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  • M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)

    The M2 Bradley family line remains an important cog in the American War Machine.

     Updated: 6/16/2017; Authored By Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) fulfilled a U.S. Army requirement that began in the 1960s calling for an amphibious mechanized direct-combat support vehicle to operate alongside the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). This need emerged directly from the arrival of the Soviet BMP series of amphibious vehicles appearing in 1966 which dutifully combined mobility, firepower and protection for a complete infantry squad. The result of the American initiative became the M2 "Bradley" remains a critical component of American land forces and is fully-air transportable by the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy (previously the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter). The M2 Bradley is named after World War 2-era General Omar Bradley.

    Bradley Walk-Around

    The standard M2 Bradley features a crew of three - driver, commander and gunner - and can seat seven (originally six) combat-ready infantry under protection when serving in a frontline capacity. A wheel-and-track system allows for strong cross-country qualities and power to the drive is through the engine seated at the front-right of the hull (the driver and front-left). The Bradley is armed with the ATK Gun Systems Company M245 series 25mm cannon in a two-man powered turret (offset to the right from centerline) which also sports a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun as an anti-infantry defense measure. The 25mm gun can engage all manner of light-armored targets including enemy personnel carriers and infantry support vehicles as well as fortified positions (Gulf War experience proved the cannon capable of defeating MBT armor). Up to 900 projectiles of 25mm ammunition are carried as well as 2,200 x 7.62mm ammunition. The vehicle further supports the launching of the Hughes TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) weapon which allows the Bradley to engage enemy heavier armor at range. Seven TOW missiles are carried aboard. Smoke grenade dischargers allow the crew to screen their own movements. Firing ports allow the occupants within to engage enemy infantry through their personal weapons as needed. NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection is standard. A powered door, lowered to create an integral ramp, is fitted to the rear of the hull for quick disembarking/embarking of passengers. A smaller rectangular door is used when safety is a greater priority. Bradley armor is made up of a aluminum and spaced laminate protection scheme which is reportedly sufficient against 30mm armor-piercing ammunition and rocket propelled grenades (when fielded with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) blocks). Side skirt armor protects the critical track components.

    Images Gallery


    M2 Bradley Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1981
    Type: Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): United Defense LP Ground Systems - USA
    Production: 4,641

    Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

    Operating Crew: 3 + 6
    Length: 21.33 feet (6.50 meters)
    Width: 10.76 feet (3.28 meters)
    Height: 11.09 feet (3.38 meters)

    Operating Weight: 40 tons (36,659 kg; 80,819 lb)

    Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: Yes
    Nightvision Equipment: Yes - Passive

    Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Cummins VTA-903T turbocharged water-cooled 4-stroke diesel generating 600 horsepower at 2,600rpm.

    Maximum Road Speed: 38 mph (61 km/h)
    Maximum Road Range: 249 miles (400 km)

    Armament and Ammunition

    1 x 25mm main gun
    1 x 7.62mm machine gun
    2 x TOW anti-tank missile launchers
    2 x 4 smoke grenade dischargers

    900 x 25mm ammunition
    4,000 x 7.62mm ammunition
    7 x TOW anti-tank missiles
    8 x smoke grenades

    Global Operators / Customers

    Saudi Arabia; United States

    Model Variants

    M2 Bradley - Base Series Designation

    M2 - Original Production Models of 1981; Dragon/TOW-1 missile support; seating for six infantry.

    M2A1 - Improved M2 of 1986; TOW-2 missile support; improved NBC protection suite; improved crew survivability; seating for seven infantry.

    M2A2 - Appearing in 1988; uprated 600 horsepower Cummins engine with revised transmission system; improved armor protection up to 30mm; increased operating weight.

    M2A2 ODS ("Operation Desert Storm") - Improved M2A2; improved navigation and targeting systems; thermal imaging services added; seven infantry seating; Javelin missile support added.

    M2A3 - Appearing in 2000; improved electronics, communications and survivability; all-digital support.

    M3 Bradley - Cavalry Fighting Vehicle (CFV); added two scout positions; loss of full passenger seating; increased communications equipment.

    M4 C2V - Command and Control Vehicle

    Bradley Stinger - Air Defense Variant

    M6 Linebacker - Air Defense Variant

    M7 Bradley - Fire Support Vehicle

    Bradley ESV - Engineer Squad Vehicle

    Bradley BCV - Battle Command Vehicle

    M270 MLRS - Multiple Launch Rocket System; built atop M2 Bradley chassis.