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BAE Systems has been awarded a contract modification exceeding USD 190 M (EUR 176 M) for continued production of the Bradley A4 armoured vehicle, the company announced on 25 August 2023.

The award covers more than 70 M2A4 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and the M7A4 fire support team vehicles.

“The Bradley is a crucial vehicle for the armored brigade combat teams today because it allows the army to transport troops to the fight while providing cover fire to suppress enemy vehicles and troops,” Dan Furber, director of ground vehicle production for BAE Systems, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “It’s imperative the Bradley Fighting Vehicle is upgraded to keep our soldiers unmatched on the battlefield for years to come.”

Soldiers assigned to the ‘Hound Battalion’ (3rd Battalion), 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, began to receive Bradley M2A4 IFVs at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in February 2022. (Photo: US Army)

This award follows early order material awards in August and November 2022.

The Bradley A4 includes enhanced mobility with increased engine horsepower to provide rapid movement in reaction to combat or other adverse situations. Survivability enhancements include improvements to the fire suppression system and upgrades to the improvised explosive device jammer components that reduce the likelihood of system detectability. Additionally, an upgraded computing system and commander’s independent viewer enhance situational awareness for soldiers and the vehicle features an upgraded electronic power distribution system.

Improvements to onboard diagnostics systems, meanwhile, provide increased fault detection and isolation capabilities that help keep the Bradley Fighting Vehicle operation.

Continued upgrades to the Bradley IFV from the M2A2 Operation Desert Storm – Situational Awareness (ODS-SA) variant are part of the US Army’s combat vehicle modernisation strategy to ensure force readiness of its armoured brigade combat teams. Although the army has initiated a number of efforts to replace the Bradley since the mid-1980s, none of them have so far succeeded.

The US Army thus plans to acquire more than 700 M2A4s through to 2029 before its Bradley fleet is replaced by the winner of the XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle (formerly Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle) programme, for which American Rheinmetall Vehicles and General Dynamics Land Systems are currently competing.

The first Bradley M2A4s were delivered to the US Army from February 2022, although the first unit to be officially equipped with and trained on the IFV was the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, in April 2022.

Peter Felstead