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Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS)
The Bradley fighting vehicle is a fully armored, fully tracked vehicle designed to carry mechanized infantry into close contact with the enemy, to provide fire cover to dismounted troops, and to suppress enemy tanks and fighting vehicles.
Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS)
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle System (BFVS) is a lightly armored, fully tracked fighting vehicle. It is a sophisticated weapons platform that provides cross-country mobility, mounted firepower and protection from artillery and small-arms fire. It is used in mechanized infantry and armored cavalry combat.
There are two main models (click link for more photos):
M2 Bradley and M3 Bradley Vehicles
The M2 Bradley provides infantry squads with a light armored fighting vehicle, a unique combination of firepower, mobility, and occupant protection from small arms, RPGs and other threats. With the M2 version, Infantry can fight from inside the vehicle by using modified M-16 rifles mounted in firing ports or may dismount to fight on foot. The M2 Bradley carries a crew of three (commander, gunner and driver), plus 6-7 additional soldiers. Rucksacks are generally carried on the outside of the vehicle.
The M3 Bradley version provides scout and armored cavalry units with a vehicle for reconnaissance, screening, and security missions. The M3 provides protected transport of an infantry squad on the battlefield and over-watching fires to support the dismounted infantry. The M3 is employed to suppress and defeat enemy tanks, reconnaissance vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, bunkers, dismounted infantry and attack helicopters; and performs cavalry scout and other essential duties. The M3 Bradley carries a crew of three (commander, gunner and driver), plus two additional soldiers.
The Bradley fighting vehicles are designed to operate in combat with the same speed of motion as the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank and with a greater degree of protection than the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
Armament is available in multiple options including a 25mm cannon, effective against most armored targets, and with the TOW missile, effective against lightly armored targets out to its maximum range of 3,750 meters (2.3 miles).
A major weakness noted in the Bradley vehicles is a 175 gallon fuel tank in the belly, lightly protected by aluminum armor. In a land mine attack, the fuel tank can be a source of severe burns. Programs to address this weakness include heavier steel armor or relocating the tank to an external location.
The Army first received the Bradley Fighting Vehicle in 1981, manufactured by United Defense. By the end of contracts in FY94, the Army had purchased 6,724 Bradleys.
Bradley Upgrades and Variants
The original BFVS was superseded by the A1 and A2 variants. During Operation Desert Storm, the M2A2 Bradley was evaluated for lessons learned. This led to the ODS (Operation Desert Storm) upgrade to the M2A2 along with the ODS-E (Operation Desert Storm-Engineer) vehicles. BFVS-A2 ODS enhancements include:
A1 and A2 versions of both the M2 and M3 Bradley models were deployed to Southwest Asia.
M2A3 and M3A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS) are improved versions of the M2A2 and M3A2 BFVS, an upgrade in the form of a remanufactured A2 or A2 ODS Bradley. Enhancements on the BFVS-A3 improve lethality, mobility, survivability, and sustainability. Additionally, these enhancements provide increased situational awareness and digital command and control capabilities. After nearly a decade of research and development, the A3 completed testing in the 2002-2003 time frame. BFVS-A3 enhancements include:
Other Bradley variants include fire support vehicle (A3 BFIST or M7 BFIST based on A2-ODS), the battle command vehicle, and the engineer squad vehicle (EBFV, or M2A2-ODS-E). A variant called the M6 Linebacker carried Stinger missiles, but most Linebackers were converted into M2A2-ODS vehicles under a February 2005 contract. The Armored Medical Evacuation Vehicle (AMEV) is a BFVS variant intended to replace the M113A2/A3 Armored Ambulance as the medical evacuation vehicle platform in the Army's heavy divisions.
Bradley Fighting Vehicles Characteristics
Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:
Bradley Fighting Vehicles Photo Gallery