DSA 2018: CNIM upgrades the French Army’s Motorized Floating Bridges (PFM)

The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded the CNIM industrial group a contract to develop and manufacture equipment for PFM Motorized Floating Bridges. The aim is to extend the PFM’s life by 20 years by 2020, ensuring that its capabilities remain fully operational in France’s national territory, and to increase its ability to respond to new operational needs in order to support forces engaged in operations abroad.

CNIM upgrades the French Armys Motorized Floating Bridges DSA 2018
PFM in action. CNIM picture.

The CNIM Group has announced that DGA, the French Defense Procurement Agency, has awarded it a contract to develop and manufacture equipment for the PFM. The purpose of this contract, signed on 22 December 2015, is to upgrade the bridge to optimize its response to the Army’s present and future needs in the following three manners:
• Maintaining its capabilities on an operational level in France’s national territory, particularly in the context of the Neptune Plan1;
• Responding to new operational needs to support forces engaged in external operations. Now that it is air-transportable, the PFM can be rapidly deployed in external theaters of operation. .../...

New short ramps incorporated in the modules will be used to build a ferry comprising two modules, providing a payload of more than 40 tonnes (MLC40-class vehicle). Furthermore, personnel on board tractors will have armor protection.
• Providing the PFM with a new logistic transport capability: A system of removable plates implemented from the PFM trailers will facilitate operation and deployment.

A single control system will enable a raft consisting of two modules to be controlled by just one operator using a wireless control console.

As well as reducing the manpower required for its implementation, this innovation will give the PFM an additional tactical edge in accomplishing quick crossings, especially at night.

CNIM has also carried out work to ensure compliance with regulations.

DSA 2018 CNIM upgrades the French Armys Motorized Floating Bridges PFM 2
CNIM booth at DSA 2018

The first modified equipment items will be delivered to the French Army in mid-2019.
The CNIM Group’s PFM Motorized Floating Bridge is a solution dedicated to the crossing of wet gaps. Offering two possible configurations – bridge mode and ferry mode, the PFM gives a clear tactical advantage: it can be deployed easily, quickly and with minimal manpower. What is more, it does not require any auxiliary boats and is well-known for its reliability in the field. The PFM’s implementation performance remains unmatched.

The modularity of the Motorized Floating Bridge allows the number of modules forming the ferry to be optimized according to the class and number of vehicles to be transported. In ferry configuration, the use of the PFM not only reduces the number of modules used, but also optimizes the number of operators and accelerates the crossing of the gap (250 vehicles an hour).

“CNIM’s PFM Motorized Floating Bridge is currently in service in a number of branches of the French armed forces as well as in Italy, Switzerland and Malaysia,” points out Philippe Demigné, a member of CNIM’s Management Board. “With this new version of our PFM, we now have the world’s most suitable equipment to meet water crossing requirements, combining reliability, robustness and easy implementation.”

In addition to its military use, the PFM can also be adapted for civilian use, such as during natural disasters. In particular, it can be used as a ferry or temporary bridge to replace a fixed bridge destroyed by an extensive flood.


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