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-   -   No more M2 Bradleys (http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=5844)

ChalkLine 02-11-2019 08:54 PM

No more M2 Bradleys
 
The iconic M2 Bradley IFV appears to have come to the end of its life with the base chassis no longer capable of doing the job. This is sad because to me nothing said 'T2K' more than the M2.
It is to be replaced with an 'optionally manned' vehicle hauling nine men and mounting active defences, a 50mm gun and probably a waffle maker.

Olefin 02-12-2019 11:46 AM

I always thought the Bradley was the perfect vehicle for the game - had a decent cannon, could carry enough TOW's to deal with either the few tanks you might run into or a bunker (since at the start you get a fully armed vehicle), could carry almost the entire group in it and was pretty fuel efficient compared to heavier vehicles

only had one GM that actually gave it the full ammo loadout that usually came with them - as in TOW reloads and the ammo to support the troops that it carried

ChalkLine 02-12-2019 04:16 PM

I was always suspect about the autocannon, they struck me as more a theoretical weapon where you'd probably want a big HE shell for the job. I note most vehicles have moved away from them. Papacat said to me that in Iraq they'd just punch holes in reinforced concrete that were perfect firing positions for the enemy after they got their heads together.

Anyway, the M2 makes me think of this.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/...20051125214824

micromachine 02-12-2019 05:07 PM

I have never liked this vehicle, as it gives you the capabilty to kill a tank and it is not armoured to stay in the fight, which in less experienced hands leads to massive losses. I have always thought it looked like a Matilda tank crossed with an M901 ITV. Sad to see it leave, I guess it will be a boon to the FMS market.

ChalkLine 02-12-2019 05:20 PM

I don't think armour does much good these days. Especially in T2k high-intensity infantry warfare. Barrage-fired RPGs seem to defeat anything and also overwhelm active countermeasures.

It feels like the pendulum has swung again and the infantry have the best idea: dig a hole

copeab 02-12-2019 05:23 PM

The Bradley is an over-sized light tank carrying an under strength rifle squad. While the BMP could carry more men, it had it's own long list of flaws. In an all-out war, IFVs would have been deathtraps.

Raellus 02-12-2019 07:10 PM

I'm not a Bradley apologist but it's record in Desert Storm and the conventional phase of Iraqi Freedom was quite good, with AFV kill ratios heavily favoring the Bradley. In Desert Storm, Bradley crews racked up quite a few Iraqi MBT kills, both with TOWs and with 25mm APFDS rounds.

IIRC, in one of the worst blue-on-blue cases of Desert Storm, a Bradley was hit by an A-10 Warthog, resulting in the death/maiming of most of the crew.

I concur with Copeab's witty assessment:

"The Bradley is an over-sized light tank carrying an under strength rifle squad."

ChalkLine 02-12-2019 08:46 PM

What is needed is a vehicle capable of carrying a full squad with a low velocity, big bore HE weapon with high elevation. This choice of weapon will be soft on recoil and can destroy bunkers, something the infantry are crying out for. I think 120mm breech-loaded mortars would be most useful. It should have slat armour from the outset to defeat RPGs and the slat armour should conform to the hull and not drag along outside it. It should also have a CROWS III with javelin capability and the M2 HB machinegun.

CDAT 02-12-2019 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 80805)
I'm not a Bradley apologist but it's record in Desert Storm and the conventional phase of Iraqi Freedom was quite good, with AFV kill ratios heavily favoring the Bradley. In Desert Storm, Bradley crews racked up quite a few Iraqi MBT kills, both with TOWs and with 25mm APFDS rounds.

IIRC, in one of the worst blue-on-blue cases of Desert Storm, a Bradley was hit by an A-10 Warthog, resulting in the death/maiming of most of the crew.

I concur with Copeab's witty assessment:

"The Bradley is an over-sized light tank carrying an under strength rifle squad."

One more who thinks Copeab's witty assessment:

"The Bradley is an over-sized light tank carrying an under strength rifle squad." Is right on.

