110 M3K Systems to be Built Jointly
General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) announced on 30 September that it and its partner, Hanwha Defense Corporation (HDC), have been selected to fill the Korean Amphibious Bridging Vehicle (KABV) requirement, after a competitive selection process. The GDELS M3 Amphibious Bridge & Ferry System will be modified to meet specific Korean requirements and will be designated M3K. The companies will jointly produce 110 vehicles.
The M3 is the world’s fastest and most capable amphibious bridge and ferry system, based on load capacity, assembly time and manoeuvrability, both on water and land. It is already operated by the armed forces of Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. With more than 1.3km of bridge length in total, the Republic of Korea will operate the largest M3 fleet. “[The selection] confirms the unique bridging capabilities of the M3 and demonstrates the essential importance of tactical bridging for modern armies in terms of interoperability and military mobility,” stated Dr Thomas Kauffmann. GDELS VP of International Businesses and Services.
“From an industrial point of view, this project is a great success for our employees here in Kaiserslautern,” added Dr Christian Kauth, VP/Managing Director of GDELS-Bridge Systems. “We have established an excellent collaboration with our Korean partner Hanwha. The success is (further) proof of the general advantage of 4×4 solutions when it comes to amphibious bridging and demonstrates the leading role of GDELS in the military floating bridge market.”
The M3 offers high mobility, availability, and seamless land-to-water transition. Used as a bridge or as a multi-bay raft, the M3 can carry all known main battle tanks in service. With its unique coupling device, the M3 also offers interoperability with other bridging solutions, such as the Standard Ribbon Bridge/Floating Support Bridge (SRB/FSB) and Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB).
GDELS and HDC will jointly manufacture 110 vehicles for the Korean Army’s KABV requirement. (Photo: GDELS)