British Army looks to modernise its bridge demolition capability

THE Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is looking for new innovative ways of modernising the British Army’s bridge demolition capability.

Forming part of the Ministry of Defence, DASA said it is seeking ideas which can speed up the preparation of the demolition of bridges, minimise human participation in the demolition process, and reduce demands on any remaining personnel.

It explained, “Bridges are key to the large scale manoeuvre and supply of troops and, in particular, armour. A defending force has a strong incentive to deny an adversary the use of bridges, meanwhile an attacker has an equally strong motivation to preserve key bridges and disrupt attempts at sabotage.

“Preventing an adversary from using a bridge is an important but dangerous mission. The most efficient method of doing this is through bridge demolition via the select placement of charges on the bridge structure. However, preparing a structure for demolition this way is resource intensive, both in terms of the number of personnel used and the time required.”

Up to £400,000 in funding is available in the project, with proposals required to address one or more of the following challenge areas:

1) How to identify and diagnose structural weaknesses of bridges

2) How to optimise the placement and effect of explosive charges on the bridge

3) Designing an unmanned device to place the charge(s) in the appropriate point(s)

DASA added that the assumption should be made that the target bridge is of ferrocement construction (i.e. steel reinforced concrete).

Further details on how to submit a proposal can be found by clicking here.