Military engineering group strikes bridge supply deal with Irish Defence Forces

WFEL bridge in operation

Stockport-based military manufacturer, WFEL, has signed a contract with the Irish Defence Forces for the supply of its MGB medium girder bridging system, for an undisclosed sum.

The company is a world leader in rapidly deployable military bridges.

The Irish Defence Forces has chosen the 31m double storey MGB variant, which can 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.

The Irish military has been a user of WFEL’s MGB system since the late 1970s.

The corps of engineers – military engineering branch of the Defence Forces of Ireland – will take delivery of the new MGB bridging. The corps is responsible for combat engineering and construction engineering services, providing engineering on the battlefield, and has successfully leveraged its skill and expertise in several of the Irish Army’s deployments on United Nations operations.

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.”

With more than 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 MGB medium girder bridges to the UK MoD, following a review of the MoD’s modular gap crossing capabilities.

One of the key criteria for this contract was the fact that the MGB system can be configured in several different ways to provide flexibility to the commander on the ground.

Tom Winney, business development director at WFEL, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with the Irish Defence Force 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.”