Eurosatory 2014

Bridging the gap (ES14E2)

15 June 2014
WFEL has delivered its first batch of Dry Support Bridge systems to Switzerland.

Switzerland has taken delivery from WFEL (Hall 5A, Stand K461) of its first batch of Dry Support Bridge (DSB) systems in the latest 46m configuration.

In December 2011, the Swiss Army placed a £57 million order for a total of 10 bridging systems but with 14 launch vehicles. Final deliveries are due in 2015. A second contract was placed in December 2013 worth £37 million for a further 10 launch vehicles and six bridges, with final deliveries in late 2016.

The Trakker (10x8) chassis is provided from the Iveco Defence Vehicles facility in Spain as Swiss government furnished equipment (GFE), as part of a complete fleet of vehicles.

When built, these Trakkers are in an 8x8 configuration and then go to Switzerland, where the fifth axle is added. This is due to the high gross vehicle weight of the Swiss version of the DSB.

The DSB is almost identical to the US M18 DSB system except that it has a different chassis with provision for walkways. Each US Army DSB consists of a Oshkosh M1075 (10x10) truck chassis towing a M1076 trailer carrying the launching beam elements, and two Oshkosh Defense M1077 (8x8) trucks towing a similar trailer carrying the actual bridge equipment. The US Army has ordered 108 DSBs and deliveries are almost complete.

Turkey has taken delivery of two sets of the DSB transported and launched from an Oshkosh chassis.

The DSB can span gaps of up to 46m and withstand repeated crossings up to Military Load Class 120. A team of eight can deploy the bridge in less than 90 minutes.



(264 words)
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