Defense Forces new vehicle launched bridges unfit for allied tanks (16)
Tanks of allied forces are too heavy for vehicle launched bridge systems purchased by the Estonian Defense Forces from Ukraine.
The Ukrainian system, developed in the 70s for the Soviet armed forced, and used also in Finland, is meant for Soviet and Russian tanks, which are lighter than US Abrams and German Leopard tanks.
Lieutenant Colonel Raul Kütt said the bridge has a weight capacity of 60 tons, enough for all Estonian vehicles, but not enough for Abrams tanks.
Kütt said US Abrams tanks in Estonia need 70-ton capacity bridges, adding that the United States has plans to bring a few to Estonia.
The Ukrainian-built bridge is mounted on a truck and can be set up in 1.5 hours to cross a 30-meter-wide river.
Estonian troops have been in Ukraine and Finland to learn how to use the equipment.
Finnish troops have driven their Leopard tanks over the vehicle launched bridges – they rattled, but held, pioneer corps officers said.
Watch a video on how the system works here (from 00:25).