Pune: The city’s equipment maker Worldwide Oilfield Machine has signed a Rs32 crore agreement with the MoD to manufacture and supply 30 Mountain Foot lightweight bridges developed by the leading DRDO research and development lab (engineers) here. The R&DE (Enggrs) granted the license to the company to manufacture the bridges under a technology transfer agreement.
The bridge is to be inducted by the Indian Army and will be useful in high altitude areas. It is made of high strength aluminum alloys and able to withstand the conditions prevalent in high altitude regions like Siachen.
Ajay Shinde, director (strategic projects and products) of the company, said: “The bridge will be made from Indian materials. As per the agreement, we will deliver the first bridge to the General Directorate of Quality Assurance (DGQA) on August 17, 2022. A total contract worth a total of Rs32 crore has been signed with the ministry to complete the manufacture of the 30 bridges.
He said the bridge can also be used effectively during natural disasters like floods to safely rescue people from flood-affected areas. The bridge can be manually launched in 90 minutes with a crew of 15. It can carry components whose maximum weight of each is 18 kg. “The bridge tests were carried out extensively on the Siachen Glacier and in Arunachal Pradesh. After achieving the desired results, the military accepted the bridges. Now we are in the process of developing its advanced version which can be suitable for transporting vehicles in the high altitude region, ”a senior DRDO official said on condition of anonymity.
The maximum length of the MFB is 34.5 meters with a walkway width of 0.8 meters.
“The bridge can allow an accumulation of fresh snow up to half a meter. This capability will allow troops to move smoothly in difficult areas, where covering even a distance of one meter is a big challenge, ”added the official.