An SME in Devon has won a contract with DASA to provide lightweight bridging equipment to Royal Engineers.
EasiBridge, from Bright Structures Ltd, will provide the military with bridging equipment that is 85% lighter, 80% more compact, and many times cheaper than incumbent Infantry Assault Bridges. The Army Rapid Innovation and Experimentation Laboratory (ARIEL) ordered three bridges, three conveyors, and one footbridge for trial use by the Royal Engineers Trials and Development Unit (RETDU).
DASA invested £77,086.60 into EasiBridge in 2018 so that they could trial and adapt their products for military use. The man-portable, long-span rescue/assault bridges have already been used during military exercises overseas and been tested for gap crossing, difficult access capabilities, and force protection to prove its capabilities.
Director of Bright Structures Ltd Stephen Bright said: “EasiBridge is the world’s first user-portable, long-span, rescue/assault bridge and I am delighted that the Royal Engineers will be the first military unit to benefit from it. DASA support has been instrumental in developing a whole new range of gap crossing, force protection and specialist access capabilities.”
“I cannot tell you the renewed impetus this project has given us. After 3 years scratching around the wilderness, the last several months have already started to change everything. Exactly what DASA was intended to do, I’m sure.”
Through the trial process, new capabilities were developed, from footbridges to materials-handling conveyors, fence-breaching frameworks to blast-resistant roofing systems – all from one ‘Super-Kit’ of parts, using common, 5-foot ladder sections. The trials also showed the potential of the products to be used for other purposes such as emergency services or even as roof structures for disaster relief accommodation.
DASA is continually seeking to develop innovative ideas that have the potential to positively impact the operational effectiveness of the UK’s military. EasiBridge development was funded through a DASA open market competition looking for the next ‘generation troop protection, access and mobility systems’.
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