The bridges used by the army for protection and other purposes are assault bridges. It is basically a heavy machines which are transformable. It was firstly used in World War 2, both sides were ready with bullet proof vehicles which have the bridges with telescopes fit in them. The main purpose was to protect the engineers inside the special bridged vehicles so they can give and assists in war better and safely.
Assault Bridge – History and Up-gradation
These bridges are the standard way of protection used by the army worldwide. But advancements had been made. The army of U.S work their best to achieve and upgrade this standard equipment and they work to renovate their bridging gear. For about 50 years, the American military used the bridge AVLB (armored vehicle-launched bridge).
AVLB is the important bridge used by U.S army and which was launched in 1967. M-48 or M-60 tank chassis being used by two-man AVLB by combining them with the hinged arm which then prolong the 60 feet Aluminium span, which is able to support vehicles normally and can have the weight up to 60 of tons.
In the late 1990 the Army industrialized the M-104 Wolverine another new bridge created on the most up-to-date M-1A2 chassis. The Wolverine swanked a gas turbine engine, the up-to-date electronics and armor and most prominently a supplementary classy and sophisticated bridge arm which extended its span horizontally as a replacement for vertically.
The Marines had been fiddling with a novel bridging vehicle created on second-hand M-1A1 chassis which then called as the Joint Assault Bridge and it was not as high-tech as the Wolverine and needed the horizontal setting out system. Relatively, it protracted its bridge vertically, alike the AVLB. But the affordability was the key factor of Joint Assault Bridge. In 2010 the Army took the Marines’ program.
How the Bridge Works?
The AVLB is typically a chased vehicle converted from a tank frameworks to carry a folding metal bridge as a replacement of weaponries. The AVLB’s work is to let armored or infantry units to cross caves, anti-tank ditches, raged bridges, train track cuts, canals and rivers, when a river too deep for vehicles to paddle through is grasped, and no bridge is suitably positioned.
The bridge layer discloses and liftoffs its load, offering a ready-made bridge crossways the hindrance in only few of minutes. As soon as the span has been put in place, the AVLB vehicle separates from the bridge, and passages sideways to let traffic to pass. When all of the vehicles have traversed, it passes the bridge by own and re-attaches to the bridge on the other side. It then withdraws the span and prepared to move off yet again.
Army description about the Wolverine Bridge is that it is a valuable bridge just because of the important feature of keeping the soldiers hidden from distances when traveling from the hindrance. But the Wolverine Bridge was being cut off in 2001 as it was costly. The affordability factor is the main reason to stop this bridge type.
In short, assault bridges are very useful equipment for the army and up-gradation has made them more efficient.