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Fleece’s Faves – Bradley Edition

November 14, 2010

I am taking a cue here from Larry over at Political Realities – if you copy people you never have to come up with your own ideas.  Instead of the boring and all too easy method of just saying here are links I like, I always felt like I was being a little lazy (it is Sunday though), I am going to detail the military equipment I have used or have always wanted to use.  Hey, maybe I am just a warmonger, but I love military gear.

The M2A2 Bradley IFV

First will be my favorite vehicle in the Army (that I have used).  The M2A2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).  Named after General of the Army Omar Bradley, a “soldier’s general”, it is a lightly armored vehicle designed to transport infantry on the battlefield and then to provide fire support for them when they dismount.  Giving it the name of Bradley was appropriate I feel, for never have the Infantry had a vehicle that was so protective of its troops, it was a “soldier’s vehicle”.

Line Drawing of the "Bushmaster" 25mm cannon

We’ll start with the main gun, cause that’s always the funnest part.  The Bradley mounts an M242 Bushmaster 25mm automatic cannon.  Capable of firing at 200 rounds a minute, the Bushmaster is a chain-gun.  A chain-gun does not use gas to clear the breach and reload a round, instead it uses a chain, which greatly increases the reliability of the system – carbon fouling and other such problems of a gas-operated system are non-existent.  The M242 is a dual-feed system, meaning we can fire two different rounds by the simple push of a button.  The common ammo carried is High Explosive (think of little 25mm grenades) and Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (think of little tungsten darts).  The HE is used for soft targets like trucks and stuff, the AP is used for heavier armored vehicles like Armored Personnel Carriers and sometimes tanks.  The gun is fully stabilized, which means the gun will automatically track a target regardless of what terrain the Bradley is covering, allowing the cannon to be used on the move.

The Bradley is not a tank.  It is an IFV.  A tank’s primary purpose is to take out other tanks, and well, anything smaller.  An IFV tries to avoid contact with tanks, even though the Bradley has a nice weapon to deal with them.  On the left side of the turret is mounted the TOW missile launcher.  TOW stands for Tube-Launched Optically Tracked Wire Guided Missile (believe it or not, I still remember that), and was developed during the Vietnam war.  Basically the missile flies out of its launcher trailing copper wires that tie into a screen in the turret of the Bradley.  The gunner can “steer” the missile to his target with the gunner controls in the turret.  The missiles we were using when I was in was the TOW-IIB – which could take out any tank on the battlefield, if you hit it in the right place, tanks are pretty tough head-on.  Regardless, we still try to avoid tanks, one shot from them would smoke a Bradley.

"Clean" interior of dismount compartment - much more cluttered with gear, ammo and soldiers

A Bradley is crewed by three, a driver, gunner and Bradley Commander.  The dismount “squad” is not actually a squad, but more half a squad.  On an M2A2, there are 6 dismount infantry in the back, 7 on earlier models.  Those 6 are more of a large fire-team (a traditional fire-team is 4), thusly two Bradleys plus their dismounts make up a true Mechanized Infantry Squad, for a total of 12 dismounted infantry.  This is a powerful little group of bad-asses.  12 Infantryman with 2 Bradleys for fire-support would not be something you would not want to face.

The Bradley is well-designed for the “movement” battlefield.  It has a Cummins VT903 diesel engine with an output of 500 horsepower.  This is a big V-8 engine, how does a 15 litre make you feel?  Top speed on rough ground is usually around 25mph, which is pretty fast relatively speaking.  On pavement you can get up to 40mph.  Armor is adequate for its mission (again, not taking on other tanks), it can withstand 40mm direct fire and 155mm indirect fire, though anecdotal war stories tell it taking much more punishment.

The Bradley is a great vehicle, and my baby for my time in the Army.  We do not use them so much anymore which is saddening, the new Stryker wheeled vehicle is more often used for anti-insurgency roles.  I would say this is partly because of the lower maintenance issues associated with a wheeled vehicle, tack vehicles break down a lot, plus they are tough on roads.  The Stryker unfortunately is not anywhere as tough as a Bradley.

Well, that’s the M2A2 Bradley.  A great vehicle that has served our country proud.

Now on to the links.  This week they are in reverse Laplandic order.

nooneofanyimport – brings us a great post referencing one of my favorite movies of all time, Ghostbusters.  She links to me, so it is doubly special.

TheSwash.com – offers an excellent post featuring nautical slang – ever wonder where a lot of our phrases come from, check it out.

Planet Moron – was working overtime this week, had a hard time choosing my favorite.  This one is about how the government is a little confused about what they want us to eat…or don’t want us to eat.

