3 Potential Suppliers of New Pontoon Bridges for the Polish Military: Daglezja-P Replacing Wstęga

PP-64 Wstęga [Ribbon] bridge. Image Credit: Lt. Col. Radosław Gruźlewski pvt. Marcin Czerczak, pvt. Grzegorz Chochowski
PP-64 Wstęga [Ribbon] bridge. Image Credit: Lt. Col. Radosław Gruźlewski pvt. Marcin Czerczak, pvt. Grzegorz Chochowski

The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD is carrying out a procurement procedure with regards to new pontoon bridges, within the framework of the Daglezja-P programme aimed at replacing the old PP-64 Wstęga system. Three potential contractors expressed their will to participate in the procedure.

Defence24.pl was informed by the Press Department of the Polish Ministry of Defence’s Centre of Operations that “until 15th February 2019 (date set) 3 contractors have submitted their requests to participate in a tendering procedure concerning the acquisition of pontoon bridge sets:

  1. Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée – CNIM;
  2. H. Cegielski-Poznań S.A., WB Electronics S.A. oraz CEFA SAS;
  3. Griffin Group S.A. Defence sp.k.”. 

So far no information has been released, specifying the types of the offered equipment. We know, however, that CNIM is active in defense sector and beyond, also having some footprint in civil domains, including nuclear power or renewable energy sectors. The French entity has the Upgraded Motorized Floating Bridge system in its offer, that is a development of the PFM solution. 

Elements of the Upgraded Motorized Floating Bridge. Image Credit: CNIM.

 CEFA company, based in France as well, specializes in supplying military engineering equipment for the armed forces. The said entity is working together with two Polish Partners, state owned HCP company and private WB Electronics company. CEFA’s offer includes Steel Ribbon Bridge (SRB), amphibious EFA system and Vedette F2 solution.

SRB System. Image Credit: CEFA. 

 Griffin Group is representing the General Dynamics Land Systems company on the Polish market, promoting the M3/IRB (Improved Ribbon Bridge) family. This system was used in Poland during the Anakonda 2016 exercise. It was deployed by a German-British engineering unit.

M3/IRB during the Anakonda 2016 exercise. Image Credit: Andrzej Nitka/Defence24.pl. 

The new bridges are to replace the obsolete PP-64 Wstęga solution. The procurement procedure described here is one of the most important, among the processes prioritized by the Polish engineering units. Recovering the capability of crossing the water obstacles is one of the NATO priorities, as a need may emerge to support deployments of forces to the eastern flank. Acquisition of this equipment shall enhance the Polish capabilities, with Poland playing the role of Host Nation and providing its support (HNS - Host Nation Support).

The new bridges are to offer a capacity to support up to MLC 70 tracked vehicles (such as Leopard 2A5/2PL or M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks). The procedure envisages delivery of seven bridge sets would take place, with optional procurement of another three in the future. It is assumed that deliveries would be finalized by the year 2022. 
A single pontoon bridge set is to include the following elements:

  • • Pontoon blocks;
  • Ramps/bank blocks;
  • Boats;
  • Vehicles making it possible to transport the bridge and personnel, defined in line with the specification of the bridge system issued by the manufacturer;
  • Equipment required to create and maintain the crossing;
  • Tools and hardware required to maintain, repair and adjust the bridges;
  • Equipment that is indispensable, when it comes to moving around public roads, via railway and maritime transport;
  • Documentation required within the scope of operational use, maintenance and repairs;
  • System facilitating diagnostics, allowing for rapid detection of malfunctions and definition of the scope of the required repairs;
  • Maintenance kit (ZO).

Furthermore, alongside the aforesaid list specified for a single bridge set, the delivery shall also include spare parts sets (ZCzZ) and repair kits (ZN).  

Daglezja is also a codename applicable in case of other bridge-related procurement procedures. MS-20 Daglezja-K bridges based on wheeled platforms and developed by OBRUM Gliwice are already in service. The first lot has been delivered by a consortium formed by OBRUM and ZM Bumar-Łabędy. Delivery of another batch is in the making now. In late 2018 OBRUM was awarded an order concerning delivery of four bridge system for a Vietnamese customer.

PGZ, OBRUM Gliwice and ZM Bumar-Łabędy consortium is also working on the MG-20G Daglezja-G assault bridge system based on a modified T-72 main battle tank.