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M2 Bradley

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American IFV/CFV. Named for General Omar Bradley.

Described once in the movie "Pentagon Wars" (Satirical look at the development and testing of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle) as follows:

"It's a troop carrier that doesn't carry many troops. It's a recon vehicle that's too conspicuous to do its job. It's a quasi-tank that has about as much armour as a snowplough, but carries enough ammunition to blow up half of Washington DC"

Development: When the Soviets came out with the BMP, the Western World (And not least the US Army) was aghast. Here was a vehicle a class of which the US Army had no counterpart. This could not stand! So they immediately set about building one.

The old M113 was a great battle taxi, but was too slow to keep up with the M1 Abrams tanks entering service, and a new PC was being designed. They decided to take a few ideas from the Soviet vehicle, and implement them. This lead to a couple of problems, however. Not least, putting all those goodies into the vehicle didn't leave much room for troops, which was supposed to be its primary purpose. To save costs, it was decided that the BFV could also be used in the recon role as the new cavalry fighting vehicle. There was even consideration given to putting a motorcycle in the back for recon purposes, but that idea didn't get past the trials stage.

Description: You've seen photos of it. It's kindof like a Warrior with a missile launcher on the side, and no license plates.

Weapons: The 25mm chain gun is fully stabilised, and fed from two stowage bins, Sabot or High Explosive Incendiary, with a selectable rate of fire. There is a 7.62mm coaxial MG, and there is a twin TOW launcher on the left side. The missiles may not be fired on the move. Bradleys were originally designed with gun ports in ball mounts, two on each side, and two in the rear ramp. On the M3 Cavalry vehicle, these balls were still present, but the ports were blanked off, except for the ones on the ramp. Inside, more space was reserved for ammunition, and less for passengers.

By the mid 1990s, the standard M2/M3 was of the M2A2ODS (Operation Desert Storm) variant, which finally fixed the strange seating arrangement by putting in two bench seats along the sides.

The latest version is the A3, which has a commander's independent thermal viewer. Whilst very useful, this has made a tall vehicle even taller. One of Bradleys flaws is that it is a little top-heavy, and care must be taken when traversing slopes.

It is not uncommon to see ERA blocks on Bradleys.