Tank enthusiasts only: Picture gallery of the United States Army's M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle featuring voice output (TextToSpeech).
The M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle is an American fighting vehicle platform manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, formerly United Defense.
As with other infantry fighting vehicles, the Bradley is designed to transport infantry with armor protection while providing covering fire to suppress enemy troops and armored vehicles. The M2 holds a crew of three: a commander, a gunner and a driver; as well as six fully equipped soldiers. The M3 mainly conducts scout missions and carries two scouts in addition to the regular crew of three.
The Bradley was developed largely in response to the Soviet BMP family of infantry fighting vehicles, and to serve as both an Armored personnel carrier (APC), and a tank-killer. One specific design requirement was that it should be as fast as the then new M1 Abrams main battle tank so that they could maintain formations while moving, something which the older M113 Armored Personnel Carrier could not do, as it had been designed to complement the older M60 Patton.
The M2/M3's primary armament is a 25 mm cannon which fires up to 200 rounds per minute and is accurate up to 2500 m, depending on the ammunition used. It is also armed with twin missiles which are capable of destroying most tanks out to a maximum range of 3,750 metres (12,300 ft). However, the missiles can only be fired while the vehicle is stationary. The Bradley also carries a coaxial 7.62 mm medium machine gun, located to the right of the 25 mm chain gun.
During the Gulf War, M2 Bradleys destroyed more Iraqi armored vehicles than the M1 Abrams. Twenty Bradleys were lost—three by enemy fire and 17 due to friendly fire incidents; another 12 were damaged. The gunner of one Bradley was killed when his vehicle was hit by Iraqi fire, possibly from an Iraqi BMP-1, during the Battle of 73 Easting. To remedy some problems that were identified as contributing factors in the friendly fire incidents, infrared identification panels and other marking/identification measures were added to the Bradleys.
In the Iraq War, the Bradley has proved somewhat vulnerable to improvised explosive device (IED) and rocket propelled grenade (RPG) attacks, but casualties have been light—the doctrine being to allow the crew to escape at the expense of the vehicle. As of early 2006, total combat losses included 55 Bradleys.
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