Python is a dry-gap bridge of aluminum designed to provide tactical gap crossing capability for mechanised infantry units such as the US Army’s Stryker brigades.
Python allows the crossing of unprepared gaps up to 13m (42.6 feet) for wheeled and tracked vehicles with loads up to MLC50.
The Python design is based on experience gained with the AVLB BEAVER system and uses proven components and similar bridge sections.
The automatically controlled hydraulic launching and retrieving procedure is done from the truck-mounted bridge adapter pallet with its integrated launcher. The pallet can be adapted to every 10-15 tons PLS truck and operational power is taken from the transport truck or from the pallet-integrated diesel-driven hydraulic system.
Python is horizontally free-launched, coupled together and then laid across the gap, thus providing a low profile signature to reduce enemy reconnaissance.
Python is C-130 air-transportable without the need for reconfiguration. The deployed bridge can also be transported as underslung load by a CH-47 helicopter. The Python has been in service with the US Army since 2007.
To provide temporary bridging capability the Python bridge can be adapted to various armoured fighting vehicles with the Adaptable Bridge Launching KIT (ABLK).
This can be done by the crew itself and takes approximately 30 minutes. With the help of the REB-ABLK, the coupled bridge is then lifted on the top of the armoured fighting vehicle, driven to the nearby crossing site and can then be launched under armour protection.