Given the number of tanks it lines up, the Polish army needs means to cross the rivers [ou les « coupures humides »]. Hence the order it has just placed with the French group CNIM, which, as a reminder, equips the Army with its motorized floating bridges [PFM]which have recently been modernized.
The announcement of the signing of this contract was made by the Polish Minister of Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, via Twitter. That being so, if he gave the value [1,5 milliard de zlotys, soit un peu plus de 320 millions d’euros]he did not specify the company to which he had just been notified.
However, CNIM Industrial Systems later announced that it would supply “several hundred meters of new generation Motorized Floating Bridge” to the Polish army.
“The new generation of motorized floating bridges PFM meets the needs of the army for the continuous or discontinuous crossing of the heaviest vehicles. By winning this call for tenders, CNIM Industrial Systems is reaffirming its leading position in the supply of high-performance crossing systems,” commented Xavier Montazel, director of the French manufacturer’s Systems Business Unit.
As a reminder, a PFM is made up of several modules about ten meters long, each equipped with two outboard motors and which can be locked together. Access ramps are installed at the ends. It is also possible to use it as a ferry to navigate from one bank to the other.
Wojska inżynieryjne otrzymają wkrótce nowe parki pontonowe, pozwalające na wykonywanie przepraw przez rzeki m. in. czołgom M1A2 SEP v.3 ABRAMS. Wartość podpisanej dziś przez Agencję Uzbrojenia umowy to 1.5 mld zł. pic.twitter.com/PJWuDAn4Eg
— Mariusz Blaszczak (@mblaszczak) June 15, 2022
The new generation Motorized Floating Bridge chosen by Poland is compatible with all 8×8 carriers in service in the armed forces of NATO member countries. “Equipped with high-performance integrated motors”, explains CNIM Industrial Systems, “its modules are controlled by a single command guaranteeing simple and rapid construction and implementation while reducing the logistical footprint. [pas de recours aux bateaux pousseurs auxiliaires, par exemple] and number of operators. In addition, it can be equipped with two different access ramps [tactique ou flottante].
In addition, assures CNIM, the PFM NG is air transportable and interoperable with all the floating bridges in service. One of its strengths is that it allows all types of armored vehicles to cross waterways, including the M1A2 Abrams tank, recently ordered in 250 units by Poland from the United States. Moreover, Mr. Błaszczak only cited the American tank to justify this order.
No doubt this contract obtained by CNIM will herald others. The Netherlands could follow… As well as… France, the Directorate General of Armaments [DGA] having issued, last year, a request for information within the framework of the SYFRALL program [Système de franchissement lourd-léger] to eventually replace the PFM2. And this for at least two reasons: the age of these systems and, above all, the mass of the SCORPION vehicles, which are much heavier than their predecessors.
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