The present-day combined arms battlefield has evolved to become increasingly demanding, as far as fast concentration of assets on the main axis of advance is concerned. Meanwhile, water and terrain barriers and obstructions exert a significant delaying effect on force projection, thus impeding the success of military operations in general. Therefore, in Russia a large family of engineering vehicles, specifically designed to effectively surmount various obstacles was developed. All equipment was made by one and the same design bureau, which maximized vehicles’ commonality in terms of fixtures and couplings, thus adding to their battlefield interoperability.
One of the best examples offered by Rosoboronexport is the MTU-90M armored vehicle launched bridge that can span a ditch, ravine or other gaps of up to 19 m. Boasting an armor protection comparable with that of main battle tanks, MTU-90M is used to lay single-span bridges during the battle in the face of enemy fire. Bridge removal is possible from both sides of the obstruction.
When bridging gaps with spans up to 40 m on forces deployment routes, the MMK mechanized bridge layer is used. The system includes vehicles to transport bridge elements and an assembly vehicle. The bridge is deployed by pushing elements along the level rail with their subsequent interconnection. MMK elements can be combined to launch bridges of 16, 22, 28, 34 and 41 m.
The TMM-6 heavy mechanized bridge layer allows deploying bridged to cross chasms, canals and water barriers with spans up to 100 m and depth up to 5 m. The bridge is laid by setting bridge elements in place one after another and interconnecting them. TMM-6 can be used to launch either one bridge across a 102 m gap, two 51 m bridges, three 34 m bridges or six 17 m ones. Rosoboronexport also offers the PTS-4 amphibious tracked carrier, capable of fording water barriers with a load of military hardware, personnel and cargo with the total weight up to 18 tons. The amphibian can cross obstacles with the current speed of 3 m/s. Moreover, it is also effective in SAR and emergency evacuation operations on water.
A much larger amphibious transport is the PDP ferry, taking aboard up to 60 tons of military equipment and carrying it across water obstacles with a current speed of up to 2.5 m/s. PDP is an engineering vehicle that consists of a three-pontoon ferry and a tracked carrier for transportation on land. The carrier’s specially designed wrench is used to load vehicles, which disembark on their own on the other side of the obstacle. The flat bottom and small draft allow operating the ferry in shallow waters.
The largest and the most versatile means of crossing obstacles is undoubtedly the PP-91 pontoon bridge that is used to launch a single-lane bridge with a span of 268 m, or a 168-m long 1.5 lane bridge, or a two-lane bridge out to 141 m to ensure two-way traffic. The max load of the pontoon bridge is 120 tons.
The Russian engineering solutions can help effectively accomplish missions associated with the engineering support of forces, crossing obstacles with spans up to 100 m and water barriers up to 268 m using pontoon bridges and ferries.