Truth to The Pentagon Wars and the Bradley IFV??

Pioneer

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G'day gents. It's been a long time, but last night I watched the movie The Pentagon Wars (if you haven't seen it here it is on Youtube - )
It's a movie based on the ridiculously long and questionable development of the U.S. Army's M2 & M3 Bradley IFV .
There's a scene where the USAF Colonel Burton, who has been assigned by Congress to observe and report on the testing of the new Bradley IFV, before Congress will give the ok for the design to be budgeted and put into full production and operational service.
Colonel Burton is tipped off (from time 1:04:40 on Youtube) by a former officer, who had originally been assigned the mammoth task of developing the specifications for the Bradley IFV program (I'm assuming its from the MICV-65 to the Bradley IFV aka take note of design evolution in movie, along with the pictures of the President throughout the movie!!) to go to the manufacturing facility where an initial production batch of 'modified' Bradley's are supposedly being built for the Israeli Army.
Continuing on with the movie..... Ironically, the Israeli's order has specified specific modifications to the questionable U.S. Army specifications of the Bradley (which are highlighted and the principle of the movie!). These Israeli specifications include "They want the fuel tanks on the outside, reinforced armour, a different ventilation system ......."
With these changes, which are completely contradictive to the U.S. Army's wants, and to what Colonel Burton has knowingly highlighted as flaws in the Bradley design, when Colonel Burton asks the Manufacturing Project Manager if the U.S. Army are aware of these combat-experienced induced requirements and modifications of the Israeli order. The Manufacturing Project Manager reply's "No change".

Can I ask the forum members is there any truth to this part of the movie re the Israeli order for the Bradley? I was not aware that the Israeli Army had any interest, let alone purchased any Bradley's! Does anyone have any details of Israel's interest or evaluation of the Bradley IFV??
Also out of interest, can anyone please highlight design specification originally incorporated into the Bradley design, which were in fact changed (or forced to be changed,) before the Bradley was allowed to be excepted into service?

Regards
Pioneer
 
Rule number one of understanding history: never, ever take your history lesson from Hollywood.

As to the Israeli Bradley yes it is true and I’ve physically seen it however no photos allowed. But the story as outlined in ‘Pentagon Wars’ is as misleading and full of sh*t as the rest of that movie.

The real story is after the 1982 Lebanon War the IDF realised it needed a more survivable APC than the M113. A number of projects were launched to upgrade the protection of the M113 and find replacements. In the end the eventual replacement option chosen was the converted T55 tank into APC called the Azcharit. Other options included an APC version of the Merkava tank which was later revisited 20 years later with the Namer.

Another option was the Bradley. The Israelis were not interested in an IFV and never rejected the standard M2 Bradley design as being un-survivable. They were interested in the Bradley for its chassis, power pack, etc which could basically be a bigger version of the M113 able to carry the same infantry section and a lot more armour. They acquired at least one Bradley hull and converted it. The work was done by RAFAEL who still have this Bradley at their Akko centre in what they call their “Mini Laturn”. Where it and several other prototypes are on display behind the scenes. The Israeli Bradley is just a turretless Bradley with extra armour and a layer of ERA bricks outside of that. However in the end this option lost out to the Azcharit which was presumably cheaper and tougher with its 2-10cm RHA steel hull under the extra armour compared the Bradley’s 2-4cm of steel and aluminium laminate.
 
Thanks for your reply Abraham Gubler
I appreciate your
Rule number one of understanding history: never, ever take your history lesson from Hollywood
! and in reply, I have to say that I took the move with a pinch of salt. In fact it was the uncertainty of the movie which made me ask my questions.
Very interesting info on the Israeli Bradley you provided!!
I would think the Israeli Army of all army, what with their vast armoured combat experience would be dubious about aluminium armour.
I will now endeavour to find some pics of this Israeli Bradley!! :eek:


Regards
Pioneer
 
There’s nothing wrong with aluminium armour. In some applications it can actually be better than steel armour. The whole Pentagon Wars, Col. Burton thing was to supposedly demonstrate that aluminium armour would vapourise when hit by an RPG and realise toxic chemicals and so on to the crew. The experiments failed to demonstrate this. And this limited scope of the study was why the range engineers wanted to keep fuel and ammunition out of it.

The Bradley was not rejected for the IDF because it had aluminium armour. And you won’t find a photo of it on the internet because none have been released by the IDF censor. And the reason the vehicle hasn’t been declassified is probably because of all the Pentagon Wars BS.
 
