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Indigenously designed and manufactured modular bridge inducted into Indian Army

NEW DELHI (PTI): A 46-metre indigenously designed and manufactured modular bridge has been inducted into the Indian Army, a move that will bolster the crucial bridging capability of the force's engineers.

The induction ceremony took place on Tuesday at the Manekshaw Centre here in the presence of Army chief General Manoj Pande and senior officials of the Army and Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

"Over the next four years, a total of 41 sets, valued at Rs 2,585 crore, will be progressively inducted. The first set was inducted on Tuesday," a senior official said.

These "game-changing bridges" have been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by L&T as a DRDO-nominated production agency.

The modular bridge is a "mechanically-launched single-span, fully-decked 46-metre assault bridge, enabling the Army to overcome obstacles, such as canals and ditches, with ease. It will augment the crucial bridging capability of the Indian Army's engineers as these bridges are highly mobile, rugged, and designed for quick deployment and retrieval, aligning with the fast-paced nature of mechanised operations," the official said.

The induction of the modular bridge also highlights India's "prowess in designing and developing advanced military equipment" and underscores the country's commitment to "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" and self-reliance in defence production, the Army said.

The contract for the procurement of the modular bridges was signed with L&T in February 2023.

Each set of the modular bridge consists of "seven carrier vehicles based on 8x8 heavy mobility vehicles and two launcher vehicles based on 10x10 heavy mobility vehicles", the Army said.

These bridges can be employed over various types of obstacles like canals and ditches with quick launching and retrieval capabilities. The equipment is highly mobile, versatile, rugged and capable of keeping pace with wheeled and tracked mechanised vehicles, it added.

The modular bridges will replace the manually-launched medium girder bridges (MGBs) that are currently being used in the Army. The indigenously designed and manufactured modular bridges shall have many advantages over the MGBs, such as an increased span, less time for construction and mechanical launching with retrieval capability, officials said.

The acquisition of these bridges not only enhances the Army's operational effectiveness, but also showcases India's growing prominence in defence technology and manufacturing, they said.

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