Ground Warfare

Sweden Orders More M3 Amphibious Rigs from General Dynamics European Landsystems

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Sweden Orders More M3 Amphibious Rigs from General Dynamics European Landsystems

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Swedish Army M3 Amphibious Rig
Swedish Army M3 Amphibious Rig

Sweden has fortified its military mobility capabilities by awarding General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) a contract for nine additional Amfibiebro 400 floating bridge systems, also known as the M3 Amphibious Rig. This move underscores Sweden’s commitment to enhancing its armed forces’ capacity to maneuver ground military vehicles across lakes and large waterways. The M3, the latest iteration of General Dynamics’ bridging platforms, is set to deliver its 300-meter variant to the Swedish army, with the first unit scheduled to arrive in the autumn. Designed for Arctic-style conditions, the latest M3 variant is interoperable with the Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) and only requires two soldiers to operate it ‘due to a higher degree of automation. This procurement is part of an option within a larger contract signed in 2022, allowing for the delivery of up to 25 bridges between 2025 and 2027, valued at 400 million Swedish kronor ($39.2 million).

Swedish Army M3 Amphibious Rig
Swedish Army M3 (Amfibiebro 400) Amphibious Rig. (Photo by Forsvarsmakten)

The M3 Amphibious Rig, a self-propelled and amphibious bridging vehicle, plays a vital role in projecting tanks and other military vehicles across water obstacles. Capable of self-deployment by road, the M3 operates as a 4×4 wheeled vehicle with a maximum speed of 80 km/h. Upon entering amphibious operation, two large aluminum pontoons are deployed, extending along the hull’s length. Crew members exit the vehicle cab to maneuver the pontoons using controls located atop the hull. In water, the M3 is propelled and steered by two fully traversable pump jets, achieving speeds of up to 14 km/h. By connecting multiple rigs using long connectors called “ramps,” each vehicle carrying four, the M3s can form a bridge across water obstacles. Eight M3 Rigs can span a 100-meter water gap, accommodating vehicles up to and including heavy 60+ ton main battle tanks like the Leopard 2A6. Alternatively, just two rigs can be joined to create a ferry capable of transporting similar loads across wider water gaps.

 Swedish Army M3 (Amfibiebro 400) Amphibious Rig.
Swedish Army M3 (Amfibiebro 400) Amphibious Rig. (Photo by Forsvarsmakten)

The M3 offers interoperability with other bridging solutions such as the SRB (Standard Ribbon Bridge)/FSB(Floating Support Bridge) and IRB (Improved Ribbon Bridge). We also offer coupling devices to ensure a correct interface at any time. That makes the M3 the right fit for coalitions which use different types of equipment but operate jointly. M3 has a simulator to help provide the right training and operational levels. During the NATO Anakonda 2016 exercises a combined German and British Army engineer unit operated the longest M3 floating bridge ever assembled. The 350 m long bridge of 8 British and 22 German units was put together in only 35 minutes, enabling NATO forces to cross the Vistula River in Poland. The exercise was designed to strengthen military cooperation, cohesion and interoperability within NATO and its partner nations. They allow military operations to keep flowing regardless of the terrain in the combat theater. This experience is the key to linking our customers’ needs with the real combat environment, enabling us to offer customized and realistic solutions.

 Swedish Army M3 (Amfibiebro 400) Amphibious Rig.
Swedish Army M3 (Amfibiebro 400) Amphibious Rig. (Photo by Forsvarsmakten)

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