The UK Royal Engineers Trials and Development Unit (RETDU) has carried out military trials of a new bridging concept that will facilitate British Army rescue and assault missions.

The new bridging concept, developed by Devon-based firm EasiBridge, includes a range of man-portable, long-span rescue and assault bridges.

The development of the new bridging concept was supported by a £77,086.80 funding by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), made in July last year.

DASA head Lucy Mason said: This is a cross defence innovation success story. By embedding exploitation at the beginning of the innovation process and having the end user in mind throughout, it can lead to faster adoption of innovative ideas into defence and wider government.

“DASA is committed to supporting small businesses with great ideas and providing a platform upon which they can shine; EasiBridge did just this, attracting both UK and international interest.”

EasiBridge products are said to be 85% lighter, 80% more compact and cheaper than the currently used infantry assault bridges.

Under the guidance of DASA’s partner and project technical advisers at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the products underwent a series of military trials including deployment on an international exercise.

Additionally, the equipment demonstrated its effectiveness for other forms of usage such as emergency and rescue services.

The concepts were used in combinations to develop seven different capabilities including footbridges, fence-breaching frameworks, materials-handling conveyors and blast-resistant roofing systems.

British Army Future Force Development head brigadier Kev Copsey said: “The army is embracing emerging technologies and adopting innovation that eases the tasks of our people.

“We are delighted to be supporting a UK innovator, turning new ideas into military capability and putting it into the hands of soldiers quickly for trials and testing.”

Currently, EasiBridge is working on an order to supply three bridges, three conveyors and one footbridge to the RETDU. The equipment will be used as trial structures for army rescue and assault missions.