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Ukraine counters Russian assaults with Leopard 2A6 tank and Bradley M2A2 IFV

According to Militarnyi on November 19, 2023, the Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed at least one Bradley M2A2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and one Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tank (MBT) in response to Russian attacks in the Avdiivka direction. The Bradley was engaged near the Avdiivka coke-chemical plant, and the Leopard 2A6 operated near the village of Stepove.
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Ukrainian Armed Forces recently countered Russian assaults in the Avdiivka direction with at least one Leopard 2A6 tank and one Bradley M2A2 IFV. (Picture source: Militarnyi, Twitter/OSINTtechnical and Ukrainian MoD)

Recent videos depict a M2A2 Bradley from the 47th brigade, equipped with the BRAT (Bradley Reactive Armour Tiles) dynamic protection kit, successfully repelling a Russian attack. The presence of at least one Leopard 2A6 unit near Avdiivka, confirmed by OSINTtechnical on November 17, 2023, is reported to be actively engaged in defensive operations over Avdiivka. Their role is considered strategic in preventing Russian assault units from reaching the area.

In the Avdiivka region, near the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, there has been an escalation in engagements as Russian military forces attempt to storm the plant and infiltrate the industrial zone to eliminate Ukrainian fortifications. The offensive, commencing on October 9, 2023, involved various military assets, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, infantry units, artillery, and air support. Despite diverse approaches, the offensive has faced challenges, resulting in limited gains and significant losses for Russian forces.

The Russian assault on Avdiivka has been marked by what some observers describe as chaotic and poorly coordinated tactics, with documented instances of substantial Russian casualties, both in terms of personnel and armored vehicles. As winter approaches, the outcome of the offensive remains uncertain as clashes persist in the region, with the Russian military command actively reinforcing assault units, indicating a commitment to an aggressive and relentless offensive strategy, likely aimed at exhausting Ukrainian defenders.

The Leopard 2A6, a German main battle tank, was developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann based on the Leopard 2A5. It features a 120mm smoothbore gun with improved kinetic energy ammunition (DM53), enabling firing ranges of up to 5,000 m. The tank carries 42 rounds of ammunition, including a coaxially mounted 7.62mm MG3 machine gun, with provisions for a similar weapon on the loader's hatch. Equipped with advanced fire-control systems, such as the EMES-15 sight with a laser rangefinder and thermal imaging unit, the Leopard 2A6 demonstrates precise targeting capabilities.

The tank's armor includes spaced multilayer protection, and the turret front has an arrowhead shape for increased defense against kinetic and chemical energy attacks. Powered by a 1,500hp diesel engine, the 2A6 can reach a top road speed of 70 km/h and a cruising range of 550 km. The tank also features infrared night vision, NBC protection, and a fire and explosion detection and suppression system.

The M2A2 Bradley Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) was introduced to the U.S. Army in 1988 as an upgraded version of the Bradley M2A1. Enhancements include improved vehicle survivability through ammunition restoration, internal armor protection, spall liners, provisions for smoke screening, additional armor for the hull and turret, and an improved drive train and suspension. Post the First Gulf War in 1991, the M2A2 underwent further upgrades, labeled as M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm), incorporating a laser rangefinder, global positioning system, compass, combat identification system, and thermal viewer.

The M2A2's armament consists of a 25mm Bushmaster Chain Gun, a coaxial 7.62mm M240C machine gun, and two anti-tank missile launchers capable of firing TOW 2 missiles or Javelins. The M2A2 is powered by a 600 hp engine, allowing for a top speed of 56 km/h and an operational range of 400 km. The vehicle is equipped with various accessories, including NBC protection, thermal night vision, and automatic fire extinguishers, with a crew capacity of three plus six soldiers.

The Bradley M2A2 can be equipped with the BRAT (Bradley Reactive Armour Tiles), a dynamic protection kit developed jointly by General Dynamics and the Israeli Rafael. This standard equipment consists of 96 elements (tiles) attached to the front, sides, and turret of the vehicle. The BRAT kit, applied before combat, is modular, allowing for the field replacement of damaged tiles. While specific performance details are classified, the BRAT is designed to enhance protection against a variety of threats, including anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades and modern missiles.


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