The armed forces of South Korea have chosen an amphibious bridging solution based on GDELS‘ M3 amphibious bridging and ferry system as part of the Korean Amphibious Bridging Vehicle (KABV) programme. According to the company, the bridge system will be adapted to the specific Korean requirements together with Korean partner Hanwha Defense and then designated M3K. The M3 is the world’s fastest and most capable amphibious bridge and ferry system in terms of loading capacity, assembly time and manoeuvrability, both at sea and on land, writes GDELS.
In Europe, the M3 has been used by the German Army’s Army Pioneers and the British Army since 1996. In Asia, users include Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. With 110 vehicles planned, South Korea is reported to be the largest M3 user. Thomas Kauffmann, Vice President, International Business and Services at GDELS, sees the order as a confirmation of the importance of tactical bridges for modern armies in terms of interoperability and military mobility.
The Amphibious M3 is a 4×4 floating vehicle with an integrated bridge that can be deployed to a width of 6.57m. By coupling the vehicles, either floating ferries for transporting heavy combat vehicles (up to MLC 85) or fixed bridges can be formed. The longest M3 floating bridge with a length of 350 m has been operated by German and British sappers to cross the Vistula River during the NATO exercise Anakonda in 2016. Docking systems enable joint operation with other bridge systems such as the Standard Ribbon Bridge, the Floating Support Bridge and the Improved Ribbon Bridge.