Under the Land 155 Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability Project, the ADF has taken delivery of the first scheduled tranche of WFEL’s rapidly-deployable military bridges, including Dry Support Bridges (DSBs) and Medium Girder Bridges (MGBs).
The tranche includes some of the first configurations of the DSB launching vehicle on a fully-armoured Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicle Australia (RMMVA) 45m 10 x 10 chassis.
WFEL CEO Ian Wilson 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.
“The DSBs, capable of carrying over 120 tonnes, have been delivered following extensive trials at the UK’s Millbrook Proving Ground, to verify both off-road and on-road capability and in accordance with a series of demanding mandated Specifications, Audits and Project Reviews determined by the Australian Government.”
Also supplied for Land 155 are WFEL’s double-storey, link-reinforced MGBs, which can span up to 49 metres and which will be supplemented by additional portable Pier and Span equipment, allowing bridges of up to 76 metres to be constructed.
Wilson said WFEL's realtionship with the ADF had actually begun thirty years ago with the delivery of 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.”
As the bridges provide temporary infrastructure and will be used in the ADF’s Combat Support and Disaster Relief operations, both DSB and MGB bridging systems are being delivered complete with walkways, to allow the separation of vehicular traffic from pedestrians. WFEL’s comprehensive Integrated Logistics Support package is also being supplied, to cover through-life support for the bridges.
According to WFEL, the DSB can be launched by just 8 personnel within 90 minutes, and is already in use with the US, Swiss and Turkish armed forces. It has been proven in the field as temporary infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the UK's Project Tyro, WFEL is positioning itself to resupply the British Army, which has also used its MGBs since the 1970s.
WFEL is also currently fulfilling further DSB orders for the US Army - an experienced user of the DSB since 2003 - in support of its European Deterrence Initiative. The supply of additional DSB to the service will bring its stockholding up to almost 120 systems.
WFEL will complete final delivery of the ADF’s bridges by September 2018.