

Designed for the US military ground forces, the JAB system is a track-wheeled vehicle built on a modified M1 Abrams platform.

The system can carry, deploy and recover a heavy 'scissor' bridge that provides gap-crossing capabilities for combat vehicles to cross wet or dry chasms, DRS said in a statement.

“This is an important programme for our ground combat units.”

Using JAB, combat vehicles will be able to freely navigate the battlefield.

DRS sustainment systems vice-president and general manager Joe Matteoni said: “The ability for combat vehicles to navigate easily on the battlefield is critical to the success of our armoured vehicle warfighters.

“This is an important programme for our ground combat units.”

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DRS Technologies’ sustainment systems business unit will take responsibility for the production, management of the M1A1 chassis assembly, hydraulic bridge launcher production and the entire system integration.

Production will be carried out in West Plains, Missouri; and Anniston, Alabama, US.

DRS has a public-private partnership with Anniston Army Depot for the management of the chassis assembly. It also worked with Israel Military Industries on the engineering and design of the JAB system.