Then maybe the Bradley the Israelis displayed with their own remotely controlled weapon station was this very same one they'd originally acquired for evaluation?
 

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the converted T55 tank into APC called the Azcharit. Other options included an APC version of the Merkava tank which was later revisited 20 years later with the Namer.

It's interesting that with the development of the tank based Azcharit and Namer, that the APC/IFV has effectively come full circle...

cheers,
Robin.
 
CostasTT said:
Then maybe the Bradley the Israelis displayed with their own remotely controlled weapon station was this very same one they'd originally acquired for evaluation?

I doubt it. The original one has been sitting in a park for 25 years. It was there in late 2008. Of course there could have been more than one.
 
The movie Pentagon Wars and to a lesser extent the book primarily rely on ignorance of the armour needs and specifics of the Bradley to create the appearance of scandal. To understand it better it’s important to address the three specific survivability issues in relation to the supposed Bradley scandal.

Firstly is what Col. Burton was empowered to investigate. Which was the concept of “vaporifics” that is aluminium armour would react more dangerously to penetration by a shaped charge warhead than steel armour. That is the aluminium armour would produce toxic gases, more overpressure and the like behind the armour after a hit compared to a comparative level of steel armour. The testing carried out by live fires on Bradleys failed to demonstrate this to any kind of level that would make a difference to the target vehicle and its crew.

Secondly is that the Bradley was designed without enough armour. This is the most ridiculous of arguments and also the one with the most mileage. The Bradley was designed to be resistant to splinters from nearby bursts of 152mm high explosive shells and hits from 14.5mm armour piercing bullets fired by Soviet heavy machineguns. These of course are not the only Soviet weapons on the battlefield but they were the type of weapons the Bradley was mostly going to be exposed to in its normal mode of use on a linear battlefield.

This protection requirement was based on how armoured personnel carriers (APCs), later renamed infantry fighter vehicles (IFV), were to be used on the linear battlefield in places like West Germany trying to stop a Soviet invasion. That is the vehicles move the infantry forward through the area target suppression fires of the Soviets but don’t close with the enemy to destroy them. The infantry do the later on foot. It is this closing with the enemy on the battlefield that exposes an APC to the fires of anti-tank weapons like the RPG or BMP’s 73mm gun. Weapons that are not effective at long range. Also the APC didn’t have to worry about long range anti-tank weapons like guided missiles or enemy tank guns because it was never to remain stationary while exposed to enemy direct fires like a tank does. However the type of suppressive fires they would face are artillery barrages and long range machinegun fires.

When the earlier APCs were designed (M75, M59, M113) the typical Soviet weapons used for suppressive fires were 122mm artillery and 7.62mm machineguns. So they were designed to be resistant to these weapons. But in the 1950s and 60s the Soviets upgraded these weapons to 152mm artillery and 14.5mm machineguns. So the Bradley and its predecessor the XM723 were specified to be resistant to these more lethal weapons the Soviets would use for their area supression.

In non-linear battles APCs were found to be exposed to anti-tank fires. As was seen in counter insurgency wars or deep penetration offensive actions like the IDF applied in Lebanon in 1982. Since they were never designed to be resistant to these types of weapons they suffered high losses. But this was for the US at least a secondary requirement as the primary and most important battlefield was the linear defensive war in West Germany. After the Bradley was introduced the Soviets upgraded the BMP with a 30mm gun that could fire bursts of armour piercing ammunition to long range in place of the 14.5mm gun. This required an upgrading of the Bradley’s armour in the A2 version to be resistant to the 30mm armour piercing round. While claimed as a response to the Burton trials it had nothing to do with it.

The third issue about vehicle survivability that Burton seized upon when the vaporifics issue was shown to be so much hot air was crew survivability after a penetrating hit. This argument, completely factually correct, was that the APCs like the Bradley with their fuel and ammunition stored inside alongside the large number of human occupants were highly dangerous after being hit and penetrated. That the sympathetic explosions of the fuel and ammunition made it extremely unlikely any of the crew would escape the vehicle after being hit.

This was of course no surprise to anyone involved in the design and use of APCs including the Bradley. Because of course it wasn’t designed to be exposed to these kinds of fires in the first place so why make it survivable to such a hit? You don’t build a street car to survive a roll over at speeds over 250 kph (~150 mph) because they don’t drive that fast. But you do build a racing car to survive such a roll over. However the sight of a burnt out APC is as emotive as a crushed street car even if the likelihood in the primary means of operations was extremely low. Burton was able to get the Army to build a Bradley with all fuel and ammunition moved to separate armoured boxes within or outside the vehicle. This vehicle was never entered into production however and fans of the Pentagon Wars frequently mistake this vehicle for the A2 armour upgrade. Even though the later vehicle retained all of its fuel and ammunition inside the vehicle alongside the occupants.