I also agree with micromachine a bit, I always thought that they should not have had the TOW on them, I did not have issues with the 25mm, but also would have none with a larger gun. But to me the missile was the issue it lets the crew think that they are capable of going toe to toe with a Tank when they are not (if the tank crew is quality, I do not think you would have seen the results of Iraq) or at least not with out some preparation/defensive positions. If you left the ATGM's to the dismounts I think it would be a better vehicle as all the room for the launcher/ammo storage would be used for more troops and/or their equipment. But that is just my thoughts and I have no hard data to back them up.

StainlessSteelCynic 02-13-2019 04:19 AM

CDAT you might not have "hard data" to back up your thoughts on the Bradley but you have spent a number of years "in the industry" so to speak, i.e. enough time in the army to see what's workable and what's not so useful.
I'm like the rest of you in that the trend to stick ATGWs on IFVs struck me as trying to make one vehicle do all things.
And you know what they say, "that dog won't hunt"...
You either make it a battle taxi, a light fighting vehicle or an AT vehicle. You ain't gonna get a good vehicle by forcing all the comprises necessary onto the design or it's operational doctrine by trying to make one vehicle do all three things.

I have no particular issue with IFVs, a battle taxi with some firepower to discourage the predators and/or fire in support of the infantry. But yeah, when you let the crew start thinking they can take on tanks...
To my way of thinking, putting TOWs on the Bradley went against the tried & true combined arms doctrine - everything supports everything else, we've seen plenty of examples of armour in the Middle East or Chechnya taken out by infantry because the crew decided to go it alone.
You don't need someone in a battle taxi taking on tanks when you already have ATGW teams, ATGW vehicles, arty, CAS and oh yeah, your own tanks, to do that for you.

But back to the original topic, while I always had a strong preference for the Marder over the Bradley or Warrior, it's still sad to see the Bradley at the end of its life (I felt the same way seeing all those Marders sent to the scrap yard). I'm also one of the crowd who loves that front cover image from Challenge #35 because it represented Twilight so well - the mix of nationalities, the scavenging for food, the Bradley looking like it needs some more attention to maintenance, the extra storage racks added to the sideskirts and what looks suspiciously like an esky/cooler on the rear hull.

copeab 02-13-2019 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 80806)
What is needed is a vehicle capable of carrying a full squad with a low velocity, big bore HE weapon with high elevation. This choice of weapon will be soft on recoil and can destroy bunkers, something the infantry are crying out for. I think 120mm breech-loaded mortars would be most useful. It should have slat armour from the outset to defeat RPGs and the slat armour should conform to the hull and not drag along outside it. It should also have a CROWS III with javelin capability and the M2 HB machinegun.

The closest to this that I know of is the BMP-3 with a 100mm main gun. However, it shares most of the faults of the BMP series, so isn't a big impr.

The Kangaroo-type conversions of older tanks might work, but cramming a rifle squad in under NBC protection will be tough.

Olefin 02-13-2019 10:02 AM

If used properly the Bradley was a good tank killer - i.e. its not made to be used in a stand up toe to toe fight - its an ambush killer with tanks - i.e. the hey they cant see us yet nail them with the TOW and then get the heck out of here kind of tank killer

thats how we used it when we had them in the game - nailed a Russian tank in a small convoy from long distance with the TOW and then went to town with the 25mm on what was left - but there is no way in heck we would have had a chance in heck if the range had been short enough that they spotted us first and engaged first with the main gun

and considering in the game you really arent looking for a fight you are more looking to get away and run and avoid a lot of fights its a great vehicle for that - and if the opposition doesnt have anti-tank weapons its actually pretty damn good - unless you run into someone with one of the monster Russian MG's

kato13 02-13-2019 10:47 AM

While not 100% accurate this is a funny interpretation of how it evolved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXQ2lO3ieBA

rcaf_777 02-13-2019 10:47 AM

About time it's getting a little long in the tooth even with the upgrade models

what about its variants like M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, the M4 C2V battlefield command post, and the M6 Bradley Linebacker air defense vehicle?

copeab 02-13-2019 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic (Post 80808)
I'm like the rest of you in that the trend to stick ATGWs on IFVs struck me as trying to make one vehicle do all things.

Putting ATGM launchers on the outside turret of some AMX-13's made a bit of sense, but not Bradleys.

