After years of relying on the Soviet BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, the Ukrainian Army debuts new IFVs.
On January 6, the United States announced the delivery to Ukraine of 50 M-2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, a batch which was expanded thirteen days later with 59 more M-2A2s. In total, we are talking about 109 modern infantry fighting vehicles that would serve to reinforce the Ukrainian counteroffensive against the Russian invaders.
The Bradley is a family of track-based armored vehicles that went into mass production in 1981, with two variants: the M-2 infantry fighting vehicle and the M-3 cavalry fighting vehicle. Both are equipped with an M242 Bushmaster 25mm cannon, an M-240C coaxial machine gun and two TOW anti-tank guided missile launchers. The exterior differences between both variants were minimal. The main difference is that the M-3 had the four embrasures that the M-2 had in its troop compartment plugged. The M-2 is prepared to carry 6 equipped soldiers in that compartment, while the M-3 only carries two, leaving the rest of the space for TOW missile reloads.
Subsequently, other variants have been made , such as the M-4 C2V and Bradley BCV command vehicles, the M-6 Linebacker (equipped with four Stinger surface-to-air missile launchers instead of TOWs), The M-7 B-FiST artillery support vehicle, the Bradley ESV engineer vehicle and the AMPV armored personnel carrier, intended to replace the aging M-113s.
The Ukrainian Army has received the M-2A2 ODS-SA version, an improved version of the M-2A2 ODS. The latter was created in 1993 based on the lessons learned in the Gulf War. Over previous versions of the M-2, the M-2A2 ODS included improvements such as a laser range finder, GPS navigation, a thermal duct sight, reactive armor, and electronic transmission.
The M-2A2 ODS-SA, released in 2003, incorporates many improvements over the M-2A2 ODS, starting with digitized weapons, driving and control systems, titanium-enhanced armor on the upper superior, an inertial navigation system, a new IBAS viewer, a BTF antenna and an improved DVE camera for the driver. The Bradleys received by Ukraine are among the most advanced infantry fighting vehicles in NATO service.
In recent days images of the Ukrainian Army's Bradley ODS-SA have started to surface. The vehicles arrived in Ukraine in the desert scheme used by the US Army. Below these lines, a photo published on April 19 by the Ukrainian Telegram channel DeepState in which we see a desert-pattern M-2A2 ODS-SA Bradley in the Ukraine, alongside two M-55S tanks donated by Slovenia.
American-made infantry fighting vehicles M2 Bradley are already in use in Ukraine
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) April 16, 2023
The desert scheme is not very suitable for Ukraine, so upon arrival these infantry fighting vehicles are being painted with a pixelated forest scheme, the one already used by other armored vehicles of the Ukrainian Army, as we see in this photo released by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on April 17. In the image, both vehicles are without the Bushmaster gun. The paint job on the left vehicle is finished, while the Bradley on the right still has just the olive green base.
Last night, Mysiagin posted four photos of us using the M-2A2 ODS -SA Bradley Ukrainians already with the wooded scheme and with camouflage nets, advancing in a wooded area. The old tradition of carrying soldiers on Soviet VCIs seems to hold true on Bradleys as well.
Here we see a Ukrainian Bradley with an M-55S from Slovenia. As published by Forbes on December 17, As of 2022, the M-55S are part of the 47th Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Army, so it is possible that a part of the Bradleys was also part of that unit.
Another Ukrainian Bradley, with the wooded scheme and camouflage netting. In front we see a soldier. Judging by the Multicam camouflage he is wearing, he could be a member of the Ukrainian Special Forces.
A row of three Ukrainian Bradleys, all three painted in the wooded pixelated camouflage and fitted with camouflage netting to mask the turret and barge.
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