WFEL to upgrade more U.S. Army Dry Support Bridges
WFEL, a leading supplier of rapidly deployable military bridging systems, has been awarded another contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to upgrade a further tranche of Dry Support Bridges (DSB) already in-service with the U.S. Army.
This contract allows 20 more DSBs to be enhanced, increasing gap-crossing capabilities from 40 meters to 46 meters. The deal follows on from a previous U.S. Army contract for the upgrading of 60 Dry Support Bridges. The U.S Army holds around 120 Dry Support Bridges in inventory and this upgrade package - developed with U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command Centre (TACOM) - allows its original 40-meter DSBs to achieve the new standard capability.
Since 2013, all WFEL Dry Support Bridges supplied have been 46-meter variants. Already adopted by Australia, Switzerland and Turkey, this military bridging solution has recently been evaluated under an Assessment Phase contract as a replacement for the UK MoD’s ageing BR90 bridging systems. WFEL’s Managing Director, Ian Anderton, said “We’re continually working with our U.S. Army customer to ensure all their DSB bridging equipment is fulfilling its maximum potential and the simplicity of these upgrade kits allows the DSB enhancement work to be carried out at the US Army’s facilities, with minimal disruption.”
WFEL recently supplied a further four Dry Support Bridges to the U.S. Army, as part of the USA’s $4.8 billion European Deterrence Initiative to improve the USA’s readiness and responsiveness of NATO forces in Europe. DSBs have been used in combat and emergency scenarios worldwide, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Europe and South Korea.
The DSB provides temporary infrastructure over land and water obstacles for both combat situations and natural disasters and can be deployed by a crew of only eight people to span a 46m gap in less than 90 minutes. Capable of carrying over 120 tonnes, the DSB includes a fatigue monitoring system that helps the user to determine the bridge’s remaining life, while the launching system’s built-in test equipment gives live system status and diagnostics
WFEL traces its roots as a defence engineering business back to 1915 and has been designing and manufacturing tactical military bridges since the 1970s, including both the DSB Dry Support Bridge and the well-known MGB Medium Girder Bridge - of which over 500 have already been supplied to militaries worldwide.