The USA is considering the possibility of strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The final decision has not yet been made, the terms of the transfer have not been determined, as well as the volumes, but the process is underway, as Bloomberg reported with reference to a source in the White House.
In general, the Bradley is the main IFV of the US Army, which entered service back in 1981 after 18 years of truly groundbreaking development. This vehicle get modernized and upgraded according to the real experience of russia’s war in Ukraine.
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Throughout the time, Bradley IFVs have undergone numerous modernizations, the latest is in service in the United States: the M2A2 ODS, M2A3 and M2A4. All these vehicles have already received additional armor reinforcement, which provides protection from the 30-mm guns in the frontal projection. And the starting weight of the Bradley in these versions starts from 27 tons, and the IFV has lost the ability to cross water obstacles afloat.
The Bradley M2A2 ODS, which were upgraded after the Operation Desert Storm in 1991, received the first integration kit for an automated control system and a tactical navigation system.
The M2A3, which was demonstrated in 2000, got updated viewing systems. The global update was done to the fire control system, which received auto-tracking of targets, automatic errors calculation, in particular for preemption.
M2A4 was the result of work on reducing the weight, increasing mobility by strengthening the engine and ensuring efficient power supply through a large number of electronic systems. The first vehicles of this version entered the US Army only in April 2022.
The armament of the Bradley haven’t been change over the time: a 25-mm M242 automatic cannon and two TOW ATGMs. The IFV crew is 3 people and 7 soldiers in the landing section.
There’s a number of advantages and disadvantages of the Bradley comparing with other IFVs such as the CV90 or even with the new generation Lynx KF41, but in fact the Bradley has a number of defining advantages first of all for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Firstly, the US has the opportunity to transfer not single Bradley samples, but an adequate number. About 4,000 Bradleys in all versions (including the reconnaissance M3 Bradley) are in service with the US army, about 2,800 are in storage. No potential ally of Ukraine has such a number of IFVs in storage, when even 10% of the stocks are already a significant amount, and 25% completely cover the declared need of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for 700 IFVs.
Secondly, Bradley is already partially familiar with the AFU. The M270, which is actively used in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is based on the Bradley chassis, and the TOW ATGM is supplied as well.
Thus, in any case, Bradley remains the most likely candidate for strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but this requires the creation of an appropriate logistical base to ensure the operation of these vehicles, which requires significant resources and time.
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