Royal Engineers - M3 Amphibious Bridging Vehicle - Armed Forces - a8a6


M3 Amphibious Bridging Vehicle

German Army M3 Amphibious Bridging Vehicle

The M3 Amphibious Bridging Vehicle can be driven into a river and used as a ferry or, when a number are joined together from bank to bank, as a bridge, capable of taking vehicles as heavy as the Challenger MBT. The M3 has a number of improvements over the M2 which it has replaced (the M2 was in service for over 25 years).

The M3 can deploy pontoons on the move, in or out of water; it needs no on-site preparation to enter the water; it can be controlled from inside the cab when swimming and its control functions have been automated allowing the crew to be reduced from four to three.

A single two-bay M3 can carry a Class 70 tracked vehicle, where two M2s would have been required for this task with additional buoyancy bags. Eight M3 units and 24 soldiers can build a 100 m bridge in 30 minutes compared with 12 M2s, 48 soldiers and a construction time of 45 minutes. The M3 is only 1.4 m longer and 3,300 kg heavier than the M2. It is still faster and more manoeuvrable on land and in water. A four-wheel steering facility gives a turning diameter of 24 m.

By early 1999, 38 x M3 rigs had been delivered and 30 of these (including four of seven pre-production vehicles) went to 28 Engineer Regiment in Germany. The unit cost was believed to be in the region of 1.2 million.

M3 Amphibious Bridging Vehicle Specifications
20 available for operations
Weight 24,500kg
Length 12.74m
Height 3.93m
Width 3.35m
Width (bridge deployed) 6.57m
Max Road Speed 80kmh
Water Speed 14kmh
Road Range 725km
Crew 3