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Netherlands orders General Dynamics floating bridges

24th July 2023 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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The Royal Netherlands Army is to join Australia, Germany, Sweden and US as an operator of the Improved Ribbon Bridge. (Photo: General Dynamics)

General Dynamics European Land Systems has received an order from the Royal Netherlands Army for three Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) floating bridge systems.

The Royal Netherlands Army has ordered three Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) systems from General Dynamics European Land Systems under a deal signed on 20 July. The order comprises bridge sections with a total length of over 225m together with support boats manufactured by Birdon USA.

The new systems will replace older pontoon bridges beginning in 2025, providing the Dutch Engineer Corps with a capability in accordance with modern military standards.

All NATO vehicles can cross the system and, due to using the same connectors, pontoons are fully interoperable with those of other nations including the USA, Brazil, Germany and Sweden. Bridge sections can easily be combined during operations while increasing speed of movement and military mobility.

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The IRB system is also connectable through a coupling device with the widely used amphibious bridge system M3, operated by Germany, the UK, Latvia and Sweden, with the latter having recently ordered an additional number of M3 units.

The IRB can be operated as a multi-bay ferry as well as a floating bridge. It provides wide wet gap crossing capability for loads up to MLC80 tracked/96 wheeled, including the Leopard 2 main battle tank.

The Shephard News Team

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