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M6 Linebacker

Short-range air defense system

M6 Linebacker

The Bradley Linebacker can launch its surface-to-air missiles while on the move

Entered service 1997
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 29.9 t
Length 6.55 m
Width 3.61 m
Height 2.97 m
Missile length 1.5 m
Missile diameter 0.07 m
Missile weight 10 kg
Warhead weight 3 kg
Warhead type HE-FRAG
Range of fire 4.5 km
Guidance infra-red
Engine Cummins VTA-903T diesel
Engine power 600 hp
Maximum road speed 61 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 6.4 km/h
Range 400 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.5 m
Fording Amphibious


   The M6 Linebacker short-range air defense system was developed by Boeing to meet the US Army requirements. The new vehicle was intended to counter the threat posed by low-flying aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles to forward armored formations. Initial production Linebackers entered service with the US Army in 1997. A total of 99 Bradley Linebackers were ordered, however in 2006 these were phased-out of service.

   The M6 is an all-weather system, capable of operating in day/night and all weather conditions. It is based on the M2 Bradley IFV and is equipped with a quadruple launcher with FIM-92 Stinger short-range surface-to-air missiles instead of the TOW ATGW. It is worth mentioning that Linebacker uses components of the Avenger air defense system.

   The Stinger is a two-stage solid fuel self-homing missile with infra-red guidance. It is a fire-and-forget type weapon. It has a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 and is fitted with HE-FRAG warhead. Maximum range of fire is 4.5 km and maximum altitude is 3.8 km. Four missiles are carried in the launcher, while additional 8 reload missiles are stored inside the hull. The M6 can launch its missiles while stationary or on the move.

   Additionally the Linebacker retains the M242 Bushmaster turret-mounted 25-mm chain gun and coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. These weapons are mainly used against ground targets, however can be also used against low-flying air targets.

   The Linebacker has a modified fire control system. It has an integrated positioning and navigation capability. This combat vehicle has an optical tracker and thermal imaging system. Targeting data is provided by forward area air defense radar.

   The Linebacker has a crew of four, which conducts surface-to-air engagement under armor. In case of emergency crew can dismount and launch Stinger missiles remotely from the vehicle.

   The Bradley Linebacker has a welded aluminum armor hull with add-on steel armor. It protects the crew from 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Explosive reactive armor kit can be also added if required.

   The M6 air defense system is powered by Cummins VTA-903T turbocharged diesel engine, developing 600 hp. It is worth mentioning that the Linebackers were mainly based on improved M2A2 chassis. The this air defense vehicle is fully amphibious with the use of swim barrier. On water it is propelled by spinning its tracks. Swimming capabilities can be improved by the erection of inflatable buoyancy tanks. The Linebacker maintains pace with the armored force.

   This air defense vehicle can be airlifted by the C-141 Starlifter, C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy military cargo aircraft.

   In 2006 a total of 88 Bradley Linebackers had their Stinger missiles removed and were converted to standard M2A2 infantry fighting vehicles due to the lack of airborne threat.


Video of the M6 Linebacker air defense system

M6 Linebacker

M6 Linebacker

M6 Linebacker

M6 Linebacker

M6 Linebacker

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