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M3 Bradley

Armored reconnaissance vehicle

M3 Bradley

The M3 Bradley armored reconnaissance vehicle externally is similar to the M2



Entered service 1981
Crew 3 men
Personnel 2 scouts
Dimensions and weight
Weight 29.9 t
Length 6.45 m
Width 3.2 m
Height 2.56 m
Armament
Main gun 25-mm chain gun
ATGW twin-tube TOW launcher
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm
Ammunition load
Main gun 1 500 rounds
ATGW 7 missiles
Machine guns 4 540 rounds
Mobility
Engine Cummins VTA-903T diesel
Engine power 600 hp
Maximum road speed 66 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 7.2 km/h
Range 480 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.5 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The M3 armored reconnaissance vehicle is based on the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. It replaced the M60 main battle tanks and M113 armored personnel carriers with the US Army cavalry and reconnaissance battalions. Vehicle is named in honor of WWII general Omar Bradley. Over 2 000 M3 vehicles were built for the US Army.

   Vehicle's design is similar to the M2 Bradley IFV except the combat compartment's arrangement and equipment. Externally it is virtually similar to the M2. Two scouts are located in the compartment, that was used for infantrymen in the M2. Scouts operate ground reconnaissance radar and other equipment. A motorcycle is also carried  in this compartment to fulfill special tasks.

   The M3 Bradley cavalry fighting vehicle has a welded aluminum armor hull. Front arc has a spaced laminated aluminum and steel armor. Initial production variant provided protection against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Front arc of the latest models provide protection against 30-mm armor-piercing rounds. Also vehicle is fitted with explosive reactive armor and withstands hits from RPG rounds. Bottom was reinforced with steel plates for improved protection against mines. The M3 is also fitted with NBC protection system.

   All vehicle's armament is located in the turret and consists from M242 25-mm cannon and and coaxial M240 7.62-mm machine gun. Two TOW anti-tank guided missile launcher are located from the left side of the turret. Decreased number of crew in the combat compartment allowed to carry more ammunition. Ammunition load virtually doubled, comparing with the M2 Bradley. There are no firing ports in the M3.

   Vehicle was powered by the Cummins VTA-903T diesel engine, developing 500 hp. Engine is located at the hull front. It comes out as one assembly, which makes it easier to maintain and service. The M3 Bradley armored reconnaissance vehicle was improved alongside with the M2 infantry fighting vehicle.

 

Variants

 

   M3A1, featured improved TOW-2 anti-tank guided missiles and new NBC filtering equipment. A new type of armor-piercing rounds was introduced for the 25-mm cannon. Combat compartment received four vision blocks;

   M3A2, received add-on explosive reactive armor panels from the front and sides of the of hull and turret. Interior was lined with Kevlar lining. Engine was uprated to 600 hp;

   M3A3, has an improved electronic equipment. It is completed with new fire control system, with a laser rangefinder, NAVSTAR global positioning system. Driver received a thermo vision device. The M3A3 received explosive reactive armor of new generation;

   M3A4, future improvement programme, which is under development. Probably vehicle will be armed with a 50-mm cannon, engine will be uprated to 750 - 1 000 hp. Protection will be significantly increased.

 

Video of the M2 / M3 Bradley armored vehicle

 

 
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