France’s CNIM Group (Stand N7-450) has expanded the capability of its Motorised Floating Bridge (MFB), which in French Army service is called the Pont Flottant Modele F1 (PFM Mle F1). The enhancement of the MFB was prompted by feedback for the system used by the French Army, as well as potential customers.
The MFB has been upgraded to allow it to take Military Load Class 80 (MLC 80) tracked and wheeled vehicles, which is of key importance as many of the latest generation tanks and self-propelled artillery systems are much heavier than previous systems.
The original 75hp engines have been replaced by more powerful 90hp engines, manoeuvrability in the water has been improved, as has assembly time, and the crew has been cut from three to one.
A key feature of the MFB is that it can be used as a ferry or units can be coupled together to cross wet gaps. A typical MLC 40 ferry would consist of two sections plus two access ramps, while a 100m bridge would have nine sections plus two access ramps and would take less that 30 minutes to assemble.
The French Army uses the Renault TRM 10 0000 (6x6) tractor truck towing trailers to transport and launch the MFB but it also has a batch of Scania trucks fitted with protected cabs. Key elements of the MFB are the tractors, which tow the trailers with associated launcher, the motorised sections, and the access ramps for which there are two versions, long and short.
The system is currently deployed by a number of countries including France, Italy, Malaysia and Switzerland, with over 5,000m of bridging already supplied. In addition to being used for military applications, the MFB is also useful in disaster situations where bridges have been washed away.