Since the end of the Cold War and an increasing focus on counter insurgency and offensive operations the US Army and others have upgraded their protection requirements for APCs. Now they are often as high as tanks and with high flank protection. But this does not invalidate the effectiveness of the original design of protection for the Bradley. A vehicle that at its time of introduction was along with the West German Marder the most protected APC in the world and if asked to do what it was designed for would have provided adequate protection for infantry mobility in West Germany against a Soviet invasion.
 
Avimimus said:
Thank you for the fascinating information. I really enjoyed reading this.

Agree!!
Thanks Abraham Gubler

Regards
Pioneer
 
The M2/M3A1 Bradley did move around some of the ammunition and make some external on the rear hull, but that had as much to do with improving seating and improving access to TOW missile reloads as survivability. IIRC the TOWs were actually moved into the vehicle, and much of the reserve small arms ammo placed external. Designers also did add a secondary spall liner around the turret basket to protect the 25mm ready ammo in the feed chute that was otherwise very highly exposed. One or two fuel cells were also shifted around. Overall detail changes, not a full scale redesign.
 
Sea Skimmer said:
The M2/M3A1 Bradley did move around some of the ammunition and make some external on the rear hull, but that had as much to do with improving seating and improving access to TOW missile reloads as survivability. IIRC the TOWs were actually moved into the vehicle, and much of the reserve small arms ammo placed external. Designers also did add a secondary spall liner around the turret basket to protect the 25mm ready ammo in the feed chute that was otherwise very highly exposed. One or two fuel cells were also shifted around. Overall detail changes, not a full scale redesign.

The A1 changes moved a small amount of ammunition outside the vehicle to make room. Most of the ammo remained inside the vehicle. The guided missiles remained stored inside the vehicle and have never been stored outside. The A1 changes to the storage arragements were more to do with ergonomics than survivability.
 
I recall seeing photos of the prototype Bradley on the web somewhere.
But for the life of me I can't remember where :mad:
In the photo it was interesting to see the angles of the rear troop compartment, a solid and obvious trim-vein and the bullet-trap turret ring!!
I think it was termed the XM723 BAT-II (or something like that :-[ ). I found it interesting, as it clearly showed the transformation to the production Bradley we know!
If anyone knows of this prototype and has photos, I would greatl appriciate it!! ;)
 
That would be the XM723 which was effectively a Bradley with a one man, 20mm gun turret, though really a Bradley is an XM723 with the two man turret. The larger trim vane had a buoyancy chamber because this vehicle was able to float by itself. The extra weight of the two man turret in the Bradley required a flotation screen to be raised to provide enough buoyancy so the larger trim vane with integral buoyancy was redundant.

Pictures of the XM723 can be found here:

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=xm723&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Rv44UqW6J8TNiAel7IHwDw&ved=0CCoQsAQ&biw=1536&bih=665&dpr=1
 
Pioneer said:
Ah ha I found it - It was the XM723 T-BAT-II
http://www.com-central.net/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=10814

Regards
Pioneer

Interesting. Is that twin-co-ax MGs?

100_8426.jpg
 
Abraham Gubler said:
The A1 changes moved a small amount of ammunition outside the vehicle to make room. Most of the ammo remained inside the vehicle. The guided missiles remained stored inside the vehicle and have never been stored outside. The A1 changes to the storage arragements were more to do with ergonomics than survivability.


Yeah some of them certainly have been stored outside the armor on the M2/3A1. It was changed again for the A2 versions because of the need to accommodate Javelin instead of Dragon missiles in addition.
 

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No, there was never any external stowage for missiles, other than the two TOW in the launcher.

The big change was in the M2A2, which did away with the two vertical racks that I believe usually had Dragon (but could carry either TOW or Dragon) in favor of two more horizontal racks.
 
Sea Skimmer said:
Yeah some of them certainly have been stored outside the armor on the M2/3A1. It was changed again for the A2 versions because of the need to accommodate Javelin instead of Dragon missiles in addition.

Not all of these proposed M2/M3E1 changes were actually implemented on the M2/M3A1. Like the newer smoke launchers and the rebuild of the rear hull and turret bustle. The A0 to A1 required reasonable changes because it changed TOW to TOW II and added a NBC system. Other than that the changes were cosmetic and mostly associated with simplifying the differences between producing M2s and M3s.
 
