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US Bradley M2A2 Tracked Armored IFVs now on combat duty in Ukraine

According to pictures published on the Twitter account "Praise The Steph" on April 17th, 2023, the first Bradley M2A2 tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) donated by the United States are now deployed with the Ukrainian Army, painted with pixel camouflage.
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The Bradley M2A2 tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicles donated by the United States are now deployed with the Ukrainian army. (Picture source Twitter Praise The Steph )

On January 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new military aid package for Ukraine including 60 Bradley M2A2 tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) with 590 TOW anti-tank missiles and 295,000 rounds of 25mm ammunition.

According to figures published in 2022 before the start of the war, the Ukrainian Army had 1,212 IFVs including 213 BMP-1/BMP-1AK, 890 BMP-2, 4 BMP-3, 54+ BTR-3DA, 6+ BTR-3E1 and 45 BTR-4E. Ukraine has reportedly already received 40 Marder 1A3 IFVs from Germany and 60 M2A2 Bradley IFVs from the United States.

The M2A2 Bradley IFV offers several advantages over the Soviet-made BMP-1 and BMP-2 IFVs. Indeed, The M2A2 Bradley has better armor protection than both the BMP-1 and BMP-2. The Bradley uses a combination of steel and aluminum armor, which offers better protection against small arms fire and shell fragments. The M2A2 also features spaced laminate armor and improved turret armor, providing enhanced protection against shaped-charge warheads.

The Bradley M2A2 is equipped with a 25 mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun, which offers a higher rate of fire and better accuracy compared to the BMP-1's 73 mm gun and the BMP-2's 30 mm autocannon. The Bradley also has a TOW missile launcher for engaging armored targets at long ranges, providing better anti-tank capabilities. The TOW missile system is designed to engage and destroy armored vehicles, fortifications, and other targets.

The TOW missile system has a maximum effective range of approximately 3,750 meters (12,300 feet or 2.3 miles) depending on the specific missile variant being used. The missile is highly effective against armored targets due to its shaped-charge warhead, which can penetrate the armor of most tanks and other armored vehicles. The exact penetration capability depends on the specific missile variant, but some TOW missiles can penetrate over 900 mm (35 inches) of Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA) equivalent.

Electronics and fire control: The Bradley features more advanced electronics and fire control systems than the older BMP-1 and BMP-2. It has a laser rangefinder, thermal imaging, and a digital ballistic computer, which significantly improves the accuracy and targeting capabilities of the vehicle.

Mobility: While the BMP-1 and BMP-2 are both tracked vehicles with good off-road mobility, the Bradley has a more powerful engine and a better suspension system, providing a smoother ride and better overall mobility.

Crew and passenger capacity: The M2A2 Bradley has a larger internal volume and can carry up to 7 infantrymen, while the BMP-1 and BMP-2 can carry 8 and 7 soldiers, respectively. However, the Bradley offers a more comfortable and spacious interior for the troops.

NBC protection: The Bradley is equipped with an overpressure Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) protection system, which provides better protection for the crew and passengers in contaminated environments.

In conclusion, with the American M2A2 Bradley the Ukrainian army will have a new generation IFV offering better armor protection, firepower, electronics, and mobility compared to the Soviet-made BMP-1 and BMP-2. The Bradley also provides a more comfortable and spacious environment for its crew and passengers, as well as improved NBC protection.

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