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2 juillet 2015 4 02 /07 /juillet /2015 16:35
VN1 vehicle launched bridge

VN1 vehicle launched bridge


June 7, 2015: Strategy Page


China recently offered (for export) another new variant in its line of ZBL 09 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle; the VN1 vehicle launched bridge. This is an old concept that goes back to World War II. What it amounts to is a 15-20 meter (46-66 foot) bridge than can quickly be deployed from the vehicle over obstacles allowing similar (in size and weight) vehicles to quickly cross.


China introduced the ZBL line of armored vehicles in 2006 after more than a decade of development. The first model was a personnel carrier but other variants quickly followed. For example the ZBL 09 ST1 is equipped as a tank-destroyer with a high velocity 105mm gun. This appears to be a variant on the 2007 version that had a lower velocity 105mm gun that was intended to give infantry front line artillery support. The Germans called this an “assault gun” when they invented the concept (as the “Sturmgeschütz” during World War II. These vehicles are particularly useful for infantry attacking as an assault gun could quickly take out enemy opposition with one or two shells.


The assault gun version of its ZBL 09 had a smaller turret than the ST1. The larger turret of the ST1 is apparently to hold the additional recoil and fire control equipment for the more powerful and longer range 105mm gun. In 2009 there was already an artillery version of the ZBL 09, carrying a 122mm howitzer in a larger turret similar to the one used by the ST1.


Since 2012 the Chinese Army has been using the ZBL 09 with the turret and 105mm gun as a wheeled light tank. That appeared to indicate that an anti-tank version was already in the works. The ZBL 09/105mm assault gun could, with some extra training, be capable of shooting up other armored vehicles. The 105mm gun carried is not powerful enough to destroy most modern tanks, but could knock out most other armored vehicles.


The basic ZBL 09 is a 21 ton vehicle that has a crew of three and carries seven passengers. The ST1 apparently has a crew of four and weighs over 25 tons. All ZBL 09s are 8 meters (25 feet) long, three meters (9.2 feet) wide, and 2.1 meters (6.5 feet, to the hull roof) high. It's amphibious and has a top water speed of 8 kilometers an hour. On roads, top speed is 100 kilometers an hour, and max road range on internal fuel is 800 kilometers. The infantry carrier version has a turret with a 30mm autocannon.


The infantry version of the ZBL 09 entered service in 2009, and a growing number of combat brigades are being equipped with it, to operate somewhat like the American Stryker brigades. China has been developing new wheeled armored vehicles for over a decade. Until recently, these were all based on Russian designs. The ZBL 09, however, borrows more ideas from the West. Still, some of the more recent (since 2009) Russian type designs were interesting and instructive.


The Chinese have observed NATO success in Iraq with the Stryker and LAV wheeled combat vehicles. Chinese designers eventually concluded that the roomier internal layout of Western vehicles did serve a useful purpose, and the ZBL 09, and all the electronics installed in it, are an example of what the Chinese learned.

VN1 vehicle launched bridge

VN1 vehicle launched bridge

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3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 18:50
Bottom Field 131 Independent Commando Squadron


3 févr. 2015 British Army


131 Independent Commando Squadron is a specialist unit in the Army. The Squadron's role is to provide engineer support to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, who are the UK's experts in mountain and cold weather warfare.

The Bottom Field tests must be passed together before attempting the Commando Course to earn the famous Commando Green Beret.

The tests are the 30-foot rope climb, the assault course in less than 5 minutes, the 200-metre man carry in under 90 seconds and a full regain on the rope over the water tank. All tests are conducted whilst carrying 14.5kg of equipment/rifle.

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16 juin 2014 1 16 /06 /juin /2014 14:50
Construction du Pont Bailey


16.06.2014 Armée de Terre


Du 3 au 6 juin 2014 : montage du Pont Bailey. Samedi 7 juin : inauguration du pont en présence d'autorités et avec pose de plaque commémorative.

L'unité responsable de la construction du pont est la 2ème compagnie de combat du génie aux ordres du CNE ASCIONE Thibault, elle sera renforcée par un détachement de réserviste ainsi que des soldats britanniques.

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10 septembre 2013 2 10 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
Terrier Demonstrating Innovation in Military Vehicles at DSEI

Sep 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : BAE Systems PLC


BAE Systems’ Terrier® Combat Engineer Vehicle, the most advanced combat engineer vehicle which delivers uncompromising performance from a medium weight chassis, is on display on the BAE Systems stand at DSEI


The latest vehicle to be accepted into service with the British Army, Terrier has been designed with an integrated electronic architecture which facilitates ‘drive-by-wire’ and remote control making the vehicle highly capable, survivable and adaptable.


Likened to a combat ‘Swiss Army Knife’, Terrier is one of the most versatile, agile and adaptable combat vehicles and can carry out multiple roles in the most demanding battlefield conditions. Typical applications include providing mobility support (obstacle and route clearance), counter-mobility (digging of anti-tank ditches and other obstacles) and survivability (digging of trenches and Armoured Fighting Vehicle slots). With a flying weight of 32 tonnes, which allows it to be transported in the A400M airlifter, Terrier provides strategic air transportability as well as being extremely mobile on the ground on all terrains, reaching speeds of up to 70 kph and with a road range of 600km.


