M2A4 Bradley: “Ironclad” Protection

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220px-Flag_of_the_United_States_svg.png. M2A4 Bradley: “Ironclad” Protection

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The new M2A4 Bradley during testing.

  • Summary:

    • This suggestion is for the implementation of the M2A4 Bradley, which features new upgrades over all previous Bradley designs. This is the next generation Bradley.
  • Description :

    • The M2A4 is a next generation Bradley being produced for the U.S. Army. First seen at the 2016 Association of the US Army (AUSA) conference as a Demonstrator Vehicle, the M2A4 is a new revolutionary design mating an upgraded A3 turret to a larger new hull. It has received various electronic, and sensor upgrades allowing the crew increased Situational Awareness which is vital in war zones. It currently has not seen action. A contract was awarded in 2018 to produce up to 164 M2A4 Bradley’s followed by a modification to the contract in 2019 to produce an additional 168 vehicles. Previous models of the M2 Bradley’s will be upgraded to the A4 standard. The vehicle is currently being tested by the Operational Test Command (OTC). The M2A4 is expected to serve into the 2030’s with more upgrades in the future. IOC is believed to be 2022.
    • Turret:
      • The M2A2 Bradley still retains its 25mm M242 Bushmaster Chain Gun, M240C Coaxial Machine Gun, and Dual TOW Launcher capable of firing the TOW-2A and TOW-2B ATGM’s. However, one of the main features is the Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) Active Protection System (APS). The IF-LD is a hard-kill APS system that allows the M2A4 Bradley to intercept incoming RPG’s, ATGM’s, and RR’s. The IF-LD weighs 329kg, and can react 360 degrees with a wide range of elevation and depression. It can also alert the crew of incoming fire utilizing 4 RADAR’s and 4 Optics mounted around the turret. There are two IF-LD launchers mounted on the Bradley Turret, one in the front, and another in the rear. Each launcher has two rounds for intercepting targets.
    • Hull:
      • The hull was redesigned by General Dynamics to increase overall vehicle survivability. The hull as seen on the Demonstrator was redesigned to house more equipment as well as maintain space for crew and squad operations. It can also accept more addon armor, allowing better resistance to small arms fire, shrapnel, and explosions. This also allowed more placement of Bradley Reactive Armor Tiles II or BRAT II, protecting vital areas such as the vulnerable side armor, allowing the armor to be extended to protect the lower hull, track, and wheels. Also new is enhanced digital processors for increased communication and situational awareness as well as a series of Radio Jammers to prevent IED’s from detonating. An enhanced Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) was installed. The hull features a new higher Torsion Bar suspension (stiffer torsion bars, new shock absorbers) with 510mm of ground clearance, which will improve off-road capability and vehicle survival against IED’s. This is further enhanced with a thicker armor on the bottom of the hull. Not to mention the hull was raised 7 inches to prevent soldiers from impacting their heads on the ceiling during an IED explosion. The vehicle also relocated the fuel tanks to trapezoid shaped tanks located on the back of the hull to prevent interior fires. The TOW ATGM’s were relocated in the back of the hull and stored separate from the crew compartment to increase crew and squad survivability. A new fire-suppression system was included as well. Some of this new equipment was being applied to already existing M2A3’s and M3A3’s as Engineering Change Proposal’s (ECP). The regular hull can be also retained, however, the ECP changes were implemented along with the addon armor and extra BRAT I/II capability.
    • Power-pack:
      • The M2A4 Bradley received a new 675hp VTA903E-T675 8-cyl Diesel Engine and HMPT-800-3ECB Hydraulic Transmission, providing a source of power for all the new electronics and sensors, as well as increase speed and acceleration.
  • Armament:

    • Main Weapon: 25mm M242 Chain Gun (w/ 900rds, 300 Ready-to-Fire)
      • Rounds:
        • M919 APFSDS-T
        • M792 HEI-T
      • Depression/Elevation: -9°/+59°
    • Additional Weapons:
      • Coaxial M240C Machine Gun (w/ 2,200rds, 200rds/Gun Belt)
      • BGM-71 Dual TOW Launcher (w/ 7 ATGM’s, 2 in Launcher, 5 Stowed)
        • TOW-2A ATGM
        • TOW-2B ATGM
  • Maneuverability:

    • Engine: 675hp VTA903E-T675 8-cyl Diesel Engine
    • Transmission: HMPT-800-3ECB Hydraulic Transmission
    • Chassis: Torsion Bar
    • Max Speed: 66km/h
  • Dimensions:

    • Length: 6.55m (~8m w/ Demonstrator Hull)
    • Width: 3.6m (~4.5m w/ Demonstrator Hull)
    • Height : 2.98m (~3.5 m w/ Demonstrator Hull)
    • Weight: ~40t with Reactive Armor Tiles
  • Crew (3x):

    • Commander
    • Driver
    • Gunner
    • 7 Passengers (1 Squad)
  • Features:

    • 8x Smoke Grenades
    • Laser Rangefinder
    • Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) APS
      • Hard-kill APS system designed to intercept incoming RPG’s, ATGM’s, and RR’s.
      • 2x Launchers, one on the front left side of the turret, the other on the right rear side of the turret for 360 degree protection.
      • 4x Radars and 4x Optical Sensors mounted externally are used to locate and destroy incoming targets.
      • Digital Processors are located inside the vehicle.
    • Optics (3rd Generation FLIR):
      • Driver: Unspecified Enhanced Thermal Viewer
      • Gunner: Bradley Integrated Gunner Sight - Enhanced IBAS Thermal Viewer (3rd Generation Thermals)
      • Commander: Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer (3rd Generation Thermals)
    • Bradley Reactive Tiles II (BRAT II)
      • Capable of defeating shaped-charged HEAT rounds (minimum of 260mm of protection against HEAT, believed to well exceed this) as well as being able to sustain hits from small arms ammunition and artillery shrapnel. Kinetic Energy protection also increased.
    • ESS
  • Reason for Implementation:

    • This Bradley would be far different from previous Bradley’s as it features next generation APS, high clarity thermals, increase mobility. It would likely move somewhat up the BR scale, just over the M3A3 Bradley.
  • Imagery/Videos:

Spoiler

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BAE M2A4 Bradley Demonstrator.

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Rear of the BAE M2A4 Bradley Demonstrator. Note the trapezoid shape fuel tanks on the back of the hull.

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The new M2A4 Bradley being tested by the U.S. Army.

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M2A4 Bradley with Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) APS system. Note the launcher on the left side of the turret. Left of that is the optical sensor and RADAR.

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Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) APS Launcher.

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Components of the M2A4 Bradley’s APS System.

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An image showing the interception of a HEAT Charge (Right) by a IF-LD APS round (Left).

Next Generation Bradley IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle tracked armoured BAE Systems US army - YouTube

M2A4 Bradley Demonstrator video.

GDOTS - Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) Active Protection System (APS) [1080p] - YouTube

M2A4 Bradley Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) demonstration video.

Elbit Systems / Iron Fist APS - YouTube

Iron Fist demonstration video by Elbit Systems.

5 Likes

The ultimate Bradley! +1

+1 looks great

I want to bully other IFVs with ERA like the Puma gets to do +1

Did we ever find out the KE numbers for BRAT II?