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Amphibious rig

M3 amphibious rig

The M3 amphibious rig is used to carry tanks across water obstacles

Entered service 1996
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 26 t
Length 13.03 m
Width 3.35 m
Height 3.97 m
Payload capacity (single rig) 70 t
Payload capacity (coupled rigs) 85 t / 132 t
Engine diesel
Engine power 400 hp
Maximum road speed 80 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 14 km/h
Range 750 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.7 m
Trench 1 m
Fording Amphibious


   The M3 amphibious rig was developed in Germany by Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern (in 2002 this company was taken over by General Dynamics). It is an amphibious bridging an ferrying system, used to carry tanks and other military vehicles across water obstacles. Development of the M3 began in 1982. It is a further development of the previous M2, which is similar in concept. The final pre-production prototype was completed and revealed in 1992. It entered service with Germany and United Kingdom in 1996, replacing the previous M2. A total of 285 M3 amphibious rigs have been built to date. It is currently in service with Germany, United Kingdom and some other countries. This amphibious rig saw combat in Iraq in 2003.

   This amphibious rig has light welded aluminum alloy hull. Vehicle is self-propelled on land. On roads the M3 travels on four wheels. On water the wheels are retracted and amphibian deploys two large aluminum pontoons and transforms into the raft-type ferry. Pontoons can be deployed on the move. On water this engineering vehicle is propelled by two waterjets.

   Multiple M3 rigs can connect to form larger raft or floating bridge. Two or more rigs are coupled within 3 minutes to create a ferry, capable of carrying even the heaviest main battle tanks, such as the German Leopard 2A6 and British Challenger 2. Three coupled rigs can carry two MBTs. Within 15 minutes a total of 8 amphibious rigs can be coupled together and form a 100 m long bridge. It has a payload capacity of 85 t for tracked vehicles and 132 t for wheeled vehicles.

   The M3 is powered by a diesel engine, developing 400 hp. It is coupled with 6-speed automatic gearbox. This amphibian has a full-time all-wheel-drive and two-axle steering. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre pressure system.

   This amphibious rig is operated by the crew of three.




   M3G, an improved version of the original M3, fitted with an armored cabin. It also has an NBC protection system for the crew and tropical kit. The M3G is in service with Singapore and Taiwan.


Video of the M3 amphibious rig


M3 amphibious rig

M3 amphibious rig

M3 amphibious rig

M3 amphibious rig

M3 amphibious rig

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