The End of the Masshy Wagon


The march of the ISO containerised system continues.

Instead of the old box body ‘masshy wagon’ Royal Engineers, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines engineers can now make use of the containerised ‘Deployable Machine Shop’

Marshals Land Systems completed delivery of the new shelters in April this year and they have been a great success.

Using a 20ft ISO DROPS compatible container the new units can be transported by C130J, C130K, C17, A400, Chinook, road and rail. Each is equipped with a number of field testers and tools as well as larger machine tools such as a lathe, milling machine or pillar drill depending on the variant, chop saw, buffer/grinder, plus tool draws, vices, workbenches and a degreaser. Once positioned it can be operational in 30 minutes with power provided by the Field Equipment Power Supply (FEPS) unit, a diesel-powered three-phase generator, that is trailed off the tail bar at the back of the DROPS vehicle. When working in the vicinity of sensitive electronics and things that go bang it is vital that EMC shielding and compliance is built-in, not an afterthought, the system is fully compliant with relevant defence standards for EMC

The DMS allows more equipment to be inspected, maintained and repaired in forwarding locations, this prevents costly and time-consuming backloading to facilities further back up the chain.

The Deployable Machine Shop (DMS) compliments the larger and more complex Deployable Equipment Workshop (DEW) that comprises 12 containers and interconnecting tents with the trades either allocated as single-use or shared access as follows;

  • ME Fabricator and Blacksmith – two containers
  • ME Carpenter and Joiner – two containers
  • ME Fitter Equipment and Welder – one shared container
  • ME Fitter Utility and & Petroleum Fitter ACR (Air Conditioning & Refrigeration) – one shared container
  • ME Electrician and ME Fitter H&P (Heating & Plumbing) – one shared container
  • Planning Staff & Draughtsman – one shared container
  • ME Building and Structural Draughtsman – one shared container
  • Main Work Area Storage Container – doubles as a Stores Container when Main Work Area Shelter is deployed
  • Forward Deployment and Utility Container (FDUC) – provides a forward deployable capability independent of the main hybrid. The system acts as a general Utility Container when not on deployment
  • RACU Container – housing the environmental conditioning equipment for the Main Work Area shelter

The self-build Main Work Area (MWA) provides a large work area (242 square metres W 11.5m x L 21m) allowing full vehicular access and handling of large workpieces. The shelter provides an effective entryway at the centre to ensure that a variety of workpieces, machinery and vehicles can not only gain entry from either end of the structure but that unnecessary movement of other maintenance tasks to allow entry/egress is eliminated. The system can be integrated with up to four 20 ft containers (2 on each side) using breezeway attachments which provide weatherproof connections between the trade containers.

In future, other trades and services could easily be integrated into this system. DEW is a truly versatile system providing the UK MoD with the agility to deploy tradesmen quickly to the most inhospitable places, at the same time allowing them to perform their tasks to a high standard.

With a suitable area to site the various containers, paired containers and tents, the DEW can be operational within 12hours, although planning assumptions are longer to allow site preparation.

As good as they are we only have 4

Not often reported, especially on blogs, but both the DEW and DMS are a great capability that provides invaluable support to operations.

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