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WFEL Ltd now sole bidder for Project Tyro bridging

UK-based WFEL Ltd is now the sole contender for the major British Army bridging programme known as Project Tyro, after the withdrawal of Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) from the competition.

RBSL and WFEL completed the Assessment Phase (AP) of the programme and were in line to participate in the Invitation to Negotiate phase for Project Tyro, which was issued in September 2020.

But late last year, RBSL notified the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organisation that it would be withdrawing from the competition before the anticipated start of negotiations for the production phase, which will now commence in the summer of 2021 with WFEL only.

The aim of Project Tyro is to upgrade or replace the two bridging systems currently deployed by the Royal Engineers (RE) to cross wet and dry gaps on the battlefield.

These are the Close Support Bridge (CSB) systems currently in use by the British Army, deployed and launched from RBSL’s Titan armoured vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB) and its General Support Bridge (GSB). The Titan AVLB is based on a modified Challenger 2 tank chassis while the GSB is currently deployed and launched by Unipower 8×8 platforms.

Production of the latter was completed many years ago and Unipower is no longer in existence.

In a statement, the DE&S said, “demonstration, manufacture, and initial support contracts, subject to approvals will be awarded in March 2022 with one contract for a CSB and a GSB capability.

“Planning Assumption for Service Entry for each system will be dependent on the solutions taken forward to contract but will be from Q4 2024,” the statement added.

WFEL confirmed to Janes that they have offered their Leguan bridge system as the replacement for the bridges currently transported and launched by the Titan AVLB.

A Leopard 2 platform, equipped with the KMW-built Leguan system, deploying a single 26 m bridge. (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann)

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