IDET 2019: GDELS land mobility capability with M3 Amphibious Bridging and Ferry System
General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) demonstrate its land mobility capability at IDET 2019, the International Fair of Defence and Security Technology showcasing tracked and wheeled armored vehicle and a wide range of military bridging systems mounted on wheeled and tracked vehicles including the M3 Amphibious Bridging and Ferry System, also called M3 Amphibious Rig.
GDELS M3 Rig amphibious bridge and ferry system at IDET 2019, defense exhibition in Brno, Czech Republic. May 30, 2019. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The M3 Amphibious Rig is a self-propelled amphibious bridging vehicle that is used for the projection of tanks and other vehicles across water obstacles. Development of the M3 began in 1982, with the final prototype being delivered 10 years later in 1992. The first order of 64 serial vehicles was made in 1994, and it entered service with the German and British armies in 1996. Now, the M3 is also in service with the armies of Taiwan and Singapore.
The M3 Rig can be used to cross a river carrying 60 tons heavy tracked armored vehicles as British Challenger 2 or Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks. Several M3 has also the capability to create a bridge. A 100 m bridge using eight vehicles can be constructed in approximately 15 minutes by 24 soldiers.
In land configuration, the M3 Rig is powered by a 298kW Euro III standard diesel engine and has a maximum road speed of 80km/h and a 60% climbing capability. When the vehicle is used as a ferry, the vehicle is propelled in the water thanks to the use of water pumps. The M3 is operational in water currents of about 3.5m/s and can maneuver at depths of up to 1.05m. The speed of the vehicle in water is about 9km/h with a full load and 14km/h without any charge.
In June 2016, during the military exercise Anakonda, a 350-meter floating bridge was built by 8 British and 22 German M3s in only 35 minutes. The German Army’s 130th Engineer Battalion (PzPiBtl 130) personal and the British Army’s 23rd Engineer Troops, operated the longest M3 floating bridge ever built to allow NATO forces to cross the Vistula river near Chełmno, in Poland.