The U.K. Army demonstrated a new amphibious bridge unit - likely to become standard NATO?
The U.K. Army demonstrated a new amphibious bridge unit - likely to become standard NATO equipment - at the Military Engineering Experimental Establishment, Christchurch, U.K., May 17. The Army also demonstrated two new types of light rubber assault craft powered by outboard engines.
Tests will continue to be carried out on the amphibious bridge unit for some time - the unit, five of which have been bought by the War Office, are the product of West Germany. It is called a Gillois, named after its inventor, a French Army General. The United States are also developing it.
At the demonstration, two Gillois units took to the water and together formed a highly mobile bridge 104 ft. long. The equipment is a mass of complicated pneumatic and hydraulic machinery, apart from the diesel engine which is used to drive it along the road. The wheels are retractable and the engine turns a propeller when the vehicle is afloat.
On the road the vehicle is 10 ft. wide, 12 1/2 ft. high and 40 ft. long, weighing 30 1/2 tons. Full length rubberized blisters along each side are inflated for buoyancy, increasing its width to 19 ft., and on the water a bridge platform is swung at right angles to the vehicle's fore and aft lines to provide a bridge section and ramp.