Originally developed by the German firm Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern (acquired by General Dynamics European Land Systems in 2002) The M3 Amphibious Bridging and Ferrying System traverses roads on its four wheels, deploying two large aluminium pontoons for buoyancy on water.
Development of the M3 began in 1982, with the final prototype being delivered 10 years later in 1992. A first order of 64 serial vehicles was made in 1994 and it entered service with the German and British armies in 1996.
The M3 saw its first combat actions in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. From 25 March 2003, M3 Rigs of 3 Troop (412 Amph. Engr. Tp (V)), 23 Amphibious Engineer Squadron, 28 Engineer Regiment of the Royal Engineers ferried elements of 3 Commando Brigade across the Shatt Al-Basrah waterway, enabling their continued advance on the Iraqi city of Basra.
A subsequent riverine crossing at the Rumallah oil fields was also undertaken by the M3 Rigs of 1 Troop. This action transported three AS90 self-propelled howitzers in support of 16 Air Assault Brigade of the British Army.
The M3 Amphibious Bridging and Ferrying System Upgraded Vehicle “M3G”
An upgraded version, known in some circles as the M3G, is in service with the ROC and Singapore armies. This version features an armoured cabin, NBC protection, an air conditioning system and a special tropical kit.
The M3 Amphibious Bridging and Ferrying System Operators
Republic of China (Taiwan) – operate the M3G
Singapore – operate the M3G