[section_title title=Bridging the barriers - The Sarvatra Way]
Amidst doubts about our defence readiness & imported heavy duty trucks & armour recovery vehicles being in news for the wrong reasons – it is quite creditable that our Army has been virtually self-reliant in combat engineering since long-thanks to the pioneering work by Pune based Research & Development Establishment (Engineering) or R&DE(E). While Ballistic missiles provide deterrence- war is fought by conventional systems. In any conflict the sappers or the engineers with their mines & bridges are the first to lead during advance & last to retreat on winding the show. Bridging the natural or manmade obstacles is one of the most important roles of the Sappers. Over the years R&DE(E) has developed many assault bridges to enable to our forces much needed mobility during wars where each moment counts. Notably it’s Sarvatra Bridge Laying Tank on T-72 chassis stand out magnificently amongst the peer group while providing cutting edge to our own forces.
Big is Beautiful. Sarvatra holds the place of pride amongst the largest mobile assault bridging systems in the world over and it was developed in record time using innovative design techniques & special materials. It is a wheel based universal bridging system to overcome obstacles of varied nature at remote/hostile locations and is capable of carrying heaviest of the tanks providing our forces & battle tanks a quick crossing over canals and rivers that come in their way. The Sarvatra Bridge system manufactured indigenously is qualitatively superior to its precursor – the imported bridge systems AM-50 bridge set.
Facts & Figures. Basically the Sarvatra is a trestle-cum-span bridge where a single span covers a gap of 15 meters and by multi-spanning it can go upto 75 meters with 4 m wide roadway having load carrying capacity of 70 tons. Each bridging system of 15m span consisting of a bridge superstructure, launching mechanism, hydraulic actuators and piers is mounted on 8×8 Tatra vehicle. The bridge can be launched/recovered from either end in 15 to 20 minutes each and the entire bridge of upto 5 spans of 75 m in less than 100 minutes. It is able to carry the heaviest of the tanks & can be launched even on very weak soil of our sub-continent. The pier system forms the bottom support for the superstructure.
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