The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 78th Group Army Engineering Detachment launched the in-water training for the new amphibious bridging and rig for the first time for the projection of main battle tanks and other vehicles across water obstacles. The new wheeled self-propelled amphibious bridging and ferrying system, characterized with a maximum speed of 90 km/h on land and of 12km/h in waters, can move freely on the shore, and can transport weapons, equipment and vehicles over water.
Multiple bridging and ferrying systems can be assembled into a floating bridge on the water. Multiple rigs may be joined by long connectors called “ramps”, 4 of which are carried on each vehicle, to form a bridge across a water obstacle. 8 M3 Rigs will bridge a 100m water gap this way, and can be traversed by vehicles up to and including main battle tank. Alternatively, just 2 Rigs may be joined to create a ferry capable of carrying a similar load across much wider water gaps.
During the training, the 26-ton bridging and ferrying system “transformed” into a ferrying platform with 13 meters long and 20 meters wide in only 3 minutes, and a new wheeled infantry fighting vehicle weighing 21 tons stably drove onto the platform. The new system loaded with heavy equipment then ran smoothly to the opposite bank. This system could play an important role in terms of carrying out combat support and conducting military operations other than war (MOOTWs) such as anti-flood rescue.