Quote:

I have no particular issue with IFVs, a battle taxi with some firepower to discourage the predators and/or fire in support of the infantry. But yeah, when you let the crew start thinking they can take on tanks...
The best range for a TOW is considerably farther away from the battleline than the range of the Bradley's other weapons, or the distance at which you'd want the troops to dismount and move forward on foot.

Quote:

But back to the original topic, while I always had a strong preference for the Marder over the Bradley or Warrior,
I agree with you on the Marder, although I would prefer an automatic grenade launcher over an autocannon. You do lose ammo capacity, but it is much more effective vs infantry and useful vs light vehicles.

CDAT 02-13-2019 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Olefin (Post 80811)
If used properly the Bradley was a good tank killer - i.e. its not made to be used in a stand up toe to toe fight - its an ambush killer with tanks - i.e. the hey they cant see us yet nail them with the TOW and then get the heck out of here kind of tank killer

thats how we used it when we had them in the game - nailed a Russian tank in a small convoy from long distance with the TOW and then went to town with the 25mm on what was left - but there is no way in heck we would have had a chance in heck if the range had been short enough that they spotted us first and engaged first with the main gun

and considering in the game you really arent looking for a fight you are more looking to get away and run and avoid a lot of fights its a great vehicle for that - and if the opposition doesnt have anti-tank weapons its actually pretty damn good - unless you run into someone with one of the monster Russian MG's

I do not think that anyone is saying that it can not take out a tank, at least for me it is more after talking with some of the crews of them and some of the information that they gave me I think that the ATGM on the IFV is a mistake. For example things not really found in the game, talking with several crews they told me that the maximum engagement range for the TOW from the vehicle is 3750 meters, and that it takes between 40 and 50 seconds to fly that far. Now I have never been a Bradley crew either as an 11M or 19D, but that just sound like a bad option to me. Looking at it from my time in tanks where our maximum engagement range was 4000 meters, or 250 meters further, and our flight time from fire to hit was at most a second or maybe two for the HEAT round. I was also told that there is a very noticeable plum when it is fired, so assuming that the tank crew you are shooting at is at least halfway competent and you are shooting at let say half range. this gives the tank crew 20-25 seconds before the missile hits enough time to get off three to five rounds at the Bradley, and they do not need to hit just make the gunner twitch so that the missile nose dives. It may also be possible in addition or in place of shooting to pop smoke and hide so they can not hit what they can not see.

Now my understanding is that some of these were fixed in later versions of the TOW, but not sure. Still to me if it is a dismount who is doing the firing the vehicle is not exposed at all, the range is likely to be much closer, but it is easier for the dismount to get closer. By being closer it also reduces the flight time even is the speed is the same.

CDAT 02-13-2019 03:49 PM

Well looking up stats for it on Wikipedia so take it for what it is worth, early on max range was 3000 meters, updated ones 3750 meters. It also says that it takes 20 seconds to get to max range, now it does not say for what max range but does talk about making it faster so maybe both? Either way it is faster than I was lead to believe, but it also talks about how the actual penetration was less than expected from testing Original supposed to 600mm actual 430mm, improved 7-800mm actual 630mm.

This does not really change my opinion above, but thought should share the updated information that I found for clarity.

raketenjagdpanzer 02-13-2019 06:05 PM

Interesting fact: gen 1 TOW had the same penetration as the Shillelagh ATGM.

Legbreaker 02-13-2019 06:11 PM

On the plus side, ANY vehicle that exposes itself is dead generally, and the Bradley is certainly no exception. Firing the TOW should absolutely be done from a hull down position, and of the equipment allowed (which in this case I don't think it does) a turret down position.
the Bradley turret is relatively small and does make for a significantly difficult target at longer ranges, particular while under fire from not just one missile, but likely two or more simultaneously (it's SOP with most armies to always fire missiles/rockets/recoilless rifles in pairs from two positions).
Also, as has been mentioned, the Bradley should not try to go toe to toe with another AFV - it WILL loose. It has to work as part of a team with other vehicles or infantry providing a distraction to the target. Infantry for example could use small arms and machineguns to force the tank to button up thereby making it much more difficult for them to detect the incoming missile(s).
Used correctly it's my belief the Bradley was suitable for the task. It's those who look at it's heavy armour (compared to contemporary APCs and IFVs), and TOW launcher, and try to use it outside it's intended role that have given it the bad reputation. As a battle taxi with good defensive/ambush firepower it's real failing in my opinion was the reduced troop capacity. Other than that.....

