The U.S. government is considering providing Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine as part of an additional military aid package, as per Several individuals who know the situation.
According to one of the Bloomberg sources, a final decision has yet to be made. According to sources who requested anonymity to discuss this sensitive matter, it is also unknown when these machines will be put into operation.
A White House spokeswoman, who also spoke on anonymity, stated that the United States is in frequent contact with Ukraine regarding its defence needs but has nothing to reveal or publicise.
As the war with Russia enters its eleventh month, Kyiv requests tanks, long-range missiles, armoured vehicles, and air defence systems from its allies. The arrival of winter has halted progress on both sides in eastern Ukraine, prompting Moscow to launch missile attacks targeting the country’s energy and civilian facilities. Russia unleashed dozens of cruise missiles into Ukrainian cities on December 29 in one of the biggest salvo attacks of the war. However, Ukraine claimed to have intercepted the majority of them.
The Bradley IFV would significantly increase the ground forces’ combat power because it is essentially a light tank. Unlike the [APC] M113s previously issued, the Bradley is armed with a 25mm cannon and TOW anti-tank missiles. Although several Bradley IFVs in the United States are obsolete and need modification, stockpiles are not a concern.
It would be many months before Ukraine can deploy them since crews and maintenance people will require training to operate the BAE Systems Corporation-made machines.
Officials from Ukraine have warned that Russia may prepare for a fresh military onslaught in the spring. Similarly, warmer weather may enable the Kievan troops to regain the upper hand and oust the Russian forces from the territory they held in the early stages of the conflict.
However, several of Ukraine’s allies are hesitant to furnish Kyiv with the ever-more-advanced weapons it requests for fear that doing so could provoke Moscow into further escalation or potentially drag further nations into the conflict.
Additionally, the United States announced plans to deploy a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine. Due to the time required to train Ukrainian military personnel to operate the complex, it is unlikely to be operational until spring.
In addition to being utilised as a lightly armoured infantry transport vehicle, the Bradley IFV has “reconnaissance, firing, and mobility capabilities, as well as hunter-killer-type capabilities,” according to the U.S. Army website.
The Bradley will significantly improve the current Ukrainian combat vehicles, as the Bradley is “more than a match” for T-72 tanks and Russian infantry fighting vehicles.
If implemented, transferring the BMP M2 Bradley to Ukraine will be a significant step toward delivering contemporary Western armoured vehicles, notably main battle tanks, to the Ukrainian side. More than 2,000 M2 / M3 Bradley vehicles are thought to be in storage in the United States, primarily in the M2A2 and M2A2 ODS variants. Bradley infantry fighting vehicles may be utilised very effectively as fire support vehicles and long-range self-propelled anti-tank systems because of TOW anti-tank weapons, a powerful 25-mm automatic gun, and a good round-the-clock fire control system.
In 2017, the United States transferred 32 M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to the Lebanese army. Beginning in 2022, the United States and Croatia inked an agreement to sell 89 BMP M2A2 ODS Bradley (including 22 for disassembly for spare parts and five for training). A tentative agreement was struck in early 2020 to transfer 350 M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles from the U.S. Army storage to Greece (deliveries to Croatia and Greece have yet to begin).
BMP Bradley M2, M2A2, M2A3
The M2 Bradley Infantry fighting vehicle is named after U.S. General Omar Bradley, an American commander during World War II. It was created in the 1970s as a more protected and equipped alternative to the M113 armoured personnel carriers and was influenced by the Soviet BMP-1 and the German Marder. The troop compartment of the BMP M2 may accommodate up to six soldiers with its three-person crew. The M3 Bradley combat reconnaissance vehicle, often known as the “cavalry fighting vehicle,” was developed based on M2 Bradley. In 1981, the BMP “Bradley” entered service, and more than 7,000 vehicles of all versions were manufactured. It was used by U.S. forces in the Gulf War and Iraq War. More than 2,200 M2 and M.Z. vehicles of all modifications were involved during Operation Desert Storm.
The M2 Bradley is equipped with a 25 mm M242 Bushmaster cannon, a 7.62 mm M240C machine gun, a TOW ATGM launcher, and six 5.56 mm M231 FPW submachine guns.