Kadija_Man said:
Interesting. Is that twin-co-ax MGs?

Nope. It’s a wooden engineering mock up so everything doesn’t quite look like it should. The two tubes are to represent the barrel and the gas piston housing of a MAG (M240) machinegun. On the initial Bradley turret configuration the MG was mounted on its side. Later changed to a convention up and down arrangement with a new turret mantelet on the M2/M3A2 configuration.
 
Abraham Gubler said:
Pioneer said:
Ah ha I found it - It was the XM723 T-BAT-II

That's just an XM723 fitted with the Bradley turret. The 'missing' link between the two.

Sorry Abraham Gubler, but I was under the impression that the Bradley was a derivitive of the XM723 - with it's original one-man turret, cannon and most sadly it's troop carry number rearanged to facilitate yet another Army change of specifications and wants :eek:

Regards
Pioneer
 
Pioneer said:
Sorry Abraham Gubler,

What for?

Pioneer said:
but I was under the impression that the Bradley was a derivitive of the XM723

That’s right.

Pioneer said:
- with it's original one-man turret, cannon and most sadly it's troop carry number rearanged to facilitate yet another Army change of specifications and wants

Not quite as simple as that but basically yes. The reduction in troops was to fit in the two man turret and TOW missiles. Which was a brilliant move. The effectiveness of an infantry battalion to resist a Soviet tank attack was significantly increased by the Bradley’s turret at the loss of a not so significant 100 or so bayonets.
 
The movie Pentagon Wars and to a lesser extent the book primarily rely on ignorance of the armour needs and specifics of the Bradley to create the appearance of scandal. To understand it better it’s important to address the three specific survivability issues in relation to the supposed Bradley scandal.

Firstly is what Col. Burton was empowered to investigate. Which was the concept of “vaporifics” that is aluminium armour would react more dangerously to penetration by a shaped charge warhead than steel armour. That is the aluminium armour would produce toxic gases, more overpressure and the like behind the armour after a hit compared to a comparative level of steel armour. The testing carried out by live fires on Bradleys failed to demonstrate this to any kind of level that would make a difference to the target vehicle and its crew.

Secondly is that the Bradley was designed without enough armour. This is the most ridiculous of arguments and also the one with the most mileage. The Bradley was designed to be resistant to splinters from nearby bursts of 152mm high explosive shells and hits from 14.5mm armour piercing bullets fired by Soviet heavy machineguns. These of course are not the only Soviet weapons on the battlefield but they were the type of weapons the Bradley was mostly going to be exposed to in its normal mode of use on a linear battlefield.

This protection requirement was based on how armoured personnel carriers (APCs), later renamed infantry fighter vehicles (IFV), were to be used on the linear battlefield in places like West Germany trying to stop a Soviet invasion. That is the vehicles move the infantry forward through the area target suppression fires of the Soviets but don’t close with the enemy to destroy them. The infantry do the later on foot. It is this closing with the enemy on the battlefield that exposes an APC to the fires of anti-tank weapons like the RPG or BMP’s 73mm gun. Weapons that are not effective at long range. Also the APC didn’t have to worry about long range anti-tank weapons like guided missiles or enemy tank guns because it was never to remain stationary while exposed to enemy direct fires like a tank does. However the type of suppressive fires they would face are artillery barrages and long range machinegun fires.

When the earlier APCs were designed (M75, M59, M113) the typical Soviet weapons used for suppressive fires were 122mm artillery and 7.62mm machineguns. So they were designed to be resistant to these weapons. But in the 1950s and 60s the Soviets upgraded these weapons to 152mm artillery and 14.5mm machineguns. So the Bradley and its predecessor the XM723 were specified to be resistant to these more lethal weapons the Soviets would use for their area supression.

In non-linear battles APCs were found to be exposed to anti-tank fires. As was seen in counter insurgency wars or deep penetration offensive actions like the IDF applied in Lebanon in 1982. Since they were never designed to be resistant to these types of weapons they suffered high losses. But this was for the US at least a secondary requirement as the primary and most important battlefield was the linear defensive war in West Germany. After the Bradley was introduced the Soviets upgraded the BMP with a 30mm gun that could fire bursts of armour piercing ammunition to long range in place of the 14.5mm gun. This required an upgrading of the Bradley’s armour in the A2 version to be resistant to the 30mm armour piercing round. While claimed as a response to the Burton trials it had nothing to do with it.

