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British Army Boosts Battlefield Mobility with New £150M Support Bridges

The British Army’s battlefield mobility is set to receive a significant enhancement with a new £150 million contract for military-grade general support bridges, securing 300 jobs in the UK. KNDS UK (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter), a Stockport-based company with a history of manufacturing military bridge systems, will deliver the support bridges based on their Dry Support Bridge design.

These bridges, extending up to 46 meters – equivalent to the length of five buses – and capable of carrying the weight of the Army’s future tank, the Challenger 3, will play a crucial role in crossing both wet and dry gaps on the battlefield. This capability ensures the safe movement of personnel and equipment, facilitating the resupply of forward fighting elements and providing aid in disaster relief situations.

Replacing the BR90 ABLE system previously in service, the new bridges will be interoperable with other NATO partners’ systems, allowing for shared resources during joint exercises and deployments. Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge highlighted the contract as a significant step forward in military capability, fostering interoperability with NATO allies and securing hundreds of jobs in Stockport.

The £150 million contract for General Support Bridges falls under Project TYRO, which aims to improve the mobility of future Armoured Brigade Combat Teams and equipment across varied terrains. The bridges will be mounted on Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicle (RMMV) HX2 tactical trucks, making them one of the world’s most technically advanced and rapidly deployable military bridge systems.

Defence Equipment & Support Fires, Infrastructure & Manoeuvre Support (FIMS) Portfolio Lead, Mr. Mark Bunyan, underlined the critical role of military equipment bridging in successful operations, stating that Project TYRO GSB will provide the UK with a significant operational advantage.

Col Adam Foley, SRO for Military Engineering Capability, expressed satisfaction with the collaboration between industry and NATO partners, noting that Project TYRO GSB addresses current and future bridging requirements effectively.

Ian Anderton, Managing Director of KNDS UK, expressed delight that the British Army would join the growing community of Dry Support Bridge users, stressing the bridge’s proven capability manufactured in the UK and exported globally. The project also marks over 50 years of KNDS UK serving as a prime contractor to the UK Ministry of Defence, reinforcing their commitment to supporting UK Defence Capability.

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