Light armoured units maintain their operational advantage though superior manoeuvre and must stay ahead of their opponent’s ability to react.
Unfordable rivers, dry trenches and ravines can block such manoeuvre. Pearson Engineering (PE) of the United Kingdom has developed a Bridge Launching Mechanism (BLM-L) which incorporates a lightweight bridge solves such a challenge.
The BLM-L permits General Dynamics Stryker family wheeled armoured fighting vehicles, or other wheeled or tracked medium vehicle to be modified to carry and deploy a bridge capable of accommodating 50 tons of weight in two minutes across a ten-metre (33-feet) gap. Bridge launching and retrieval is controlled from inside the vehicle.
The BLM-L uses PE’s common equipment fitting which is integrated with the vehicle. This same fitting can also be used to integrate mine rollers or other combat engineer mission equipment. The US Army evaluated the BLM-L in 2015 in its Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE), although has not yet committed to its procurement.