UK company WFEL is highlighting its Dry Support Bridge (DSB), which was recently used by the Swiss Armed Forces in a disaster relief operation after heavy rainfall caused landslides and widespread destruction to roads, bridges and pipelines in the municipality of Scuol. The bridge has allowed local communities to regain the use of transport links and will stay in place for up to six months until permanent infrastructure can be rebuilt.
The DSB is the longest non-reinforced bridge of its class anywhere in the world and can get traffic and supplies moving over a 46m gap in less than 90 minutes using just eight soldiers and a single launch vehicle, which is crucial in rapidly escalating combat, homeland defence or disaster relief scenarios – when every second counts.
WFEL recently announced a £53 million (€68 million) contract with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for both DSBs and Medium Girder Bridges (MGBs). The MGB first entered service more than 30 years ago, and has also played a major role in both military and disaster relief operations, being used by more than 40 armed forces worldwide. Under the ADF contract, WFEL will supply double-storey, link-reinforced MGB bridge sets, which can span up to 49m; these bridges will be supplemented by additional equipment which will allow bridges of up to 76m to be constructed, using WFEL’s portable pier sets.
Both bridges can be seen on the company’s Stand K692 in Hall 5.