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2 minute read - 12th September 2022

WFEL secures Irish Defence Forces contract

Defence manufacturer WFEL has signed a contract with the Irish Defence Forces for the supply of its military bridging system.

The equipment will be manufactured at WFEL’s Stockport engineering site, where it employs a team of over 250 engineers and support staff.

The Irish Defence Forces have chosen the 31-metre double storey Medium Girder Bridge (MGB) variant, which can be erected in various configurations to cover the full range of military and emergency bridging requirements. It will be supplied complete with handrails, making the system adaptable for use not only during military operations but also in disaster relief and emergency scenarios, such as the severe flooding situations seen in Europe recently.

WFEL has secured a contract with the Irish Defence Forces to supply its military bridging system. The equipment will be produced at WFEL’s factory in Stockport / Picture: WFEL

The Irish military have been users of WFEL’s bridging systems since the late 1970s. The Corps of Engineers – the military engineering branch of the Defence Forces of Ireland – will take delivery of the new MGB system.

Colonel Damian McEvoy, director of engineering for the Irish Defence Forces, said, “As long-time users of the Medium Girder Bridge system, we are already familiar with its many benefits and, by updating our bridging assets with the latest version of the MGB, we will continue to be equipped with the most versatile, modular bridging system available, allowing our engineering division to rapidly react to situations both on and off the battlefield. Of particular importance to us is the lightweight nature of the MGB system, not only for reducing transportation weight, but to enable the bridge components to be handled by our troops without the need for mechanical aids.”

A full support and training package is included in the contract and delivery is expected by the end of 2023. With over 500 systems already supplied to militaries around the world, the MGB modular military bridging system provides interoperability with any other MGB of any age and is already adopted by many NATO members.

WFEL is currently supplying 17 sets of its Medium Girder Bridges to the UK MoD, following a review of the MoD’s modular gap crossing capabilities, which aimed to draw together existing in-service capabilities into a single coherent capability.

Tom Winney, business development director at WFEL, added: “We are delighted to be working closely with the Irish Defence Forces once again and refreshing their military bridging stocks with the latest MGB systems, to provide vital engineer capabilities. We are seeing increased interest in our MGB bridging systems worldwide, due to their modular and versatile nature, as forces worldwide recognise the need for rapid gap-crossing capability to ensure unrestricted manoeuvre for vehicles of up to 70 tonnes.”

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