|M2 Bradley IFV|
|Class||Infantry Fighting Vehicle|
|Variant(s)||M2A1 Bradley IFV, M2A2 Bradley IFV|
|Armor||Front 2 / Side 2 / Rear 1 / Top 1|
|Road Speed||110 km/h|
|Fuel Capacity||750 L|
The M2 Bradley IFV is an American armored personnel carrier, it is used by the NATO forces. It has an ATGM that is powerful against tanks, and has a Bushmaster 25mm cannon to shred infantry and helicopters. It has a cousin that is primarily used for scouting, called the M3 Bradley.
- APC for US infantry only, the M2 Bradley IFV is to be used as a support vehicle after unloading.
- It's autocannon will bring additional anti-air firepower to the infantry group it is accompanying while its accurate ATGM launcher proves a long range threat to most enemy armour.
- While its firepower might be important, the M2 Bradley IFV's all-round armour of 1 doesn't make it a front line vehicle. It is best used near other units, facing an open field where it can launch an ATGM volley then retreat behind tougher units.
- Even though the M2 Bradley can be brought on its own, using it as an APC is still its main role, fortifying the positions where is sets up with the troops it carries.
The M2 was named after WWII General Omar Bradley. The M2 carries a crew of three and a six-man infantry squad. Since entering service with the U.S. Army in 1981, a total of 4,641 M2s have been produced.
Even after the troubled development history of the Bradley additional problems occurred after production started as described in a book by Air Force Col. James Burton, which was adapted for the 1998 film The Pentagon Wars starring Kelsey Grammer and Cary Elwes. Col. Burton advocated the use of comprehensive live fire tests to be used against fully loaded military vehicles to check for survivability. The Army & Navy agreed and established the Joint Live fire testing program in 1984. When testing the Bradley, however, disagreements occurred between Burton and the Aberdeen Proving Ground's Ballistic Research Laboratory which preferred smaller, more controlled, "building block" tests which could be used to improve the databases used to model vehicle survivability as opposed to full up tests with random shots which reduce the possibility of bias but produced little useful statistical data.
In addition Burton insisted upon a series of "overmatch" tests in which weapon systems would be fired at the Bradley that were known to be able to easily penetrate its armor. Burton saw attempts to avoid such tests as dishonest while the BRL saw them as wasteful as they already knew the vehicle would fail. The disagreements became so contentious that Congressional inquiry resulted. As a result of the tests additional improvements to vehicle survivability were added.
However, production eventually went on, and the Bradley saw its first combat engagements during the first Gulf War. During the Battle of 73 Eastings, the Bradley IFV scored more kills against Iraqi armor than the M1 Abrams. A Bradley crewmember was the only American fatality in the battle, where an Iraqi vehicle - believed to be a BMP-1 - fired a shot that killed a Bradley gunner. Twenty Bradleys were destroyed, the vast majority due to friendly fire.
The M2 Bradley still sees service in the U.S Army as well as the Saudi Arabian Army, and has seen action in other conflicts including the Second Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan. The U.S Army is currently developing a replacement, the Ground Combat Vehicle, which they hope to implement by 2018.The Ground Combat Vehicle program has halted due to rising costs at the moment the Bradley A4 upgrade program will upgrade autocannon from 25 to 50mm and the engines will be upgraded from 750 hp to 1000 hp.
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