07 November 2015
GDELS Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) (all photos : GDELS)
KAISERSLAUTERN / MELBOURNE – General Dynamics European Land Systems has signed a USD$28 million contract from the Australian Department of Defence for the production and delivery of the Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) under the Land 155 program for enhanced gap crossing equipment.
The contract covers the delivery of bridge bays, logistics package, as well as operator and maintainer training. The IRB will replace the legacy Floating Support Bridge which was delivered by General Dynamics European Land Systems-Germany’s predecessor company EWK in the 1980s.
The IRB can be operated as a multi-bay ferry as well as a floating bridge and provides wide wet gap crossing capability for loads up to MLC80 Tracked / 96 Wheeled, including the Australian Army’s M1A1 Main Battle Tank. The IRB bridge bays will be transported on and launched from a new multipurpose truck which will be purchased under the Land 121 program. Delivery of the first systems will start in fourth quarter 2016.
Australia will be the fourth user nation of this modern floating bridge system. The IRB is already in service in United States, Germany and Sweden. The IRB is fully interoperable with General Dynamics European Land Systems’ legacy floating bridge systems FSB and the amphibious ferry system M3.
General Dynamics European Land Systems, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), and conducts its business through five European operating sites located in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic. With more than 1,870 highly skilled technical employees, the companies design, manufacture and deliver land combat, systems, including wheeled, tracked and amphibious vehicles, bridge systems, armaments and munitions, to global customers. More information is available at www.gdels.com.