Accession Number:



Tank Bridge Crossing Capability Analysis

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Center (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center Warren United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


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The Military Load Class MLC is a number assigned to both military vehicles and military bridges. For military bridges, the MLC represents the load carrying capacity of the structure, while for military vehicles, the MLC represents the effect it has on a bridge that it is crossing over. The vehicles MLC is determined through comparison of the bending moments and shear forces induced by the vehicle at reference spans between 1 and 100 m, inclusive, and bending moments and shear forces for hypothetical vehicles, as published in, at the same reference spans. The final MLC reported from this process is the maximum value resulting from this comparison over all reference spans. The MLC provides a quick way for the User to determine if a vehicle can cross a bridge or not. However, reporting of the MLC as the maximum value over all reference spans may also unnecessarily restrict a vehicle from crossing a bridge which, based on statics, could otherwise cross the bridge safely. A study was previously performed, using several Abrams tank and Heavy Equipment Transporter HET configurations, to investigate the differences in crossing capability determined using the vehicles MLC versus using statics, specifically a comparison of bending moments and shear forces calculated at the bridges maximum span. The results of this study are documented in. A reassessment was recently performed for the Abrams tank crossing the Dry Support Bridge DSB using an estimated tracked caution crossing rating. The analysis was also extended to investigate the crossing capability of NATO partner main battle tanks, specifically the German Leopard 2 and United Kingdom Challenger 2. Presented in this report is the studys results, as well as the analytical procedure used for the study and procedure to estimate the tracked caution crossing rating of the Dry Support Bridge. Also presented in this report is information on the vehicles and bridges used for the study and the study results.

Subject Categories:

  • Combat Vehicles
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: