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By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE

21 Apr 08. WFEL told BATTLESPACE that the company had received interest from Malaysia for the purchase of additional Medium Girder Bridges (MGB). Malaysia has two in service with a 31.1 metre span. WFEL is conducting a survey on the one bridge to decide whether the way forward would be to buy new or for refurbishment. WFEL is also offering its Dry Support Bridge (DSB) against a Requirement for more bridging in competition with BAE Systems BR90 bridge which is already in service in Malaysia. (See: RINGING THE CHANGES, By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE). There is also interest in converting one MGB into an Air Portable Ferry Bridge (AFB). The U.K. has 11 AFB’s in service.

WFEL is a world leading manufacturer of military bridges, totally focused on designing and building the best bridges available for military and civil emergency applications. Their development, engineering and manufacturing resources are state of the art, and every bridge supplied is backed by a full training and maintenance package. WFEL are a team of specialists who understand what military users need from tactical military bridges and have consistently exceeded their expectations over the last 40 years.

WFEL is the design authority for M18 Dry Support Bridge (DSB), Medium Girder Bridge (MGB), and Air Portable Ferry Bridge (APFB) and is at the forefront of developing many of the advanced bridging systems in service around the world, in both military and disaster relief applications.

As prime contractors to the UK Ministry of Defence, US Department of Defense and supplier to 38 armed forces worldwide, WFEL systems have consistently proved themselves by being operationally deployed in the toughest conditions.

Dry Support Bridge

The M18 Dry Support Bridge (DSB) has raised the standard for deployment of bridges in a vast range of military situations. The DSB is the culmination of nearly 40 years’ development in military bridging design by WFEL. For hundreds of years, bridging has been vital to strategic and tactical success. But it has always been a labour intensive and time consuming operation, but this not the case with the DSB, just eight soldiers and a single launch vehicle can have traffic rolling across a 40 metre gap in less than 90 minutes.

The DSB is capable of carrying MLC 80(T)/ 96(W) loads over 46 metres. The DSB entered service in early 2003 and has been successfully deployed in the USA, South Korea, Germany and Iraq.

WFEL are at present fulfilling a second five year contract for The United Automotive Command Centre (TACOM) for the supply of DSB. The first contract which is now complete saw the production of 32 systems along with the development of the system from a 40m capability to 46m at MLC 80(T) / 96(W).

WFEL were awarded a second five year contract in 2005 for a further 26 Dry Support Bridge systems with option clauses for a further 27. WFEL are now in the third year of this 5 year contract and were awarded a contract for a further 6 Dry Support Bridge options, valued at over $22m, at the end of 2007. This contract brings last years total orders for Dry Support Bridges to 17 with a value of almost $70m, including full operator and maintainer training courses and post delivery support.

Medium Girder Bridge

WFEL’s lightweight, easily-transported aluminium alloy Medium Girder Bridge (MGB) set new standards for military bridging when it was introduced in 1971. Since then, more than 520 units have been purchased by 38 customers worldwide.

The MGB is a modular decked two girder bridge system, providing a 4 metre wide roadway. Typical spans are from 9.8 metres up to 49.4 metres for fixed bridges the floating MGB length is only restricted to the amount of equipment available for use.

This versatile multi-role bridge consists of simple, durable components which are adaptable to all types of wet and dry gap crossing

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