The Indian Army got a major boost in the bridging capabilities with the first 10 Meter Short Span Bridging System developed indigenously. The first 12 Short Span Bridging Systems of 10 M designed by DRDO and manufactured in India by Larsen and Toubro was inducted into the Army in the presence of Chief of Army Staff General M.M. Narawane, DRDO chief Dr G.Satheesh Reddy and representatives from L&T in Army Parade Ground in New Delhi.
Spearheading the 'Make in India' campaign, the defence sector is getting stronger with indigenously developed equipment. With these Short Span Bridging Systems, the forces can come over geographical obstacles like small rivers and canals in case of operations along the western borders with Pakistan.
''The first lot of 12 systems was handed over to the Corps of Engineers by Army Chief General Naravane at Delhi Cantt and is worth over Rs 492 crore,'' Army officials said.
Total 100 such systems will be inducted into the Army in the next two years. The officials said that despite the COVID restrictions placed on industries in the last year, the supply of the bridging systems to the Indian Army has been on schedule.
The bridges that the Army had so far were 5 meters and 15 meters long, there was a long-pending need for the 10 meter Short Span Bridging Systems. The newly inducted bridging equipment is mechanically launched and capable of carrying tanks up to 70 tons over different types of water obstacles. The time taken to launch and lay these bridges is merely 8 to 10 minutes while only 4 soldiers can complete the procedure.
The unique feature of the system is its compatibility with existing Bridging systems which enhances flexibility to negotiate all types of water obstacles along western borders. COAS, General Narwane said, these new bridging systems will help the soldiers with quick and easy deployments of heavy, armoured, artillery and other equipment along challenging terrain.
It enhances the existing bridging capability of the Corps of Engineers by multiple folds and would be a major game-changer in support of mechanised operations in any future conflict with our western adversary, said Lt. Gen Harpal Singh COS, Corps of Engineers during the induction ceremony. The Army is also working on the new enhanced bridging systems that can be deployed along the LAC. According to officials, these systems will be soon inducted once the work is complete.