Tough, fast and heavily armed, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle is ideal for performing scout missions in combat zones.
A Transport Vehicle and More
Although it has served a number of different roles over the years, the latest version of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle is most often used for conducting scout missions. The vehicle is named after General Omar Bradley who served as a U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during the Second World War.
The Bradley is classified as an "Infantry Fighting Vehicle" and was originally designed to transport soldiers in hostile environments. However, with its armor plating and weapons, the Bradely Fighting Vehicle has also been used as an Armored Personnel Carrier and to attack tanks. Current versions of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle can hold as many as nine soldiers – including a commander, driver and gunner.
Chain Gun and Other Weapons
The main weapon on Bradley Fighting Vehicles is the M242 25 millimeter chain gun, which fires 200 rounds per minute. The M242 chain gun can also fire a variety of bullets ranging from armor piercing rounds to high explosive incendiary tracer rounds. The vehicles are also armed with a M240C machine gun, a TOW anti-tank missile system, and M231 Firing Port Weapons.
With its multiple armaments, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle destroyed more Iraqi armored vehicles than the M1 Abrams Tank during the 1991 Gulf War. The Bradley has also proved tough and durable due to its armor. In recent years, the vehicles have been equipped with steel skirts to provide additional protection. Current versions of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle weigh as much as 33 tons.
Speed across Rugged Terrain
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle was developed to provide the U.S. military with a troop transport. As such, the vehicle was designed to be fast. One design requirement was to ensure that the Bradley Fighting Vehicle was as quick as the M1 Abrams Tank. The vehicles have proven to be extremely good at traveling over rugged, open terrain.
The Bradley Fighting Vehicles entered service with the U.S. Army in 1981. To date, about 6,700 of the vehicles have been produced. Each Bradley Fighting Vehicle costs $3 million to manufacture. The U.S. Army has announced its intention to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle with the Brigade Combat Team Ground Combat Vehicle Program. A previous plan to replace the Bradleys with the U.S. Army Future Combat System manned ground vehicles was cancelled in 2009 over cost issues.