The third issue about vehicle survivability that Burton seized upon when the vaporifics issue was shown to be so much hot air was crew survivability after a penetrating hit. This argument, completely factually correct, was that the APCs like the Bradley with their fuel and ammunition stored inside alongside the large number of human occupants were highly dangerous after being hit and penetrated. That the sympathetic explosions of the fuel and ammunition made it extremely unlikely any of the crew would escape the vehicle after being hit.

This was of course no surprise to anyone involved in the design and use of APCs including the Bradley. Because of course it wasn’t designed to be exposed to these kinds of fires in the first place so why make it survivable to such a hit? You don’t build a street car to survive a roll over at speeds over 250 kph (~150 mph) because they don’t drive that fast. But you do build a racing car to survive such a roll over. However the sight of a burnt out APC is as emotive as a crushed street car even if the likelihood in the primary means of operations was extremely low. Burton was able to get the Army to build a Bradley with all fuel and ammunition moved to separate armoured boxes within or outside the vehicle. This vehicle was never entered into production however and fans of the Pentagon Wars frequently mistake this vehicle for the A2 armour upgrade. Even though the later vehicle retained all of its fuel and ammunition inside the vehicle alongside the occupants.

Since the end of the Cold War and an increasing focus on counter insurgency and offensive operations the US Army and others have upgraded their protection requirements for APCs. Now they are often as high as tanks and with high flank protection. But this does not invalidate the effectiveness of the original design of protection for the Bradley. A vehicle that at its time of introduction was along with the West German Marder the most protected APC in the world and if asked to do what it was designed for would have provided adequate protection for infantry mobility in West Germany against a Soviet invasion.
I agree that the Bradley was not intended to stand up to a tank, but the fact that it had a high profile turret with a gun meant to kill lightly armored vehicles of similar capability demonstrate that it certainly was created with a stand-up infantry fighting capability. It would certainly be exposed to ATGMs in this role and to test survivability in this regime was certainly warranted.

The issue was never direct fire tank rounds. This was always insta-death from kinetic forces. The issue was RPGs and man portable ATGMs, many of which produced highly survivable damage if you can prevent internal fuel and ammo discharge for at least 10-15 seconds.

Burton was not incorrect about these threats whatsoever. Bradleys were intended to skirmish with and suppress enemy infantry platoons, and they certainly had these weapons aplenty.

The Bradley proved to be somewhat vulnerable to man portable shaped charges, so much so that Bradleys were withdrawn from Iraq in favor of MRAPs which were cheaper, faster and just as survivable under most conditions.
 
Sea Skimmer said:
Yeah some of them certainly have been stored outside the armor on the M2/3A1. It was changed again for the A2 versions because of the need to accommodate Javelin instead of Dragon missiles in addition.

The A0 to A1 required reasonable changes because it changed TOW to TOW II and added a NBC system.
Reading through older posts.....
I never appreciated that the XM723/Bradley was never designed, let alone manufactured without an NBC system from the get go.

Regards
Pioneer
 
As I've indicated, I'm revisiting this topic.
Can I ask the forum why the Bradley is/has been a dismal export failure? After all, it's obviously not through lack of U.S. government/industry efforts to sell it, or nations with stupendous that don't like buying high priced toys...
The fact that the 'used' IFV/ICV market has proliferated in the last 10+ years (look at the sale of used German Marder 1's around the world for example. Yet nobody seems to have sniffed at Bradley's.
Is it it's design/layout?; It's cost (purchase and maintenance)?; It's sophistication?

Also, if I may, do we know what the designs the likes of Pacific Car and Chrysler might have submitted to the same U.S. Army competition that derived the FMC XM723/Bradley?

Look forward to your thoughts.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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As I've indicated, I'm revisiting this topic.
Can I ask the forum why the Bradley is/has been a dismal export failure? After all, it's obviously not through lack of U.S. government/industry efforts to sell it, or nations with stupendous that don't like buying high priced toys...
The fact that the 'used' IFV/ICV market has proliferated in the last 10+ years (look at the sale of used German Marder 1's around the world for example. Yet nobody seems to have sniffed at Bradley's.
Is it it's design/layout?; It's cost (purchase and maintenance)?; It's sophistication?

Also, if I may, do we know what the designs the likes of Pacific Car and Chrysler might have submitted to the same U.S. Army competition that derived the FMC XM723/Bradley?

Look forward to your thoughts.

Regards
Pioneer
Chile, Jordan, and Indonesia have bought about 400 Marder 1s in total, or about the same number of Bradleys bought by Saudi Arabia.

Aside from cost and access concerns, the design's age and generally overloaded state have done it no favors in the modern market against more modern designs which were conceived as export platforms from the get go.
 