Vespers War 02-13-2019 08:08 PM

It's also been getting harder to maintain the Bradleys as parts go obsolete. The gunner's sight for the TOW uses some incredibly old-tech wafers for the IR sensor that AFAIK only one company still has dies for (I used to be the buyer for the wafers for a company that made the launcher electronics and some other systems). We actually had a Bradley that the government permanently loaned us in order to test any changes that we wanted to make to the stuff we made.

I think the inclusion of the TOW launcher stemmed from a Cold-War-Goes-Hot-In-Europe mentality. NATO wouldn't have as many tanks as the Pact, but cramming anti-tank weapons onto everything gave lighter units a chance to ambush and knock out heavier vehicles. It was the equivalent of cramming a 75mm gun onto the M24 Chaffee (with its maximum of 38mm of armor) - you hope you don't run into anything that needs that kind of firepower, but you carry it along because it's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Legbreaker
On the plus side, ANY vehicle that exposes itself is dead generally, and the Bradley is certainly no exception. Firing the TOW should absolutely be done from a hull down position, and if the equipment allowed (which in this case I don't think it does) a turret down position.

No, you're correct, it can't really be fired from a turret down position. The TOW is a SACLOS-guided missile that steers towards the gunner's crosshairs based on a thermal sight spotting a flare at the tail end of the missile. The Integrated Sight Unit is at the top of the turret, but it needs to pick up the missile quickly or else the missile will self-destruct to avoid unguided flight. If the system was being redesigned now, I expect the TOW would be replaced by the Javelin, to give fire-and-forget capability to the anti-tank weapon.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CDAT
Well looking up stats for it on Wikipedia so take it for what it is worth, early on max range was 3000 meters, updated ones 3750 meters. It also says that it takes 20 seconds to get to max range, now it does not say for what max range but does talk about making it faster so maybe both? Either way it is faster than I was lead to believe, but it also talks about how the actual penetration was less than expected from testing Original supposed to 600mm actual 430mm, improved 7-800mm actual 630mm.

The BGM-71D and -71E (TOW-2 and TOW-2A) are ~20 seconds to 3750 meters. The BGM-71F (TOW-2B) is ~21 seconds to the same range because it flies a different angle to get a top-attack profile. I don't know about the older versions.

ChalkLine 02-14-2019 02:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raketenjagdpanzer (Post 80818)
Interesting fact: gen 1 TOW had the same penetration as the Shillelagh ATGM.

Same warhead. The Gen one was chosen as 152mm for that reason.

Shillelagh was the most destructive missile in US stocks until Hellfire was introduced

StainlessSteelCynic 02-14-2019 03:53 AM

And speaking of the Shillelagh...
Interesting fact #2
The Australian Army acquired one or two examples (depending on what source you read) of the M551 Sheridan (as well as one example of the M114) for testing as a possible recce vehicle. If the Sheridan had proved successful we would have apparently been getting the missile as well.
That would have made Australia the only other nation to operate the vehicle.
However it proved unsuitable for some of the Australian requirement (as did the M114).

ChalkLine 02-14-2019 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic (Post 80825)
And speaking of the Shillelagh...
Interesting fact #2
The Australian Army acquired one or two examples (depending on what source you read) of the M551 Sheridan (as well as one example of the M114) for testing as a possible recce vehicle. If the Sheridan had proved successful we would have apparently been getting the missile as well.
That would have made Australia the only other nation to operate the vehicle.
However it proved unsuitable for some of the Australian requirement (as did the M114).

The whole gun wasn't a mature technology. Combustible cartridge cases were new and the interrupted-screw breech was a harking back to earlier designs because of the pressures involved in firing a big bore weapon weren't explored. The hi-lo system would have been a far better solution that would have allowed for a sliding breech.
The combustible cartridges required a high-efficiency bore evacuator that made the cyclical rate way too low or the weapon would blow burning cartridge fragments back into the turret and onto the other combustible cases. Also the ammunition cases were not stable in high humidity environments which was where the US was doing most of its fighting at the time.
What is telling about the M551 was that it was never allowed to mature due to blatant hostility of the 'Tiger Terror' generation of tank commanders who saw it as too-light-to-fight. They wanted a Tiger of their own and all else was a bad idea, even though the Germans themselves had realised their Panthers and Tigers were too heavy and were looking at something like a modernised Panzer IV. In fact the Germans were enthusiastic users of Shermans when the captured them. They had learned the lessons the Russians taught them; 'you can't rely on armour as there's always a bigger gun'.

