General Dynamics GDELS to provide M3 amphibious bridging vehicles to Latvia


According to information released on October 6, 2021, General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has announced an agreement to provide the M3 Amphibious Bridge and Ferry System to Latvia. Latvia will be the newest NATO customer to receive the bridging system.
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GDELS M3 amphibious bridge and ferry system. (Picture source GDELS)


The contract was awarded to GDELS by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, which is managing the support to Latvia as it addresses needs for additional NATO wet-gap crossing solutions. Deliveries will also include an integrated logistics support package consisting of training, tools and manuals.

“This procurement is another milestone marking transatlantic cooperation and the necessity of mobility and interoperability for allied forces,” said Dr. Thomas Kauffmann, vice president of international business and services for GDELS.

Latvia will become the latest country to use the M3 system, following the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, as well as the U.K. and Germany through its recently formed engineer M3 battalion. The M3 is used in different roles, from combat operations to civil defense.

With the M3, Latvia will be able to contribute to NATO enhanced forward presence by providing allied troops mobility and interoperability with other M3 users, as well as with GDELS Improved Ribbon Bridges (IRB), which are widely used by U.S. and German forces.

The M3 is a self-propelled, amphibious bridging vehicle that is used for the projection of tanks and other vehicles across water obstacles. The M3 is self-deployable by road, operating as a 4x4 wheeled vehicle with a maximum road speed of 80 km/h. Before it is driven into the water for an amphibious operation, two large aluminum pontoons are deployed, unfolding them along the length of its hull. The crew exits the vehicle cab to maneuver the pontoon using controls located on top of the hull. In water, the M3 is propelled and steered by 2 fully traversable pump jets at speeds of up to 14 km/h

“We are very proud that we will deliver the latest and most modern variant of the M3 to the Latvian Armed Forces,” said Dr. Christian Kauth, vice president and managing director of GDELS-Bridge Systems. “The vehicles will also be equipped with ‘Arctic Kits’ that will allow to operate them in very cold climate conditions.”


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