Pandemic delays 2020 Joint Assault Bridge testing

By Ashley Tressel / October 28, 2020 at 2:16 PM

Testing for the Army's Joint Assault Bridge program was moved from September to November of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the service said this week.

In a statement provided to Inside Defense, Elizabeth Miller, product manager for bridging within the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support said, "Test events are progressing well" and all test activities will end Nov. 25.

A previous slip affecting the program's full-rate production decision was cited in a congressional response to an August reprogramming request the Defense Department posted this month, in which Congress approved the shift of $33.1 million from the program.

Funds are "available due to the [fiscal year] 2019 reliability failure during Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E)," the document states. "The root causes of the IOT&E reliability failure were hydraulic systems failures and fuel system leaks, which caused the Army to delay the Joint Assault Bridge's (JAB) Full Rate Production (FRP) decision for one year. This is the JAB program's first delay requiring funding re-phasing. They will be re-phased in the out-years once the issue has been resolved. The Army will retest the JAB platform in September 2020 with FRP expected in April 2021. This is base budget funding."

The product manager's statement did not address whether the 2020 delay would further push the FRP date, but Miller said the service would have more information "closer to the completion of the test activities."