What’s In a Bradley?

Let’s take a look at what’s in a Bradley, courtesy of Hunnicut’s excellent work on the vehicle. Some of the information below is a little old (it’s from back when the M60 was the US Army’s squad support weapon), so I’ll make estimates for more modern systems as appropriate.

–Equipment for Vehicle Subsystems–

  • Fuel: 175 gal.
  • Engine oil: 26 qt.
  • Ready 25mm rounds: 300
  • Stowed 25mm rounds: 600
  • Ready 7.62mm rounds: 800
  • Stowed 7.62mm rounds: 1,4001
  • Ready TOW missiles: 2 missiles
  • Stowed TOW missiles: 5 missiles (Or 3 TOW missiles + 2 Javelin missiles, see below)

–Equipment for Dismounts–

  • Stowed 7.62mm rounds: 2,2002
  • Stowed 5.56mm rounds: 5,3203
  • Stowed AT4 Rockets: 3 rockets
  • Stowed ATGMs: 0 or 2 Javelin missiles

Curiously, in the tables in Hunnicutt’s book, both AT4 and M72 LAWs are listed as carried. In the text he mentions that AT4s were carried instead of LAWs and stowage was altered accordingly. I’ve gone with the latter here. We can also see that the Bradley is absolutely loaded with ammo.

  1. In Hunnicut’s table, ammo for the coax M240C is noted separately from the ammo for the M60 that’s to be deployed with the squad. I have preserved the distinction here (See also note 2) 
  2. These might also be used in the coax gun, since they’re still linked 7.62x51mm. Alternatively, this space should hold about 3,300 rounds of 5.56mm belted ammo for M249s, which is the current squad automatic weapon of the US Army. 
  3. Originally these were separated out for the M239 Firing port weapon and the infantry’s M16s, but the M239s didn’t work very well, and later versions of the Bradley plated over the firing ports. In any case, the M16 and M239 use the same magazines, so I haven’t split the ammo out here like Hunicutt does. 

3 thoughts on “What’s In a Bradley?

  1. Checkmate

    No idea how they manage to stuff all this inside the thing. Lower percentile soldier, or just maybe those grenades and rockets are volume intensive. Also lower staying power wrt fuel and water and food (ok, it may have bigger fuel tank though). The lack of grenades, AT rockets smoke rounds indicates a vastly different doctrine. Almost like it’s a scout-strike vehicle.

    1. parvusimperator Post author

      Article coming (with pictures!), but the short answer is that the sponsons and floor are empty, so there’s lots of space behind the soldiers seats and under their feet for stuff. And it’s a different standard of protection. The Germans got pretty obsessive about mine protection and keeping flammables out of the crew compartment in Puma. (see also decoupled running gear, etc)

      Hunnicutt doesn’t note food/water carried, and he also doesn’t note grenades. M203s were on the TO&E at this point in time. Also, AT4s are antitank rockets. Lighter than the PzF3, but there are also TOW missiles and Javelins.

      As for the Bradley, one of the quirks of the American procurement process is that often projects will merge/get subsumed in order to build support or resist congressional inquiries. and budget pressures. The army wanted a scout vehicle and an IFV. The IFV was “more urgent” (read: voted Most Likely To Succeed in its high school yearbook), and so it gained most of the scout vehicle requirements as well. The M3 scout vehicle trades all but two of the dismounts for about double the stowed ammo for the M242 and TOW launcher.

      Also, the Bradley was built to kill all those Soviet light armored vehicles surging through the Fulda Gap to leave American tanks free to kill all of the rampaging Soviet tanks. So yeah, there are definite doctrinal differences.

  2. Pingback: Engineering Tradeoff Q&A: Puma and Bradley | The Soapbox

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