Bradley Fighting Vehicle (M2 and M3)
60,00 lbs with add-on armor tiles
21 feet, 6 inches
9 feet, 9 inches
10 feet, 6 inches
M242 25mm Cannon
TOW anti-tank missile
M240C 7.62 Coaxial machine-gun
M2: 9 man Infantry Squad (three are crew)
M3: 5 man Scout Section (three are crew)
In 1981, the Army accepted the first Bradley into service and continues to procure this vehicle to supplement the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier. The Bradley disembarks troops by lowering a door in the rear and protects them with a wide variety of armaments. During testing, many questions were raised about the survivability of the Bradley after taking a hit from an anti-tank missile, and reactive armor is being considered for extra protection. The Bradley was designed to keep up, speed-wise, with the new M1-A1 whereas the slower M113 was thought to be unable to meet this task.
The M2 Bradley is called the Infantry Fighting Vehicle, carrying a nine man squad (three are crew) and the M3 is the Cavalry Fighting Vehicle, carring a five man scout section (three are crew). 2,200 Bradleys were in theater during the ground campaign.
Iraq has a number of Soviet-made BRDM-2 and other scout vehicles that it uses extensively in desert warfare. The BRDM-2 is a wheeled vehicle equipped for chemical weapons warfare and a favorite of many Third World countries. It contains a similar size gun as the Bradley and can be equipped with anti-tank missiles.
The Iraqis also have nearly 1,00 Soviet-made, tracked BMPs developed in the Soviet Union in the 1950's. It carries a troop load of eight and is armed with a 73 mm gun and a launcher for an anti-tank missile. The BMP is in extensive use throughout the Third World. In addition, the Iraqis also possess a large number of Soviet BTR-50s and BTR-60s, Soviet-made armored personnel carriers designed in the 1960's and armed with a 7.62mm gun. The BTR-60 is a wheeled personnel carrier that can carry upto 16 troops. In the Soviet military, which the Iraqi military tends to mimic, the BMPs are linked with the tank divisions and the BTR-50s and 60's would be linked to motorized infantry.
Action in Desert Storm--
Bradley's, M113's, and Marine LAV's supplied the armored personnel carrier needs of U.S. forces in the region. Linking up with tank units, Bradleys kept up with the advancing columns and there were only a few Bradleys taken out by Iraqi units, although some Bradleys were destroyed by allied aircraft in friendly fire incidents. While the Bradley was not able to defeat tank rounds from the T-72, it did provide protection to troops from smaller arm's fire. There were no reports of the Bradley's armor "burning" from flash fire as some had predicted during the survivability debates of the mid-80's, and a "mid-crisis crisis" in which some claimed the transmission would fail in the Bradley passed by with less than a dozen vehicles found with that problem. More Bradley were lost to friendly fire than to enemy fire.
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