Indian Army

Explained: All Mobile Bridging System Developed By DRDO

A Mobile Bridging System is a combat support vehicle, designed to assist the military in rapidly deploying tanks and other armored vehicles across gap-type obstacles, such as rivers. It can be moved from one place to another. It allows armoured or infantry units to cross craters, anti-tank ditches, blown bridges, railroad cuts, canals, marshy lands, rivers, and ravines.

MBS consist of a vehicle (primarily armoured) or tank chassis and a foldable metal bridge, to bridge across a gap. During bridging, the foldable metal bridge unfolds, providing a ready-made bridge across the obstacle in only minutes. Once the metal bridge has been put in place, the vehicles detaches from the bridge and move aside to allow traffic to pass. Once all traffic crosses the obstacle, it reattaches to the metal bridge again and retracts the bridge and move to next obstacle.

Working of a Mobile Bridging System

Now let’s discuss about all the Mobile Bridging System, which are developed by DRDO and are used by our army in its various operations…………………. let’s start……….

Bridge Layer Tank (BLT)

Mobile Bridging System

BLT is a fast and reliable bridge laying system built on track chassis. It is capable of launching a 20m/22m long bridge with a width of 4m within 5 minutes on any wet on dry obstacles. The launching mechanism is supported by hydraulic system for launching and retrieval operations. It has a separate auxiliary engine for contingencies.

  • Load class: 70 ton
  • Microprocessor based control system
  • In-built safety features
  • Gap measuring instrument and bridge marker rods
  • Bridge can be fully decked with the help of panels
  • Smoke Grenade Discharger
  • Fire Fighting System for safety of the vehicle
  • Air Defence Machine Gun for the safety of the crew

Multi-Span Mobile Bridging System (SARVATRA)

Sarvatra, state-of-the-art bridging system is built on 8 x 8 Tatra Vehicle. It offers versatile bridging solutions for all types of military traffic for negotiating wet or dry obstacles of up to 75m span in steps of 15m, within 100 minutes. It can be used as an emergency bridge during natural calamities like floods and earthquakes.

  • Carrier vehicle: Tatra 815 VVN
  • Load class: 70 ton
  • Obstacles depth: 2.5m-6.0m
  • Fully decked bridge: single span length-15m and width-4m
  • Rear cabin with dual drive facilities

Also read: All Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Developed By DRDO

Modular Bridge-46 m

46m modular bridge is a mechanically launched single span bridging system which can be deployed over wet/dry gap of different span varying from 14m to 46m. The equipment can be operated in plain, desert and semi-desert terrain during day and night conditions by a crew of 6+1 (commander).

  • Mechanical launching of bridge without access of far end in 90 minutes
  • Load class: 70 ton
  • Military load class 70 ton of both tracked and wheeled vehicles
  • System mounted on 10×10 HMV and 8×8 HMV
  • Launching time: 90 minutes (for 46 m span)

Manually Launched Assault Bridge (MLAB)

Mobile Bridging System

The Manually launched Assault Bridge is a deck-type two girder bridge system. Fully modular and pin joined structure with inter-locking components provides 4m wide roadway. The standard double storey bridge can bridge gaps of up to 31 m. This capability can be extended to 49 m using ancillary equipment. MLAB is simply constructed using two parallel girders consisting of top panels each 1.83m long that can be pinned together.

  • Light weight alloy construction
  • Load class: 60 ton
  • Low maintenance and suitable for tropical climates
  • Quick to construct with minimum manpower
  • Palletised load and interchangeability of components
  • Little or practically no site preparation

Also read: Per Hour Operating Cost of Fighter Jets

Short Span Bridging System-5 m

Mobile Bridging System

Short Span Bridging System is a mechanically launched bridging system of MLC-70 load class to bridge the smaller gaps and canals. This bridging system has been built on tracked vehicle (BMP-II) and wheeled vehicle Tatra (6 x 6). It provides mobility to the Armed Forces by speedy establishment of bridge. This bridging system can bridge gaps from 5m length to 75m length.

  • Pick and place bridge over gap
  • Quick construction with minimum crew
  • Beta light for deployment at night.

Short Span Bridging System- 10 m

It is a mechanically launched short span bridging system of MLC-70 load class to bridge the smaller gaps and canals. It is compatible with Sarvatra bridging system so that various gaps from 10m length to 75m length can bridged. It is built on 8 x 8 Tatra vehicle.

  • High mobility launching platform suitable for heaviest military traffic
  • Double A shaped trestle provides excellent stability
  • Quick construction with minimum crew
  • Beta light for deployment at night

Crevasse Crossing Bridge

Mobile Bridging System

The crevasse crossing bridge is fabricated using lightweight, high strength, weldable and self-ageing aluminium alloy for crossing crevasses in snow-bound areas. It enhances the mobility of troops, arms, ammunition, and supplies in these regions. The bridge is a two-girder bridging system. Detachable railings are provided for safety. The bridge is designed for a load up to 550 kg ie snow scooter + payload, besides limited uncleared fresh snow. The bridge is launched across the crevasse manually, with the help of a nose launching assembly.

  • Bridge length: 10m
  • Roadway width: 1.75m
  • Construction time: 30 minutes
  • Interchangeable components
  • Anti-skid deck
  • Man portable modules

Also read: All Military Trucks Of India

Mountain Foot Bridge-35 m

Mountain Foot Bridge (MFB) is a light weight and modular bridge which clears bridge up to 32m with a pathway of 0.8 m. Its each module is man-portable and weighs less than 18kg. It is also capable of withstanding conditions prevailing in glacial regions. The bridge normally does not allow any appreciable accumulation of fresh snow due to provision of gaps in the deck however bridge is still designed for accumulation of 250mm of fresh snow with a density of 200 kg/m².

  • Material: High strength Aluminium alloy
  • Man Portable (Wt less than 18 kg)
  • Launching time of Bridge is 120 minutes with a crew of 30 (for 32 m)
  • Easy assembly in cold regions
  • Compact modules to facilitate easy launch.

These Mobile Bridging System (MBS) are helping army to operate swiftly in harsh areas and also increasing capabilities of our armed forces to deal with any eventuality.

Thank you

Aniket Kumar

A defence aspirant, desiring to gain as much knowledge as possible by writing blogs because knowledge increases by sharing.

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