Cheers Moose for your feedback!
I was oblivious to the Saudis buying used Bradley's.

Regards
Pioneer
 
Croatia recently (last year) purchased 76 M2A2(ODS) Bradleys and about 1,300 TOW missiles, as well. Greece also received 350 M2A2 to replace M113s around the same time. The Lebanese got 32 M2A2(ODS) vehicles in 2017 as part of a package deal to fight ISIS. Meanwhile Germany is still struggling to find buyers for Lynx KF41 at the moment, so Marder (and its closest cousin) seem to be treading water or dead as far as exports go.

It's a bit tough to describe Bradley as a "dismal export failure" relative to the competition, unless you mean BMP I guess but that's not totally fair (the Soviets masterminded the 21st century's "give AFVs away for free" marketing methods). Maybe the only other vehicle of its vintage that has had similar export success is the Strf 90, and between the Saudis and Greeks, I think the Strf 90 can be safely dismissed as a serious competitor in terms of sales volume.

It has no real competition at the moment except in the Eurosphere where German exports reign supreme because they come with jobs. I wouldn't be shocked if Poland picks up a few hundred to go with their M1A2s once the US Army gets around to re-powerpacking the M2/M3 with the silly OPOC and high performance transmission in a few years.

The 2020s and possibly '30's seem pretty bright for Bradley as far as exports go. Probably because, unlike the competition (Strf 90, ASCOD, Marder, Warrior, BMP) it was upgraded incrementally, and remains fairly modern. The only vehicles that approach Bradley in capability are well beyond it in performance (and price), such as SPz Puma or Ajax/ASCOD 2.

At the very least it's looking at 850-900 wagons exported.

I honestly can't think of a tracked IFV that a Western firm makes that exceeds that, but Strf 90 comes close.
 
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Croatia recently (last year) purchased 76 M2A2(ODS) Bradleys and about 1,300 TOW missiles, as well. Greece also received 350 M2A2 to replace M113s around the same time. The Lebanese got 32 M2A2(ODS) vehicles in 2017 as part of a package deal to fight ISIS. Meanwhile Germany is still struggling to find buyers for Lynx KF41 at the moment, so Marder (and its closest cousin) seem to be treading water or dead as far as exports go.

It's a bit tough to describe Bradley as a "dismal export failure" relative to the competition, unless you mean BMP I guess but that's not totally fair (the Soviets masterminded the 21st century's "give AFVs away for free" marketing methods). Maybe the only other vehicle of its vintage that has had similar export success is the Strf 90, and between the Saudis and Greeks, I think the Strf 90 can be safely dismissed as a serious competitor in terms of sales volume.

It has no real competition at the moment except in the Eurosphere where German exports reign supreme because they come with jobs. I wouldn't be shocked if Poland picks up a few hundred to go with their M1A2s once the US Army gets around to re-powerpacking the M2/M3 with the silly OPOC and high performance transmission in a few years.

The 2020s and possibly '30's seem pretty bright for Bradley as far as exports go. Probably because, unlike the competition (Strf 90, ASCOD, Marder, Warrior, BMP) it was upgraded incrementally, and remains fairly modern. The only vehicles that approach Bradley in capability are well beyond it in performance (and price), such as SPz Puma or Ajax/ASCOD 2.

At the very least it's looking at 850-900 wagons exported.

I honestly can't think of a tracked IFV that a Western firm makes that exceeds that, but Strf 90 comes close.
Thank you Kat Tsun for your reply and opinion.
Just to clarify, I used and stand by my describing the Bradley as a "dismal export failure" in terms of a new-built vehicle, as opposed to a secondhand vehicle. No one seemed to have wanted it built and put into service from new.
As for the "Strf 90", I would have considered it a generation younger than the Bradley.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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I mean, you're comparing it to Marder 1. Which didn't see any exports at all until a decade plus after it ended production. Saudi Arabia was buying Bradleys in the '80's, when it was brand new, and it's seeing just as many exports now as it was back then. Bradley is still in production today too, unlike Marder.

While I'm no historian or anything I don't think anything besides maybe M113 was as successful in Western tracked AFV exports during the Cold War as Bradley was. 400 wagons steps on the 300 Desert Warriors that Kuwait bought, which was probably the runner-up overall for Western IFV exports. In practice it looks like no one cared about German wagons until they did what the Soviets used to do and gave away AFVs for free at little to no cost for the recipient. Now that the US does the same with older M2A2s and GWOT grants, people are snapping them up quite readily, again.

