The first production lot of 12 Short Span Bridging System (SSBS) has been inducted into Indian Army by the Chief of the Army Staff, General MM Naravane during a ceremony held at Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi. The bridging system has been designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) premier engineering laboratory Research & Development Establishment (Engrs). Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy was present on the occasion.
The Project Short Span Bridging System involved the development of two prototypes of 5 m SSBS on Tatra 6×6 chassis and another two prototypes of 10 m SSBS on Tatra 8×8 re-engineered chassis. Both the systems have undergone rigorous Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA), MET and User trials and after successful completion of all the trials, the systems were recommended for induction into the services. This bridging system is compatible with Sarvatra Bridging System (75 m), where the last span requires covering gaps less than 9.5 m.
The SSBS-10 m plays a crucial role of bridging the gaps up to 9.5 m as a single span providing a 4 m wide, fully decked roadway, ensuring faster movement of the troops. Research & Development Establishment (Engrs) Pune, a premier engineering laboratory of DRDO, has designed and developed the system in association with M/s L&T Ltd. The 12 bridges are part of 102 SSBS-10 m from M/s L&T Ltd, which is the production agency. The deployed bridge is of the load classification of MLC 70. The system will help in quick movement of troops and enhance the mobilization of resources.
The DRDO has vast experience in developing critical Combat Engineering Systems like Military Bridging Systems. Number of mechanised mobility solutions for the Indian Army like Single Span 5 m and 10 m, Short Span Bridging System, 46 m Modular Bridge, 20 m BLT-T72 and multi span 75 m Sarvatra Bridging System etc. have been developed. Manually launched 34.5 m Mountain Foot Bridge was also developed by DRDO earlier. These bridges have been widely accepted by the Indian Army.