The M6 Linebacker is a M2A2 ODS Bradley with the TOW launcher removed and replaced with a 2x2 Stinger launch system. The linebacker was acquired to replace the need of a stinger team to have the leave their armoured vehicle to be able to fire on helicopters, low flying aircraft and UAVs.
Development of the M6 linebacker started in March 1995 when Boeing won the US Army Missile Command for the creation of a stinger missile launch system for the US Army’s Bradley IFV. The program for developing the M6 linebacker cost 20.1$ Million USD as of 1996 (unsure about how much it cost by the end of the program)
The M6 Linebacker uses the same system and hardware as the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger.
Boeing first delivered the Linebacker to the US Army in 1997 . The first 9 linebackers were delivered to the 1-44 Air Defense Artillery, Fort Hood Texas and were used in the US Task Force XXI Advanced Warfare Experiment in March of 1997. Where it was used to develop new tactics and procedures. Where it was observed the benefits of removing the need of a stinger team needing to leave the crew compartment to be able to fire their missiles. During the experiments it was called the BSFV-E (Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle-Enchanced)
Some of the enhancements that the M6 provided where:
- Forward Area Air Defense (F AAD) Command, Control, and Intelligence (C²I) target display capability
- Azimuth and elevation cues to the gunner
- Slew-to-cue capability
- Target acquisition-on-the-move and shoot-on-the-move capabilities.
The US Army ordered 99 M6 Linebackers that were used by the Third Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
In 2006 all of the M6 Linebackers were to be retired as SHORAD’s and had their stringer launch systems removed and were converted back to M2A2 ODS.
Engine: Cummins VTA-903T turbo supercharged V-8 diesel
Horsepower: 600@2600 rpm
Speed: 60 Km/h (37 mph) [speeds can be different depending on the source]
Main armament: 25mm M242 Bushmaster (300 in gun) (600 in vehicle)
Coaxial: M240C 7.62mm 3600 rounds
Stringer launch system: quadruple FIM-92 Stinger launcher (4 in launcher) (6 in vehicle)
Laser Range finder
Add-on Armour Package
M6 Linebacker with Armour package
Case analysis of the U.S. Army Warfighting Rapid Aquistion Program: Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle – Enhanced Weapon System (Walter Jones, June 1996)