The EFA or Engin de Franchissement de l’Avant (forward crossing apparatus) is a field-deployable river crossing apparatus, used by combat engineers in the French Army. It may either be used as a bridge (deployed in a series), or as a ferry. The EFA is the heir of the first self-propelled bridging vehicle invented in 1955 by the French military engineer and general Gillois Jean. The EFA was developed by CEFA to replace the previous Gillois system in service with the French Army. Improved version of the EFA is in service with United Arab Emirates.
The EFA was especially designed to satisfy the need to support the forward combat units within operational environments of high intensity:
â€¢ Amphibious system: ready for use in a few minutes from road to river or sea;
â€¢ High mobility on land and water;
â€¢ Universal vehicle (Ferry, Raft, Bridge) with MLC 70 loading capacity;
â€¢ Dry gap crossing;
â€¢ Two men crew for implementation, no extra equipment or vehicle;
â€¢ Efficient for civil applications in case of floading;
â€¢ The EFA Export version is combat proven and reliable in Middle East environmental conditions.
When used in conjunction with other EFAs as a floating bridge one unit has a span of 23.6 m. Four units can be coupled together in less than 10 minutes to form a 100 m long bridge. One main battle tank can pass at one time. When used as a ferry it has a payload capacity of 70 ton, in one hour it is able to perform 10-12 crossings of 100 m wide river and 8-10 crossings of 200 m wide river. This amphibious rig has light welded aluminum alloy hull and scissor-type ramps. During travelling on road ramps are folded on top of the vehicle. The EFA is operated by a crew of four, including two drivers, commander and operator. This combat engineering vehicle carries no weapons. Cab of this amphibious rig has ballistic and NBC protection. The EFA is powered by Baudouin turbocharged diesel engine, developing 730 hp. It is coupled with 6-speed automatic transmission. This amphibious rig has a full-time all wheel drive. Also all four wheels are steered. Vehicle has a central tyre pressure system.