Terrier is the first combat vehicle with drive-by-wire technology and “special to role” computers which manage the automotive and combat engineer systems respectively allowing electronic signals sent by the vehicle’s computers to perform functions. Physical connections are maintained between the driver and the essential automotive systems for safety and survivability reasons, but the vehicle is capable of being fully controlled via the commander’s joysticks through the drive-by-wire systems and the front loader and the excavator arm hydraulic systems are fully controlled through the databus.


Moreover, the vehicle can be operated by wireless remote control up to 1km away, using a gaming type controller and remote cameras.  The remote control interface would be readily recognised by any computer gamer, making this capability easy for new recruits to learn.


David Bond, Managing Director of Combat Vehicles (UK) said: “With Terrier making its first ever appearance at an international defence exhibition, we anticipate plenty of interest from international markets and customers keen to see the benefits of the most up to date technological advancements in armoured vehicle technology as well as confirming our position as the UK’s leading design authority on combat engineer vehicles”


In addition to the Terrier vehicle, BAE Systems has delivered a full suite of integrated logistic support and a complete state of the art training capability including mission and scenario based training using innovative student led exploration to maximise engagement and knowledge retention. Operators and maintainers are trained simultaneously through a combination of high fidelity, full motion simulators, virtual emulations of the vehicle and its systems and hands-on ‘live’ experience.  An initial five year programme of Contractor Logistic Support covering fleet management, technical advice, maintenance and logistics support was commenced on 1 April 2013.


Sixty vehicles are being delivered under the programme which are being built in Newcastle.


Terrier® is a registered trademark of the Secretary State for Defence

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 15:50
British airborne engineers deploying a 100-foot Medium Girder Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

British airborne engineers deploying a 100-foot Medium Girder Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

11 July 2013 Ministry of Defence


UK airborne engineers joined French paratroopers on a bridge building exercise to prepare them to respond to urgent operations worldwide.


Military engineers of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) (23 Engr Regt (Air Asslt)), based at Woodbridge in Suffolk, recently spent 2 weeks on Exercise Eagle Sapper at Wyke Regis Training Area in Dorset.

The exercise saw the sappers hone their skills alongside reservists from 299 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers (Volunteers) and French troops from 17e Régiment de Génie Parachutiste (17e RGP).

The troops were tested across a range of skills, from assessing the capacity of existing crossings to constructing bridges across fast-flowing water and deep gaps.

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Hones, Commanding Officer of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), watches the construction of a 100-foot Medium Girder Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Hones, Commanding Officer of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), watches the construction of a 100-foot Medium Girder Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Bridging is a key aspect of 23 Engr Regt (Air Asslt)’s role providing close combat engineering support to the Air Assault Task Force (AATF), which sees 16 Air Assault Brigade maintain a force ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice for operations from disaster relief to war fighting.

The training ranged from setting up a Medium Girder Bridge, capable of carrying a Challenger 2 main battle tank across a 30 metre deep and 30 metre wide gap, to taking to the streets of Weymouth to assess which military vehicles could use the town’s bridges.

Crossing the tidal waters of the Fleet, sandwiched between the shore and Chesil Beach, was a stern test for sappers setting up an Air Portable Ferry Bridge (APFB). APFB can be parachuted or moved by helicopter and set up either as a conventional bridge or a self-propelled ferry to cross wider obstacles.

British and French Airborne Engineers train in bridge site reconnaissance [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

British and French Airborne Engineers train in bridge site reconnaissance [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Staff Sergeant Kieran Dale was in charge of the build, with APFB designed to be set up by 24 men in 2 hours and carry a 35-tonne load. He said:

AFPB is very flexible and capable kit, but setting it up in a strong current is a real challenge. The ferry is built on the water and it’s very important to ensure the parts are correctly aligned, which is hard when the current is moving everything around.

Among the 20 reservists on the exercise was Sapper Nathan Gibson from South Shields, a medical electronics technician in civilian life.

The 26-year-old has been in 299 Para Sqn RE (V), which is the only parachute-trained engineer unit in the Army Reserve, for 18 months.

British Army sappers prepare to set up an Air Portable Ferry Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

British Army sappers prepare to set up an Air Portable Ferry Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Sapper Gibson said:

I’ve always been interested in the military and joined up to challenge myself. This is my first major exercise and it’s great to get out and do practical engineering tasks. The training is really well done and we’ve been treated the same as the Regulars.

The skills I’m learning don’t directly relate to my job, but the wider experience I’m getting does. What I’ve learnt about teamwork and pulling together in uncomfortable situations has really developed my confidence at work.

Parallel to bridging activity, the Regiment’s dive team was put through its paces in joint training with 17e RGP’s divers. In the waters of Portland Harbour the divers practised surveying underwater structures, clearing obstacles using hydraulic tools and search tasks.

The French engineers, who were divers and reconnaissance specialists, joined the exercise to learn about British equipment and techniques to be ready to deploy together as part of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force, a partnership between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste (11e BP) for contingency operations.

Airborne Sappers launch an Air Portable Ferry Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Airborne Sappers launch an Air Portable Ferry Bridge [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Hones, Commanding Officer of 23 Engr Regt (Air Asslt), said:

This exercise has been an excellent opportunity to work with the Regiment’s integrated reserve squadron and our French counterparts.

The Weymouth area is a tourist destination but this has been anything but a holiday for my sappers. We have worked extremely hard to practise and refine our techniques, particularly in the key mobility skill of bridging, to prepare for potential deployments as part of the Air Assault Task Force.

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