The Upgraded PFM F2 Tactical Floating Bridge is a solution dedicated to continuous or discontinuous crossing of wet gaps for MLC 70T/80W class vehicles (accotding to STANAG 2021 standarts). It can also be tasked for civilian use, during natural disasters for example. Offering two possible configurations – bridge mode and ferry mode, the PFM gives a clear tactical advantage: it can be deployed easily, quickly and with minimal manpower. What is more, it does not require any auxiliary boats and is well-known for its reliability in the field. The PFM’s implementation performance remains unmatched.
To answer expeditionary requirements CNIM developed a new short ramp, which is fixed at the floating module extremity, the standard ramp occupies part of the module space, thus allowing to form an MLC 40 ferry using only two 10-meters long modules. This means that the logistic burden is halved, as only two trucks and two trailers are needed. These can be airlifted with a single Antonov An-124 Ruslan mission or with four A400M Atlas missions. The only limit of the short ramp is that the riverbank height must be less than one meter, to maintain the ramp angle within established limits. The overhaul will consist in the disassembly of the modules and in the replacement of a number of mechanical elements, giving back to the modules some 20 years operational life.
Each PFM module was powered by two Yamaha 75 hp outboard motors; these are being replaced with more powerful 90 hp motors. To reduce manpower CNIM developed a wireless control system that allows a single operator to control both motors allowing to orient each of them and to trim the throttle independently. Moreover the PFM F2, this the name of the upgraded bridging system, is receiving new movers: old Renault TRM 1000 trucks are being replaced by new Scania P410 6×6 tractor, around 50% of them provided with an armoured cab to ensure crew protection when the system is deployed downrange. To further improve logistic flexibility in the PFM F2 the modules and launching elements can be installed over flatbeds, which are then lifted on the trailer, while in the past the launching elements were installed directly on the trucks.
CNIM offers the French solution also to its other customers, Italy and Switzerland being the PFM users in Europe, Malaysia having also acquired the French bridging system, the company being involved in discussions with potential new customers. In its standard configuration the PFM allows to build bridges which can withstand MLC 70 tracked loads and MLC80 wheeled loads, the company having already developed technical solutions to increase the capability to MLC80 tracked loads. In addition to its military use, the PFM can also be adapted for civilian use, such as during natural disasters. In particular, it can be used as a ferry or temporary bridge to replace a fixed bridge destroyed by an extensive flood.