Top5 home made Gyrocopter in the world (6093 views)

German Armed Forces Engineering Floating Bridge

The M3 Amphibious Rig is a self-propelled amphibious bridging vehicle that is used for the projection of tanks and other vehicles across water obstacles.

Development and service

Originally developed by the German firm Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern (EWK, since 2002 acquired by General Dynamics European Land Systems), it succeeded the conceptually similar M2 made by the same company. Like its predecessor, the M3 traverses roads on its four wheels, deploying two large aluminium pontoons for buoyancy on water.

Development of the M3 began in 1982, with the final prototype being delivered 10 years later in 1992. A first order of 64 serial vehicles was made in 1994, and it entered service with the German and British armies in 1996. Since then, the M3 has also been adopted by the armies of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Singapore.

An upgraded version, known in some circles as the M3G, is in service with the ROC and Singapore armies. This version features an armoured cabin, NBC protection, an air conditioning system and a special tropical kit.

Operating concept

The M3 is self-deployable by road, operating as a 4x4 wheeled vehicle with a maximum road speed of 80 km/h. It is driven into the water for amphibious operation, for which it deploys two large aluminium pontoons, unfolding them along the length of its hull. In water, the M3 is propelled and steered by 2 fully traversable pump jets at speeds of up to 14 km/h.

Multiple rigs may be joined by long connectors called "ramps", 4 of which are carried on each vehicle, to form a bridge across a water obstacle. 8 M3 Rigs will bridge a 100m water gap this way, and can be traversed by vehicles up to and including the heaviest 60+ ton main battle tank like the Leopard 2A6 and Challenger 2. Alternatively, just 2 Rigs may be joined to create a ferry capable of carrying a similar load across much wider water gaps. 3 Rigs joined together may carry up to the equivalent of 2 such MBTs.

Top 10 readers