The United States announced Thursday that it would send Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine to bolster Kyiv’s fight against the Russian invasion.
Germany has pledged to send its armored vehicles to Ukraine, and France did the same thing last week, so now the United Kingdom is following suit with a cargo of roughly 50 units.
What is a Bradley Fighting Vehicle?
The BAE Systems Land & Armaments division, formerly known as United Defense, is responsible for creating the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. It wasn’t until 1978 that the first working Bradley prototype was completed, but its development dates back to the 1970s.
The vehicle’s primary function was to convey infantry or scouts while providing them with protection and fire support.
Its welded aluminum armor protects the Bradley from small weapons, fire, and shrapnel. It has a top speed of around 45 mph and is powered by a diesel engine.
Among its arsenal of weaponry is a 25mm cannon housed in a turret, a 7.62mm machine gun, and TOW missiles. Up to six infantrymen can be transported in the rear of the Bradley.
Over the years, the Bradley has received numerous updates and improvements, such as installing new armament systems, increased armor protection, and greater mobility and reliability.
The United States Army and other militaries keep using it for infantry combat, reconnaissance, and transporting troops.
The Bradley is a tracked medium armored vehicle armed with a 25mm M242 Bushmaster automatic cannon with 900 rounds and a 7.62mm M240C secondary machine gun with 2,200 rounds, plus 7 BGM-71 TOW radio-guided anti-tank missiles and with optical tracking that can destroy tanks.
It is named after an American general who commanded his country’s troops in World War II. Depending on the version, a crew of three and operates it can transport up to seven soldiers across the battlefield.
Manufactured by BAE Systems, they weigh 30.4 tons and can reach a speed of 66 km/h with a range of 483 km, according to the US Army.
France has promised a similar armored vehicle called the AMX-10 RC. This highly mobile-wheeled armored reconnaissance vehicle has a 105mm gun and can carry up to four people. Before the end of March, Germany will ship roughly 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.
A 20mm gun is standard equipment for the tracked Marder, which has a crew of three and can transport up to six soldiers into battle. A few Marder carries the Milan anti-tank weapon.
When will the Bradleys arrive in Ukraine?
If shipped by sea, the journey could take several weeks. If the Bradleys that the United States has in Europe are shipped to Ukraine, the lead time would be much shorter. The Ukrainians will need training in handling the Bradleys.
Why does Ukraine want them?
Ukraine will be trained in using “mechanized combined arms,” a modern military strategy that includes the deployment of tanks and TOW missiles, known as “tank killers.” America has thousands of Bradleys.
Does the decision to send in armored personnel carriers mean that heavy tanks will follow?
This is unclear. Even though Ukraine has asked for modern tanks like the M1 Abrams, NATO has been hesitant to deliver them for fear of escalating the conflict.