General Dynamics European Land Systems has signed a USD$28 million contract with the Australian Department of Defence to produce and deliver its Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB).
The contract, under the Land 155 program for enhanced gap crossing equipment, covers the delivery of bridge bays and logistics package, as well as operator and maintainer training.
IRB will replace the legacy Floating Support Bridge which was delivered by General Dynamics European Land Systems-Germany’s predecessor company EWK in the 1980s.
The bridge system can be operated as a multi-bay ferry as well as a floating bridge and provides wide wet-gap crossing capability for tracked and wheeled vehicles, including the Australian Army’s M1A1 Abrams tank.
Bridge bays will be transported on and launched from a new multipurpose truck which will be purchased under the Land 121 program.
Delivery of the first systems will start late next year.
Australia will be the fourth user nation of this modern floating bridge system.
IRB is already in service in the United States, Germany and Sweden.
IRB is fully interoperable with General Dynamics European Land Systems’ legacy floating bridge systems, FSB, and the amphibious ferry system M3.