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DRDO’s Short Span Bridging System-10 M Inducted Into Indian Army

The Unique Feature Of The System Is Its Compatibility With Existing Bridging Systems To Enhance Flexibility In Negotiating Water Obstacles

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
I am a mumbai based journalist having worked with many daily newspapers.

INDIA. Mumbai: The first production lot of 12 Short Span Bridging System (SSBS)-10 m, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was inducted into the Indian Army by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane during a ceremony held at Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment in presence of Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr. G Satheesh Reddy on Friday.

The SSBS-10 m plays a crucial role in bridging the gaps up to 9.5 m as a single span providing a 4 m wide, fully decked roadway, ensuring faster movement of the troops. It was inducted into the Corps of Engineers, Delhi.

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The system has been designed and developed by the Pune-based Research & Development Establishment, a premier engineering laboratory of DRDO, in association with M/s L&T Ltd. The 12 bridges are part of 102 SSBS-10 m from M/s L&T Ltd, which is the production agency.

The Project Short Span Bridging System involved the development of two prototypes of 5 m SSBS on Tatra 6×6 chassis and another two prototypes of 10 m SSBS on Tatra 8×8 re-engineered chassis. Both the systems have undergone rigorous Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA), Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) and User trials and after successful completion of all the trials, the systems were recommended for induction into the services.


Short Span Bridging System (SSBS)-10 m mounted on a vehicle. (Photo @DRDO_India)
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This bridging system is compatible with Sarvatra Bridging System (75 m), where the last span requires covering gaps less than 9.5 m. The deployed bridge is of the load classification of MLC 70. The system will help in the quick movement of troops and enhance the mobilization of resources, DRDO statement said.

Short Span Bridging System is a mechanically launched bridging system of MLC-70 load class to bridge the smaller gaps and canals. This bridging system has been built on tracked vehicle(BMP-II) and wheeled vehicle Tatra (6 x 6). It provides mobility to the Armed Forces by speedy establishment of bridge. This bridging system can bridge gaps from 5m length to 75m length. Can pick and place bridge over gap, can construct with minimum crew. It has Beta light for deployment at night.

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The system is a major game changer in support of mechanised operations in future conflicts. Despite COVID restrictions, the supply of bridging systems to Indian Army has been on schedule. The Indian Army has already been supplied with 5 meter Span Bridges and 15 meter Bridging System.

The DRDO has vast experience in developing critical Combat Engineering Systems like Military Bridging Systems. Many mechanized mobility solutions for the Indian Army like Single Span 5 m and 10 m, Short Span Bridging System, 46 m Modular Bridge, 20 m BLT-T72 and multi-span 75 m Sarvatra Bridging System, etc. have been developed. Manually launched 34.5 m Mountain Foot Bridge was also developed by DRDO earlier. These bridges have been widely accepted by the Indian Army.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, the Indian Army, and the Industry on the successful development and induction of the system. He stated that this induction will give a boost to the fast-growing Indian defence industrial ecosystem and help the industry to contribute towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Similarly Chairman DRDO Dr. G Satheesh Reddy congratulated the teams involved in the successful development and induction of this bridging system into the Indian Army. 

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