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Beardsell & Sons showcase new trench warfare technologies

This image shows the package Universal Battle Trench on a NATO standard pallet. A single pallet provides the materials need for a four man fire trench. (Beardsell & Sons )

Beardsell & Sons, based in Cumbria, in the United Kingdom, has developed the Universal Battle Trench, a new system for building safe and better-protected infantry battle trenches.

The programme was financed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) – Materials for Strategic Advantage Programme via its Take Cover! call for innovations, arranged by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in December 2020. Martyn Beardsell, one of the designers of the Universal Battle Trench, discussed its development with Janes during the DSEI 2021 exhibition, held in London from 14–17 September.

The Universal Battle Trench is designed to provide a standardised replacement for the current British four-person infantry battle trench. The present system is 7.75 m long, 0.75 m wide, and 1.5 m deep. It provides two sheltered bays and two fire bays, enabling four soldiers to fight and rest in the trench while protected from small arms and artillery fire.

“Right now, they need wriggly tin [corrugated iron], concrete posts, stakes, sandbags, and all sorts of tools,” Beardsell explained. “None of it fits on a NATO standard [1×1.2 m] pallet, so it's resource intensive to carry all of these things into the field,” he added.

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