Strf 90 is just a Bradley that was 10 years too late, but instead of TOW, it just has a gigantic gun that cracks the T-55s instead. It's like how Gripen is a F-16 that was 10 years too late. Sweden being a decade late is sort of par the course for a small country competing with a superpower. The actual performance is the same (kills T-55s and BMP/BTR, protected against 14.5mm frontally and 12.7mm all around, and comparable mobility, with no hunter-killer capability), so they're the same "generation" or whatever.

The only tracked vehicles really superior to Bradley in terms of performance are Ajax/ASCOD 2, T-15 Armata, Warrior, Marder 2, and SPz Puma. One of those is dead, three are or possibly are DOA, and the other is foundering on the export market. Although they are all better protected, just as mobile, and just as, or better, armed, it doesn't seem to help them very much. Sure, Bradley might be a clown car, with an awkward hull shape that makes applique coverage hilariously awful, but it's not hurting it in total hulls bought (or given away) or anything of the sort. It's a pretty well designed wagon all things considered, and it has a lot of inherent firepower, is battle proven, and comes with the backing of one of the most experienced and well trained militaries in the world, which is always nice.

Exports are not really determined by any intrinsic factors of the vehicle itself but rather by how well you can support a vehicle, and how much you're willing to part with for it, which can be anywhere from "nothing and lots of money" to "total support for free". The latter is usually successful for obvious reasons, and it's pretty common after major arms production programs end that people do it to rid themselves of surplus hulls. Literally all of Marder 1s exports were "second hand", after all.

Germany was willing to export its entire AFV fleet as soon as reunification happened. That's gone now, so it's probably going back to its normal "never successfully exports" historical average, with the addition of a handful of Central European countries looking for factories to support local jobs (the real prime motivator for inter-European AFV exports). I doubt they will enjoy much success with the SPz Puma or MGCV unless the United States buys the latter to replace M1, and even then that's an edge case, since the US could always just pull a tank out of its nethers and resurrect 140mm ATAC or something (like how it pulled XM1299 from the aether and is on track to build a few hundred by the latter part of this decade).
 
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The only tracked vehicles really superior to Bradley in terms of performance are Ajax/ASCOD 2, T-15 Armata, Warrior, Marder 2, and SPz Puma.
Err...go check out KF41 Lynx and AS21 Redback being considered under Land 400 Ph3
 
Very much like this long list of "only"s. And even then it doesn't include every possible participant. BMP-3? K-25? CV90? ZBD-4? K21?
 
Very much like this long list of "only"s. And even then it doesn't include every possible participant. BMP-3? K-25? CV90? ZBD-4? K21?

Yes, BMP-3 is very successful. Shame it isn't made by a Western country, thus immaterial to "Western bloc exports in the Cold War".

Competing with BMP-1/2 in exports is a bit like competing with T-55 or something in production numbers: it's always going to be top dog, unless India decides to buy 3,000 Bradleys or something in the coming years, so it's not really worth mentioning.

Not sure why you're listing vehicles so weakly marketed the only people buying them are the people that make them. ZBD-4? K21? Kurganets? What of them? The only people using those are China, Korea, and Russia, as of now, and even if K21 goes to Australia it won't be more than a couple hundred hulls at most. I only included T-15 as a comparison point to vehicles that were superior in performance to Bradley, more to show how good Bradley actually is relative to the competition, despite its age. Much like M1 it's a pretty good design with no substantial flaws or eccentric quirks, although Warrior MICV would probably be a better basis to build upon since it has special armor built into the SWaP.

Bradley is, by objective measures of "hulls exported outside originator country", the winner of Western bloc IFV exports though. Which is why comparisons to things like Marder 1, which was a bit of a lame duck, are odd IMO. Marder 1 is presently completely dead, while Bradley is gearing up for its fifth major design iteration and a new 675 HP engine.

The only tracked vehicles really superior to Bradley in terms of performance are Ajax/ASCOD 2, T-15 Armata, Warrior, Marder 2, and SPz Puma.
Err...go check out KF41 Lynx and AS21 Redback being considered under Land 400 Ph3

Yeah, K21 skipped my mind. It's definitely better protected (30mm) baseline and has comparable mobility to -A0. Also I didn't know that Hungary bought the Lynx. Pretty neat looking wagon.

I guess if Bradley gets the SWaP back from its BUSK appliques with the silly 1,000 HP engine that Cummins built then K21, Puma, and M2A5 or whatever will be comparable in broad strokes, which would represent the most advanced IFVs in production today. Though I wouldn't hold my breath for any modern Bradley to get exported. Modern vehicles in general seem to be much tougher to get into production period, much less secure export orders, than simply surplussing vast quantities of accumulated armor from old depots.
 
