UK bridge manufacturer WFEL has completed a multi-million-pound order for the delivery of new tactical military bridge to the Australian Army.
The £53m contract is part of the total £600m worth of export orders received by the company over the last ten years.
Based in Stockport, the manufacturer was responsible for providing the newly built dry support bridges (DSBs) for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The deal completion was marked during a visit by UK Defence Procurement Minister Stuart Andrew to the WFEL facility.
Andrew said: “Through WFEL, Stockport is leading the world in military bridges which help troops defeat our enemies and provide essential aid to people in disaster zones.
“Not only does WFEL bring hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds of investment to the UK, but it enables relations with some of our closest allies to flourish.”
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To be used by the army during combat, the DSB military bridge will provide a rapidly deployable temporary infrastructure in order to enable transportation of vital equipment and soldiers through the most challenging terrain.
WFEL chief executive Ian Anderton said: “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 inter-operability with an ever-growing user base.”
In March this year, WFEL delivered the first scheduled tranche of its DSBs and medium girder bridges (MGBs) to the ADF under the Land 155 Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability Project.
DSB is a new-generation tactical military bridging system fitted with a 4,417kg parallel module, 4,080kg ramp module, 357kg end beam and a 86kg approach ramp.
The 46m-long equipment is constructed using specially made lightweight aluminium alloys and can be laid and launched by eight crew members within 90 minutes.