The Irish Defence Forces has signed a contract with UK-based WFEL to procure the 31m double-storey Medium Girder Bridging (MGB) system, along with handrails. 

The deal also requires the company to supply a complete support and training package.

The new bridging components are scheduled to be delivered by the end of next year.

The MGB system will be delivered to the Corps of Engineers, Irish Defence Forces’ military engineering branch.

The Corps, which has supported several United Nations operations, offers combat engineering and construction engineering services on the battlefield.

WFEL Business Development director Tom Winney said: “We are delighted to be working closely with the Irish Defence Force once again and refreshing their military bridging stocks with the latest MGB systems, to provide vital engineer capabilities. 

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“We are seeing increased interest in our MGB bridging systems worldwide, due to their modular and versatile nature, as forces worldwide recognise the need for rapid gap-crossing capability to ensure unrestricted manoeuvre for vehicles of up to 70t.”

WFEL’s MGB system, which the Irish military has been using since 1970s, can be installed in various configurations to serve military bridging requirements.

The modular bridging system can also be used to support disaster relief and emergency operations, including floods.

Featuring components such as piers, pontoons, and ferries, the bridges can be easily transported and assembled with minimum manpower.

The system also provides interoperability with any other MGB, irrespective of age.

Irish Defence Forces Engineering director colonel Damian McEvoy said: “Of particular importance to us is the lightweight nature of the MGB system, not only for reducing transportation weight, but to enable the bridge components to be handled by our troops without the need for mechanical aids.”