Birdon, a family-owned engineering and services business headquartered in Port Macquarie, has delivered its 100th Bridge Erection Boat (BEB) to the US Army.
The Birdon team, US Army personnel, key suppliers, and special guests celebrated the completion of the 100th BEB on Monday the 10th of December at Birdon’s US headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
Denver City Councilman Christopher Herndon, US Army Product Manager Steven Rienstra and CEO of Birdon Jamie Bruce addressed the audience of over 250 people. Special guests in attendance included representatives from the City of Denver, the Australian Embassy and US Government agencies.
After being awarded the US Army contract in 2013, Birdon and NAMJet began production of the first BEB and propulsion systems in the summer of 2014 in their new factory in northeast Denver. The first BEB was delivered to the US Army for testing in the spring of 2015.
The Birdon team in the US has since grown from 10 employees to over 100 employees, who complete an average of three BEBs and 10 water jet propulsion systems each month. In November of 2018, the US Army awarded Birdon an additional contract that will see production of the BEBs double in 2019 and 2020.
As a result of Birdon’s successful performance throughout this contract, they have received enquiries for BEBs both domestically and internationally. In April of 2018, Birdon demonstrated the capabilities of their BEB for the US Marine Corp at Camp Lejeune, NC and are now working to develop the requirements to replace their aging fleet of over 120 BEBs.
Earlier this year, Birdon signed a marketing agreement with General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) allowing GDELS to market the Birdon BEB as part of their overall bridging system solution on an international scale. As a result, delegations from the Canadian Defence Force have visited Birdon’s US headquarters. Birdon is also responding to enquiries from Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Brazil - with whom an order has been signed.
In its primary mission mode, the BEB provides propulsion, thrust and stabilisation to support worldwide tactical float bridging and rafting operations. It is specifically designed to provide high thrust and operate in high particulate matter environments.
Birdon has also developed remote autonomous control systems for its BEBs.