VFB ASCOD 35 Cobra – armoured vehicle-launched bridge

VFB ASCOD 35 Cobra – armoured vehicle-launched bridge
Author: GDELS|Caption: VFB ASCOD 35 Cobra
08 / 08 / 2019, 10:00

At IDET 2019 held in Brno in May, an armoured vehicle-launched bridge using the ASCOD 35 platform carrying the Variable Folding Bridge (VFB) system premiered in the Czech Republic, presented by General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS). It is a scissor type made of aluminum alloys and falls into the MLC 50 class. The same vehicle was introduced also in June during the Land Forces Day – Bahna 2019.

VFB is able to bridge water and dry obstacles up to a width of 15 m, the length of the deck can be variable, depending on the length and parameters of the vehicle-carrier. GDELS introduced the VFB bridge system for the first time at last year's Eurosatory, at the time it was mounted on the Piranha 3 wheeled armoured vehicle transporter. During the IDET fair the COBRA bridge was presented on the ASCOD 35 chassis, demonstrating its versatility and multi-platform installation.

GDELS

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

The possibility of fixed installation on the vehicle or temporary mounting on an optional self-propelled platform by means of a mounting and laying kit is also of great interest to the user. A vehicle, typically a wheeled or tracked armoured personnel carrier, with a VFB system can have a crew of two that controls the entire bridge system directly from the vehicle while being protected by its armour. Laying the bridge deck over an obstacle takes 2 to 5 minutes depending on the type of vehicle-carrier. The exceptionality of VFB installation on the vehicle is also that it fully preserves the possibility of carrying the infantry in the rear compartment.

See also: Czech Infantry Fighting Vehicle Tender – ASCOD 2

In the category of bridge vehicles capable of operating with front-line units, the Army of the Czech Republic has six bridge tanks MT-55A built on the T-55 Main Battle Tank with a weight of 36 tons. They are deployed by the Bridge Tank Squad of the Engineer Platoon of the 73rd Tank Battalion, 7th Mechanized Brigade. Battalions of mechanized infantry of the 7th Brigade and the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade units, whether on wheeled or tracked undercarriages, do not have any armoured vehicle-launched bridges. In the ongoing tender for replacement of the BVP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles with new tracked IFV’s, the bridge variant is not among the requirements.

MT-55

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