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Eurosatory 2018: GDELS new Piranha IIIC bridge layer 8x8 armored vehicle.

| 2018

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) presents its new mechanized bridge layer system mounted on the chassis of the Mowag Piranha IIIC wheeled armoured vehicle during Eurosatory 2018, the International Land and Airland Defence & Security Exhibition in Paris, France. The Piranha IIIC is fitted with the Variable Folding Bridge (VFB) designed and manufactured by the British Company Pearson Engineering.

Eurosatory 2018 GDELS new Piranha IIIC bridge layer 8x8 armored vehicle 925 001
General Dynamics European Land Systems Piranha IIIC 8x8 armored bridger layer at Eurosatory 2018, the International Land and Airland Defence & Security exhibition in Paris, France. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The medium mechanized bridge system, called the Variable Folding Bridge (VFB), is designed to provide tactical gap crossing capability for mechanized infantry units. The new Variable Folding Bridge (VFB) is a flexible and modern bridge system, which can be temporarily or permanently fitted on various medium-weight wheeled and tracked armored vehicles.

The Variable Folding Bridge (VFB) is attached to the Piranha IIIC via a standard Pearson Engineering Jettison Fitting Kit. It uses the Bridge Launch Mechanism (BLM) also manufactured by Pearson Engineering, that enables the vehicle to launch assault bridging.

The Fitting Kit is a Special to Role equipment Common Interface System for Medium Weight Tracked Combat Vehicles that provides rapid hydraulic connection and release. It comprises two upper lock/jettison pins and two lower anchor blocks. No special adjustments are needed to secure the attached equipment once it is in place and the system requires minimal personnel to both fit and operate. An on-board hydraulic and control system may be supplied as part of the MFK that provides power and control to the Special to Role equipment.

The VFB allows the crossing of unprepared gaps up to 15 m for wheeled and tracked vehicles with loads weighing up to Military Load Class 50 (MLC 50). According to the vehicle carrier, the bridge can be launched and deployed between to 2 to 5 minutes.

The vehicle has a crew of two including driver and commander, and it keeps the capability to carry infantry squad at the rear of the hull. The bridge can be easily launched to cross a river without any support.

The Piranha IIIC is the third generation in the family of Piranha 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicle. The main differences from the previous of the Piranha IIIH are engine and suspension. The new vehicle is better protected and has improved mobility, comparing with older Piranha vehicles.

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