StainlessSteelCynic 02-14-2019 06:11 AM

The stability of the caseless ammo was a major factor in the decision not to buy the Sheridan. I think there was also mention that there were serious concerns about the actual safety of the rounds.

pmulcahy11b 02-15-2019 11:28 PM

I would argue that the same combination of weapons, light armor, decent speed, and small dismount crew may not make it a good IFV -- but it does make it a good scout vehicle.

unkated 02-27-2019 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kato13 (Post 80812)
While not 100% accurate this is a funny interpretation of how it evolved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXQ2lO3ieBA

That was fun. I was impressed with the talent they got to work on this 10-minute short.

Sith 02-27-2019 03:56 PM

Pentagon Wars is an actual full length movie. That is essentially the highlight reel. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144550/

As stated by many here, the development of the Bradley was a perfect example of a run-away vehicle development program. It tried to be everything for everyone and ended up being "master of none". Despite that the Bradley has had a successful service life and many crew members that I have known over the years liked the vehicle.

As far as the TOW goes, it's addition needs to be looked at within the context of the time. There were two attitudes that fed its inclusion. First, (as stated earlier) they wanted as much tank killing firepower as they could fit on the battlefield to be there. The Soviets armored horde just across the inter-German border was not to be taken lightly. Hence, the more ATGMs they could field the better, it did not matter what kind of vehicle it was on. Second, was that in many circles the ATGM was still considered to be the "king of the hill". At the time, reactive and ceramic armors were just being introduced on any scale. However, the impact these armors would have, had not caught up with the thinking entirely. For the previous couple of decades, ATGMs were considered to be the death of tanks. There is a reason why some countries diverted from heavier tank designs in the 60's (AMX-30, Leopard 1). It was thought that the ATGM could kill any tank, hence, it was not worth investing in heavier vehicles. This was also the factor that led to cannon launched ATGMs being developed and rushed into production. Anyway, by the late 70's the reality that ATGMs were no longer dominant had not set in entirely. Therefore, there was great appeal to the idea of mounting TOWs on the Bradley.

While my profession has taken me in an different direction. I am a historian by training, with a focus on the Cold War. So it is with a little sadness that I see the Bradley begin it's journey into retirement. While it will continue service well into the future, the first step has been taken. Simply put, it has reached its time.

FWIW, I have always loved that Challenge cover. To me, it perfectly captured the feeling of T2K.

Raellus 02-28-2019 05:02 PM

Not Dead Yet
 
I've read that BAE's proposed M113 replacement, the AMPV, is essentially an uparmored Bradley chasis without a turret. Last I heard, it was the submission chosen by the U.S. Army. If that is indeed the case, the Bradley will live on for a long time to come.

https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/pro...e-vehicle-ampv

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sith (Post 80922)
This was also the factor that led to cannon launched ATGMs being developed and rushed into production.

Caveat: for NATO.

The Soviets developed canon-launched ATGMs to out-range NATO tank guns.

StainlessSteelCynic 02-28-2019 10:57 PM

It's worth mentioning too that the Soviets generally had a lower level of metallurgical skill & knowledge and couldn't create tank guns to match the pressure allowable by Western manufactured guns.
This meant that for a similar calibre, the Western gun/ammo combinations typically out-ranged the Soviet guns/ammo and had better velocities & penetration too. The Soviet adoption of gun-launched ATGWs was partly to try and match the Western gun ranges and penetration.
Out-ranging NATO tank guns might have been a planned feature or a happy bonus but if the Soviets believed that NATO tanks were superior to their own, it was the only way the Soviets would have been able to strike NATO tanks before NATO tanks could bring effective fire on them.

Sith 03-01-2019 09:10 AM

Yes, Thank you Raellus. That was the Western context.


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