I thought any plans for an M2A5 have essentially been cancelled. OMFV is the way forward at least until the Army screws that one up.
 
Kat Tsun, please note, I'm not trying to split hairs with you mate.
I'm not wanting or trying to denote that the Marder was better than the Bradley. I'm just very inquisitive as to why the Bradley didn't sell 'as new'.
I appreciate that the marketability of the Bradley and Marder 1 was like chalk and cheese, with the West Germans being very restricted in what and who it could sell to (with the exception of NATO countries), where as the US didn't have such restrictions and openly had the US government's backing and blessing to do so.

P.S., if you don't mind me saying, I have to disagree with your analogy: "Strf 90 is just a Bradley that was 10 years too late." For from what I've read and studied, even though the Strf 90 used some components of the Bradley, it's design philosophy and intent was completely different. Where as the Strf 90 was delivered as it was intended, the Bradley appears to have been a somewhat evolution of compromise.

Whilst on the topic of US Army MICV evolution and compromise, does anyone have anything on the US Army evaluation of Marder 1 and their findings/assessment?

Regards
Pioneer
 
Yes, BMP-3 is very successful. Shame it isn't made by a Western country, thus immaterial to "Western bloc exports in the Cold War".
Ah, so point was purely about export and purely about West. My bad for misunderstanding then.
Tho there still was phrase about "performance"?..
 
Yes, BMP-3 is very successful. Shame it isn't made by a Western country, thus immaterial to "Western bloc exports in the Cold War".
Ah, so point was purely about export and purely about West. My bad for misunderstanding then.
Tho there still was phrase about "performance"?..

Right.

Basically, Pioneer was saying that "more modern" vehicles are "designed for export". I was using T-15/Puma/and friends as examples of vehicles that are more modern/technically and materially superior to M2, yet having found not an iota of success of the "older" (and implied "less export designed") Bradley. More modern vehicles being designed for export is something of a oxymoron I think, since more modern vehicles tend to be more expensive and more difficult to produce due to greater quantities of protective subsystems (APS, laser warners, etc.), expensive-to-manufacture armors (special armor bricks versus aluminum monocoque), or advanced engines (Cummins VTA903 vs MTU V10-892).

There are certainly better vehicles than Bradley, in terms of hull layout, protection, mobility, internal layout, etc. The "only" isn't really important, since that was less an absolute statement, and more "things I can think of off the top of my head coming out of Euro-American megacorps in the past 20 years".

My point was just that export success has nothing to do with intrinsic capabilities of the vehicles themselves (otherwise no one would have bought Marder and everyone would have bought Desert Warriors) and more to do with the industrial or economic factors people are willing to put in to bribe officials, how much maintenance support they provide, and whether or not the hulls need to be built (if they do, people like to throw in factories for local jobs, as the Egyptians had for their M1s).

I'm just overly wordy I guess.
 
"Basically, Pioneer was saying that "more modern" vehicles are "designed for export"."

- Kat Tsun

Mate, I don't know if that's what I was trying to convey ;)

The good thing about conversation like we're having here on this forum is the perspectives of other can bring forward ideas/notions one initially didn't think or considered. On this I'd say that our conversation has probably led me to the realisation that the Marder 1 and Bradley were without question West German and American Army centric in their nature, design and purpose, with export being of far less concern to the respective armies, as opposed to the corporations that built them.
I don't think anyone could argue that the Marder 1 wasn't specifically designed with a 100% Bundeswehr operational doctrine in mind (as was the Bradley by and for the US Army), hence it's excessive weight, not an iota of amphibious capability, troop capacity and firepower, which all equated to its high unit cost, which undoubtedly was far to excessive for most NATO Armies, let alone dubious up and coming regimes, who although having the money, didn't really have the threat, doctrine, let alone the technical knowledge and expertise to run and maintain such sophisticated MICV/IFV's.
Even the British Warrior seems to have been more British centric, with it's design philosophy eliminating the then popular and sellable fashion of troop compartment integrated vision blocks, gun ports, a vehicle mounted ATGM system from the getgo.

With the above said, I'm guessing this is why the FMC AIFV design became such a commercial success. For FMC was astute enough to appreciate that not every army need, wanted or could afford to buy, operate and maintain advanced and sophisticated MICV/IFV's like the Marder 1 and Bradley......



Regards
Pioneer
 
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