The M2 Bradley’s history dates back to 1972, at which time the US Army was asking for design proposals to meet their requirements for a mechanized infantry fighting vehicle. A number of designs were submitted and specifications changed until finally a two Fighting Vehicle Systems the M Bradley (IFV) and the M3 (or) Calvary Fighting Vehicle. The M2 Bradley was an improved armored replacement for its predecessor, the M113.
History of the M2 Bradley
The M2 Bradley is an infantry transport vehicle, which provides armored protection. It is also able to provide cover fire to suppress enemy troops and other armored vehicles. The M2 is an amphibious vehicle and is light enough to be transported by air. Combat and survival capabilities – for the vehicle and its troops – have been the focus for improvement based on the initial design.
M2A1 – Developed in 1986, this variant was fitted with new generation TOW-2 anti-tank guided missiles. Additional improvements for this design included explosive reactive armor panels and an improved NBC protection system.
M2A2 – This variant was developed in 1988. The engine had a potential of up to 600 horse power. The suspension on this variation was strengthened and the vehicle was manufactured with improved armor.
M2A3 – Developed in 1995, this variant is regarded as Bradley’s standard IFV. Coupled with a front arc and new generation explosive reactor armour, this variant is capable of protection against 25mm armor-piercing rounds. Along with other improvements, the M2A3 Bradley has an updated navigation system.
Specifications for the Bradley
- Service History: 1981 to present day
- Crew Capacity: 3
- Additional Passengers: 6
- Operational Range: 300 miles
- 41 mph on road
- 25 mph off-road
- 4.5 mph in the water
- 25mm M242 Chain Gun
- 900 Rounds
- TOW Anti-tank Missile
- 7 TOW Missiles
- 7.62mm M240C machine gun
- 2,200 rounds
Over 4,600 M2 Bradleys, named after WWII General Omar Bradley, were produced since their inception with the US Army in 1981. They have been used in the Gulf War and the Iraq War. The US Army discontinued use of the M2 in 2006 with the intent of replacing it (and the M113) with newer Ground Combat Vehicles. Outside the United States, the only other country to use the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle is Saudi Arabia.