in Defence

DE&S awards KNDS UK £150m military bridging contract

Posted 25 January 2024

British Army battlefield mobility will be bolstered in a new £150 million contract placed by Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) with Stockport-based KNDS UK (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter) for military-grade general support bridges, which will secure 300 UK jobs.



Image courtesy DE&S

KNDS UK - which has a long history of manufacturing military bridge systems - will deliver the support bridges based on their Dry Support Bridge design.

Extending up to 46 metres (the length of five buses) and able to carry the weight of the Army’s future tank, the Challenger 3, the bridges can be used to cross both wet and dry gaps.

Enabling the safe movement of personnel and equipment across the battlefield, the bridges will also ensure the resupply of forward fighting elements and humanitarian aid in disaster relief situations.

Replacing the BR90 ABLE system previously in service with the British Army, the new capability will be interoperable with other NATO partners’ bridge systems, meaning that resources can be shared between nations during joint exercises and deployments.

Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge said: “This is a fantastic example of this government delivering on our Land Industrial Strategy – investing in UK industry and delivering world-class bridging capabilities to our Armed Forces.

“Securing hundreds of jobs in Stockport, this contract is a crucial step forward in our military capability, improving interoperability with our NATO allies as we work closer together.”

The contract has been placed by DE&S as part of Project TYRO, which will provide a significant capability improvement for the British Army, facilitating the mobility of future Armoured Brigade Combat Teams and equipment across gaps in the terrain.

Defence Equipment & Support Fires, Infrastructure & Manoeuvre Support (FIMS) Portfolio Lead Mark Bunyan said: “Military Equipment Bridging is the bedrock of successful operations and is vital to ensuring that our personnel can move around a battlefield in the safest and quickest way.

“Project TYRO GSB will enable the UK to maintain an operational advantage and is a great example of British Industry supporting UK Defence Capability.”

The TYRO general support bridge system will be one of the world’s most technically advanced, rapidly deployable military bridges and will be mounted on Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicle (RMMV) HX2 tactical trucks.

AHQ DProgs – Col Adam Foley, SRO for Military Engineering Capability said: “Project TYRO GSB has been an excellent example of close collaboration with industry and our NATO and ABCANZ partners to meet our bridging requirements now and into the future.”

Managing Director, KNDS UK – Ian Anderton said: “We are delighted that the British Army will join the ever-growing community of Dry Support Bridge users. The Dry Support Bridge is a proven capability that is manufactured in the UK and exported globally.

“Project TYRO also marks over 50 years as a prime contractor to the UK MoD and we remain very proud to support the UK Defence Capability.”
 

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