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A significant step towards enhancing the Army’s capability to cross waterways was achieved with the roll-out of the final M3G Military Raft/Float Bridge in March 2013.

To refresh the Army’s ageing M2 bridging platforms, DSTA managed the acquisition of the M3 platform and initiated a host of engineering and safety enhancements to it. The variant delivered to the Army was re-designated as the M3G.

The original M3 can be linked together via connecting ramps to serve as a heavy-load powered raft or float bridge. However, it required a separate five-tonne truck to transport the connecting ramps and crew. The DSTA team reviewed the layout of the M3 deck and cabin, and creatively reconfigured it to carry the ramps as well as additional crew. This improvement removed the need for the support truck and reduced the logistics footprint significantly. The team added a lightning protection system to the M3G to ensure the safety of operators in inclement weather. Further automation to the steering controls was also introduced.

The ideas from the team have helped the Army to reap improvements in resource and operational efficiency. Compared with the Army’s previous M2 bridging platform, the customised M3G takes just under 20 minutes to deploy instead of 50 minutes, and requires only a crew of eight instead of 17.