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WFEL, the only candidate for the UK TYRO military bridge program

The British Ministry of Defense TYRO’s program to equip Royal Engineers with new deployable bridge systems took a turn when one of the competitors withdrew and only the proposal from manufacturer WFEL remained.

The TYRO program provides for the acquisition of two types of bridges for the British Army, on the one hand a deployable armored bridge system of the Close Support Bridge or CSB type and on the other hand one of the General Support Bridge or GSB type both during military operations and in an emergency or after used in a disaster.

The CSB bridge must be deployed and recovered by an armored vehicle of the Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge or AVLB type. However, the use of a new Wheel Vehicle Launched Bridge (WVLB) is also being considered. The other type, the GSB bridge, is used on its own and can carry loads of 100 tons, which allows it to be used without restrictions from the British Army.

The company has already completed the evaluation (AP) phase of the program and started negotiating the terms of the demonstration and manufacturing phase, which is scheduled for next summer, in September last year.

For the COD requirement, WFEL worked with the German manufacturer KMW to provide its Iguana sliding bridge, known for its low silhouette and the ability to deploy in five minutes. For the TYRO program, it is planned that the bridge will be mounted on the Titan bridge-launcher vehicle based on the Challenger 2 tank and a new wheel launcher. The iguana is deployed by 19 armed forces, who benefit from the tactical advantages and convenience of operating inside the tank with night vision goggles, laser telemeters, an additional unit that does not require the engine to be started, and a heating system in the cabin. It is available in lengths of 14 and 26 meters with a maximum weight of 80 and 100 tons and has sold more than 250 bridges of this type.

For the GSB bridge, the manufacturer suggests the Dry Support Bridge or DSB, which can be deployed by a team of eight people with a single launcher in 90 minutes. It is a system of which 150 units have been sold to the USA, Australia, Switzerland and Turkey and which has been used as temporary infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan and can carry a weight of 120 tons.

The DSB is available for mounting on various trucks because it was integrated into an armored 10×10 truck from Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) for Australia. The British Army uses the same truck, including the HX77, so it is fully compatible with the program. In addition, they are interchangeable modules so that any bridge of this type in service in a NATO country can be operated by another Alliance user during a joint operation or exercise. (Jos M Navarro Garca)

Photo: A DSB bridge on a 10×10 RMMV truck for Australia (WFEL)

Iguana bridge on tank chassis (WFEL)

DSB bridge over Iveco Truck (WFEL)

The military bridge continued to use a damaged civil bridge (WFEL).

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