The first Army unit has begun operating upgraded M2A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicles at Fort Stewart, Ga.. The “Hound Battalion,” 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, completed field-level maintenance-and-operator new equipment training on the vehicles on April 22. (The Army rolled out the first M2A4 BFVs to the “Spartan Brigade,” 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, on Feb. 1.)
The milestones mark a nearly decade-long effort to enhance the vehicles’ performance. Improvements include enhanced mobility with power-generation capabilities, power modernization that allows the vehicles to regain speed performance, and increased power to the turret. The platform also is now capable of incorporating future technologies as they become available.
“This Bradley variant will ensure that the platform maintains combat relevance now and for decades to come as we wait for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, or OMFV, platform to eventually replace it,” said Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, the ground combat systems program director. “We fielded the most capable Bradley Fighting Vehicle to date, with the Bradley in service for nearly three decades. Because the A4 variant has enhanced mobility and power generation, we’ll be able to integrate new technologies.”
In time, the Army plans to introduce five brigade sets. The Hound Battalion will get 21 vehicles. By 2029, the Army intends to have fielded more than 700 of the M2A4 variant – at an average cost of $4.35 million per vehicle.
The last time the Bradley was upgraded, in 2002, the Army found that the extra weight had an adverse impact on mobility. This also hindered designers from introducing additional capabilities. The M2A4 variant will not be plagued by these issues, the Army stated.