The M2A1 Bradley is a medium-grade infantry fighting vehicle, and its viability is debatable. It carries the accurate, albeit slow-firing, M242 Bushmaster autocannon and mid-level I-TOW ATGM. The I-TOW isn't much of a threat to high-end tanks, unlike the TOW 2 carried by the M2A2 Bradley IFV. When compared to the M2A2, which is armed with a much more powerful ATGM that is capable of deterring heavy tanks and better armor, the M2A1 is significantly less of a threat. However, its lower price and higher availability allow more M2A1s to be deployed, meaning that a greater amount of firepower can be deployed for the same price.
Introduced in 1986, the A1 variant included an improved TOW II missile system, a Gas Particulate Filter Units (GPFU) NBC system, and a fire-suppression system. By 1992, the M2A1s had begun being remanufactured to upgraded standards.