Finland orders six armoured vehicle-launched bridges from Patria

The Logistics Command of the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) has signed a contract with Finnish defence supplier Patria Group for the supply of six armoured vehicle-launched bridges (AVLBs), Patria announced on 19 December 2023.

The new AVLBs will supplement similar vehicles delivered in the 2005-2008 and 2018-2022 timeframes.

The vehicles in question will use the Leguan modular bridge system from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann in Germany (part of KNDS), with Patria integrating the bridge systems with existing FDF Leopard 2A4 main battle tank (MBT) chassis.

The total value of the new AVLB contract is given as approximately EUR 23.6 M and it is expected to create approximately 70 person-years of work in Finland.

The contracted AVLBs are scheduled to be delivered between 2026 and 2028.

The Leguan bridge itself is composed of modules of different lengths, constructed from aluminium, that allows the AVLB system to rapidly deploy and retrieve crossings over trenches, rivers and other obstacles on the battlefield.

The choice of the Leopard 2 chassis as a basis for the AVLB makes sense for users of this platform, such as Finland, since a number of spare parts and service/repair procedures will be identical, providing a number of logistical advantages.

Also, these advantages are further increased by the fact that the Leopard 2 platform, including its AVLB variants, is in use by several of Finland’s new NATO allies, further boosting interoperability.

Further, the use of the Leopard 2 chassis also ensures that the AVLB has the same tactical mobility as the Leopard 2 MBT, allowing it to keep up with armoured units in the field.