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ADI Short-listed For Bridging Boat Contract (Dec. 18)

A significantly enhanced capability highlights ADI Limited's shortlisted bid to supply 24 new bridge erection propulsion boats (BEPB) to the Department of Defence.

Developed to fully meet Australian Army requirements, ADI's BEPB could also be used as a ferry to transport personnel, equipment and stores and as a diving support tender.

ADI has drawn on the design, engineering and production skills that produced Australia's Huon Class minehunters to develop a world class design for the new BEPBs. The 24 boats with transportation cradles are required to replace all of the existing Army craft used to assemble the pontoons that create bridges across strategic waterways.

This shortlisting follows ADI being shortlisted for the Royal Australian Navy's replacement patrol boat contract. ADI's patrol boat solution follows the minehunter strategy of adapting a proven international design to meet Royal Australian Navy requirements and building the hull from advanced composite materials.

ADI's BEPB is a highly manoeuvrable, stable and robust platform. The hull is a unique part asymmetric configuration which produces the excellent directional stability and safe operation required by the Army.

The boat is powered by twin 6BTA (168-235 kw) marine diesel engines, each coupled to a vertical thrust waterjet which provide full power in any direction. The waterjets are flush with the underside of the hull ensuring that the boat can operate in minimum water depths with minimal risk of fouling the waterjets or injuring personnel who may be working in the water nearby.

Crew comfort and safety are design priorities. The BEPB's layout enables the two man crew and any additional personnel on board to operate it in all expected situations efficiently and safely. A purpose designed console is provided for crew amenity while the absence of any moving parts external to the hull enhances safety.

Another safety feature is the ADI designed hydraulic line tensioning system. The system ensures that the BEPB securing lines are secured at the correct tension during all marine operations particularly for the floating support bridge (FSB) ferries and FSB crossing site roles. As well, levers operated by the coxswain control tensioning, so eliminating the need for personnel to handle securing lines.

ADI's BEPD uses proven technology designed to ensure easy maintenance access to all systems. If successful, ADI will build the BEPBs at its Newcastle facility, where it is currently producing six watercraft for the Australian Army, another project that draws on skills developed during the production of the Huon Class minehunters.

ADI Short-listed for Bridge Erection Boat Contract