Political Realities – great post about farm subsidies, specifically cotton, and our trade war with Brazil.

Proof Positive – accurately distinguishes Virginia is the most awesome state in the Union, pointing out we may get new Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” license plates – we rock!

The Current – you know you did some good work when everyone is linking the same post as a “favorite of the week” – check out John’s “Struggle with Compromise” and why we need to expand our commenting efforts across the aisle

motorcity times – Steve addresses how a Christmas Tree by any other name is still a freaking Christmas Tree, so lets just call it that you hippy morons!  (uhh, my added commentary there)

Bread upon the Waters – shows that at least some foreign leaders have some backbone when it comes to defending Israel, if you guessed Canada you were cheating.

Capitol Commentary – wonderfully written piece of how the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag perfectly encapsulates America’s true attitude

Present Discontent – awesome blog I found this week with an excellent piece about conservative history and today

Reporter 37 – I truly hate people who write better than me (which is most of you jerks) so it pangs me to link this most excellent post about how you can’t be a conservative and a democrat at the same time

America’s Watchtower – talks about Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize social security – a post that will put a smile on your face =)

Disrupt the Narrative – funny video explaining Quantitative Easing and how it is all The Ben Bernank’s fault

The Daley Gator – short post about how we are working hard to balance the budget…of Hamas!

Bunkerville – great post about how GM sold a factory to China – I guess they figured it was inevitable so why wait?

Blog de KingShamus – talks about more calls for violence from the left – as long as it ain’t the Tea Parties America is safe

American Elephants – great post about the death of global warming and why states still try to keep it alive…its the latest fashion

That’s all she wrote folks.  Check em out, excellent writing, excellent topics.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2010 2:04 pm

    Cool post and thanks for the link. Excellent commentary as well.

    • November 14, 2010 3:56 pm

      Thanks and my pleasure. =)

  2. November 14, 2010 2:31 pm

    To really learn about the Bradley Fighting Vehicle you need to watch the movie Pentagon Wars. Having been in the military, perhaps you’ve already seen this movie. It was made by HBO and has a couple of big stars (for their day). Film must be 20 years old by now.

    • November 14, 2010 3:56 pm

      Yep, I have seen it. A little misleading (to be expected from HBO) but an entertaining movie. They never explain how we came out with such a good vehicle considering their portrayal of the incompetence of the design process.

      • November 14, 2010 5:04 pm

        I think the point was more how expensive the final product was and how what it was able to do changed so much from what it was at the start. A compromise of sort, only to be replaced again…

  3. LD Jackson permalink
    November 14, 2010 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the link, Colin and well done with your story and info about the Bradley. I truly enjoyed reading it.

    For what it’s worth, I agree wholeheartedly with you about John’s post at The Current and Michael’s post at Reporter 37. Not discounting the rest, but those two outdid themselves with those two posts.

    • November 14, 2010 8:20 pm

      Your welcome, and yes, those two did excellent work this week.

  4. November 14, 2010 10:54 pm

    Colin I want to thank you for the kind words and link. I must admit I’m one of those guys that just link to the story with some pictures of golf courses and some pretty colors without much fanfare beyond that…football Sunday does that to me. :o) Anyway a close friend of mine was in the Army and the Bradley was his baby back in the late 1980s. I found the information very interesting. Thank you.

    • November 14, 2010 11:02 pm

      Hey thanks. I am a military nut, I love to read about all our cool toys. Plus a 25mm chain gun is just plain sweet.

      As far as the way we go about linking people – hey, at least we are showing other people love for the work they do, anything beyond that is just icing on the cake. Plus the links we choose to honor say as much about us as they do the person who wrote them. I like the teeing it up post – the only reason I am doing the army gear with my links is because I want to talk about it anyway, and this just gives me an excuse, lol.

      Keep up the good writing, posts like your motivate me to write better. =)

  5. November 15, 2010 6:46 am

    Thanks for the link!
    You must have had a little bit of fun in that Bradley huh? Do you have the military channel where you live? There are some great programs on there, it is my favorite channel.

    • November 15, 2010 7:09 am

      It was my pleasure.

      I love the military channel. Don’t like every show, like Hitler’s Bodyguard, but for the most part, it, TCM and Fox News are my top three channels. =)

      • November 15, 2010 9:28 pm

        Yeah, there are some shows that I don’t care about on the Military Channel, but I like most them.

      • November 15, 2010 9:29 pm

        Wings of the Luftwaffe is on tonight, with the FW-190. That’s a show I can get into. =)

  6. bunkerville permalink
    November 15, 2010 2:29 pm

    Thanks so much… keep on keeping on!

    • November 15, 2010 3:14 pm

      My pleasure. =)

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