China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) is now offering its latest GZM003 tracked self-propelled (SP) pontoon bridge system for export. The system is already in service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
A number of GMZ003 systems can be coupled together to form a bridge across a river or lake for a significant increase in wet gap crossing capability.
Additionally, individual units can be used as a ferry to enable tracked and wheeled vehicles to rapidly cross a water obstacle. Two GMZ003s can be coupled together to transport heavier vehicles.
The GMZ003 is operated by a crew of three and has a maximum road speed of 55 km/h and an operating range of up to 500 km. When travelling the large pontoons mounted either side are swung through 180° and stowed on the top to reduce its width.
As the vehicle is tracked, it is capable of travelling with other tracked armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) into difficult terrain. It is also fully amphibious being propelled through the water by propellers that operate via a power-take-off from the main diesel engine.
The company claims that it requires only six minutes to be prepared to receive the first vehicles for a river crossing. It takes eight minutes to couple two GZM003s together; the swimming speed of the vehicles in this mode is 9 km/h.
Maximum water speed is up to 10 km/h and it can operate in rivers with a maximum water speed of up to 2.5 m/s but performance could be limited in fast flowing rivers.
The bridge system – excluding the vehicle and other carried equipment – has a combat weight of 43 tonnes.
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