The US Army has completed the fielding of the modernized M2A4 Bradley fighting vehicle to its first unit in a milestone for the near decade-long effort to upgrade the vehicles.
The “Hound Battalion,” 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, officially became the first unit to complete field-level maintenance and operator new equipment training on the modernized vehicles on April 22.
The army rolled out the first M2A4 BFVs to the “Spartan Brigade,” 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, at Fort Stewart on February 1.
The enhancements include power modernization to regain speed performance and increased power in the turret, allowing the platform to host future technologies.
The service started fielding the M2A4 variant of the Bradley after resolving the issue with toxic gases from batteries that weren’t compatible with a new charger that was installed in the A4 design.
“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 Program Executive Officer for PEO GCS. “We fielded the most capable Bradley Fighting Vehicle to date, with the Bradley in service for three decades. Because the A4 variant has enhanced mobility and power generation, we’ll be able to integrate new technologies.”
The Army plans to roll out five brigade sets. The first unit equipped, 3rd Bn., 67th AR, will receive 21 M2A4 BFVs.
The Army is planning and coordinating to roll out more than 700 M2A4 BFVs through 2029. The average cost of an M2A4 BFV is $4.35 million.
As the army enhanced survivability on the previous versions of the BFV, mobility was negatively impacted because of the extra weight. Designers could not integrate additional capabilities because there was no more power. Now it can keep up with M1A2 Abrams tank acceleration requirements.
“The upgrades involved a holistic plan to produce, ship, transfer and train units to operate and maintain the M2A4 BFV for their warfighting mission,” said Lt. Col. Mario Iglesias, the PEO GCS M2A4 BFV product manager. “The last upgrade to the Bradley was in 2002. The Army plans to continue providing field units with the A4 variant until the new OMFV is produced, which will eventually replace the Bradley.”
“Cronos Company,” Charlie Company, 3rd Bn., 67th AR, 2nd ABCT, completed the M2A4 BFV operator new equipment training on Mar. 21, making the company and its battalion the tip of the spear in the Army’s modernization efforts.
“We’re humbled to blaze the trail and pass the lessons of the new equipment training back to the other units in our brigade receiving the modernized Bradley, so they can be even better during their equipment training,” said Lt. Col. Daniel G. Hodermarsky, commander of the 3rd Bn., 67th AR, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID.
The increased lethality the modernized M2A4 BFV brings to the warfighter is not lost on the soldiers of the 3rd Bn., 67th AR.
“The increase in power generation and distribution greatly increases the capability of current and future electronic additions,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Wallace, the M2A4 BFV master gunner for the 3rd Bn., 67th AR. “The addition of the commander’s independent viewer from the previous Bradley variant greatly increases the situational awareness within each crew to fight, survive and win.”
The Spartan Brigade is on glide path to become the most modern US Army brigade combat team this fall.