BAE Systems to upgrade Croatian M2A2 ODS Bradley IFVs

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on December 1 published that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Croatia of refurbishment/modernization and support for 76 M2A2 Operation Desert Storm (ODS) Bradley Fighting vehicles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $757 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.
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An M2A2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle assigned to 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard, observes the terrain for enemy elements during Decisive Action Rotation 18-07 at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., May 10, 2018 (Picture source: U.S. Army)

The Government of Croatia has requested to buy refurbishment/modernization and support for seventy six (76) M2A2 Operation Desert Storm (ODS) Bradley Fighting vehicles consisting of: eighty-four (84) M240 machine guns; one thousand one hundred three (1,103) TOW 2A Radio Frequency (RF) missiles; sixteen (16) TOW 2A Radio Frequency (RF) fly‑to‑buy lot acceptance missiles; one hundred (100) TOW 2B Radio Frequency (RF) missiles; eight (8) TOW 2B Radio Frequency (RF) fly-to-buy lot acceptance missiles; five hundred (500) TOW Bunker Buster (BB) Radio Frequency (RF) missiles; and eight (8) TOW BB fly-to-buy lot acceptance missiles. Also included are M257 Smoke Grenade Launchers; ammunition; radios; simulator; special armor; Hunter/Killer technology, which may include an exportable Commander's Independent Viewer (CIV); spare and repair parts; support equipment; upgrade/maintenance of engines and transmissions; refurbishment of TOW launchers; depot level support; communication support equipment; tool and test equipment; training; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $757 million.

The prime contractors will be BAE Systems, York, Pennsylvania; and Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona. Implementation of the proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor personnel to visit Croatia on a temporary basis in conjunction with program oversight and support requirements, as well as to provide training and maintenance support in country.

The M2A2 Bradley AIFV (Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle) was introduced in the U.S. Army in 1988. It is an improved version of the standard vehicle Bradley M2A1. The improvements include the following: enhanced vehicle survivability by restowing ammunition; internal armour protection of key components; spall liners and mounting provisions for improved vehicle smoke screening; additional armour protection including additional armour for the hull and turret; a ballistic shroud provided for the commander's back-up sight; and improved drive train and suspension. The U.S. Army also upgraded the earlier M2A1s to M2A2 standard.

After Operation Desert Storm (First Gulf War in 1991), the M2A2 was upgraded again with the addition of an eye-safe carbon dioxide laser rangefinder, global positioning system and compass, combat identification system, and thermal viewer for the driver. The 1,423 M2A2 Bradleys brought up to this standard were referred to as M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm). In August 2018, Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has received the fourth and final batch of eight M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) as a part of the U.S. military aid program to Lebanon. In December 2019, the U.S. Government announced a plan to donate almost 60 Bradley M2A2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles in ODS (Operation Desert Storm) configuration to Croatia, according to a statement issued by Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic, reports