The Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) is used to transport weapon systems, troops and supplies over water when permanent bridges are not available, and thereby supports the joint force commander’s ability to employ and sustain forces worldwide.
The bridge system allows two-way traffic for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle-width vehicles and increased Military Load Capacity at all water current speeds over those of the Standard Ribbon Bridge. It is usable on increased bank heights more than 2.2 meters and the improved folding and unfolding mechanism avoids cable breakage. Partially disassembled bays are C-130 transportable and externally transportable by CH-47 and CH-53 aircraft.
The IRB Float Ribbon Bridge System is issued to the Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC). The Army Modified Table of Organization and Equipment authorizes MRBC to consist of: 42 IRB bridge bays (30 interior bays and 12 ramp bays); 42 Bridge Adapter Pallets; 14 Bridge Erection Boats (BEB); 14 Improved Boat Cradles; and 56 Common Bridge Transporters (CBT). These assets collectively address Tactical Float Ribbon Bridge “wet-gap” bridging. All components are required to transport, launch, erect and retrieve up to 210 meters of floating bridge per MRBC. The IRB can be configured as either a continuous full-closure bridge or assembled and used for rafting operations.
BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER
IRB allows for crossings of faster water with higher banks in contingency operations abroad and disaster relief and recovery efforts at home. It enables Soldiers to cross rivers, lakes or other bodies of water in the absence of a means of crossing or in the event of an unreliable or damaged permanent bridge. The IRB provides commanders an important option to rapidly close distances and move critical capabilities and supplies by enabling formations to reliably cross gaps of still or moving water with currents of up to 10 feet per second.
IRB Military Load Capacity:
- 105 wheeled or 85 tracked (normal)
- 110 wheeled or 90 tracked (caution crossing)
3QFY16: Limited User Test
3QFY17: Full Rate Production Decision
FY19-FY23: Program in Sustainment