Stockport-headquartered military bridge manufacturer WFEL has secured contracts worth £53m with the Australian armed forces.

The agreement, which comprises two contracts, follows a tender that attracted international competition. Under the contracts, WFEL will supply its medium girder bridges (MGBs) and dry support bridges (pictured) to the Australian Defence Force.

The bridges have the potential to be used in both combat situations and in the event of natural disasters. They will be made at WFEL's production facility in Stockport, with delivery expected to start by the third quarter of 2017.

Ian Wilson, WFEL chief executive, said: "This is another major contract for us and one which extends our longstanding relationship with the ADF.

"Our dry support bridge is the world's most technically-advanced, rapidly-deployable military bridge of its type, while the medium girder bridge's modular design continues to prove its worth in both combat and natural disaster relief situations time and again. By choosing to order both bridge types, the ADF is ensuring it has the future capability to quickly cross physical terrain as complex as rivers, ravines and man-made gaps as efficiently as possible and under the widest possible operational scenarios."

Major Ben Bridge, project liaison for the Land 155 programme within the Australian Defence Force's capacity acquisition and sustainment group, said: "The contract award to WFEL for the provision of medium girder bridges and dry support bridges will greatly enhance the Australian Army's ability to manoeuvre across wet and dry gaps in complex terrain.

"While the MGB is replacing an earlier version of the same bridge which entered service decades ago, the dry support bridge capability is new to the Australian Army and will provide our manoeuvre commanders with the ability to cross significant wet or dry gaps in a fraction of the time it would have previously taken. Notably, the ability of the dry support bridge to support gap crossings within a 90-minute timeframe is a significant capability enhancement for the Australian army." 

Source: TheInsider 

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