UK-based WFEL has delivered the first scheduled tranche of its rapidly-deployable military bridges to the Australian Defence Force (ADF), including dry support bridges (DSBs) and medium girder bridges (MGBs).
Carried out under the Land 155 Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability Project, the current delivery will see some of the first configurations of the DSB launching vehicle on a fully-armoured Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicle (RMMV) 45m 10 x 10 chassis.
Capable of carrying more than 120t, the bridges have been delivered to the ADF after completing extensive trials at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK to verify both off-road and on-road capability of the bridges.
DSBs are currently being used by the US, Swiss and Turkish Armed Forces. They can be easily launched by eight personnel within 90 minutes.
The double-storey, link-reinforced MGBs can span up to 49m. They will be supplemented by additional portable pier and span equipment, allowing up to 76m bridges to be built.
WFEL chief executive Ian Wilson said: “WFEL’s long-standing relationship with the ADF began over 30 years ago when they chose our MGBs.
“We are delighted to continue to support them today, this time not only with further MGBs, but with a significant capability enhancement through the purchase of the latest mechanised DSB.
“The adoption of the DSB not only provides the ADF’s Manoeuvre Commanders with the ability to cross significant wet or dry gaps quickly and efficiently, it allows a level of interoperability with an ever-growing user base.”
The two bridging systems are being delivered complete with walkways to separate vehicular traffic from pedestrians.
Providing temporary infrastructure, both DSBs and MGBs will be deployed by the ADF during its combat support and disaster relief operations.
The final delivery of WFEL’s rapidly-deployable bridges is scheduled to be completed by September this year.