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Cavalry Fighting Vehicle M3 Bradley1-5
M3: General
Date of first acceptance 1981 Total acceptances 2300 M2 and M3
Manufacturer FMC Corp. Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret left
  • Gunner in turret right
  • Driver in hull left front
  • 2 observers
M3: Dimensions
Combat weight 49,945lbs
22,655kg
Height over commander's hatch 117"
297cm
Length 254"
645cm
Gun overhang forward 0"
Width 126"
320cm
Tread 96"
240cm
Ground clearance 18"
46cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 7.7psi
.54kg/cm²
M3: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
25mm Chain Gun M242 Bushmaster Turret 1500 rounds
(300 ready)
360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +59° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
7.62mm M240C MG Coaxial to 25mm gun 4400 rounds 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +59° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
Dual TOW missile launcher Turret 10 TOW missiles + 2 in launcher 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +29° to -19°
(electric)
15°/sec
Stabilizer
Azimuth and elevation
Night vision
Thermal
M3: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Steel, 5083 aluminum, and 7039 aluminum armor
Turret
Steel, 5083 aluminum, and 7039 aluminum armor
M3: Automotive
Engine Cummins VTA-903T; 8 cylinder, 4 cycle, vee, turbosupercharged diesel
Horsepower Gross: 500@2600 rpm Torque Gross: 1025 ft-lb@2350rpm Fuel capacity 197gal
746L
Transmission General Electric HMPT-500 hydromechanical, automatic range selection
Steering Hydrostatic, steering yoke
Brakes Multiple plate, oil cooled
M3: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 individually sprung dual/track 1 dual/track, 2 single/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth front drive Dual adjustable at rear of track On first 3 and last road wheels/track
M3: Track
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 21"
53cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track Left side: 84
Right side: 82
Ground contact length 154"
391cm
M3: Performance
Max level road speed 41mph
66kph
Max water speed 4.5mph
7.2kph
Max trench 100"
250cm
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot
Max fording depth Floats Cruising range ~300mi, roads
~480km, roads


The M3 cavalry fighting vehicle was essentially a restowed M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. The M3 was the cavalry scout version, and its passenger compartment was occupied by two observers and more ammunition and missiles. Since the M3 lacked an infantry squad, it carried no firing port weapons, and the firing ports themselves were covered. The M3 retained the three periscopes between the cargo hatch and entry ramp and the periscopes along the sides of the vehicle.

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Cavalry Fighting Vehicle M3A1 Bradley1-5
M3A1: General
Date of first acceptance 1987 Total acceptances 1371 M2A1 and M3A1
Manufacturer FMC Corp. Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret
  • Gunner in turret
  • Driver in hull left front
  • 2 observers
M3A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 50,510lbs
22,910kg
Height over commander's hatch 117"
297cm
Length 254"
645cm
Gun overhang forward 0"
Width 126"
320cm
Tread 96"
240cm
Ground clearance 18"
46cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 7.8psi
.55kg/cm²
M3A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
25mm Chain Gun M242 Bushmaster Turret 1500 rounds
(300 ready)
360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +57° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
7.62mm M240C MG Coaxial to 25mm gun 4400 rounds 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +57° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
Dual TOW missile launcher Turret 10 TOW 2 missiles + 2 in turret 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +29° to -19°
(electric)
15°/sec
Stabilizer
Azimuth and elevation
Night vision
Thermal
M3A1: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Steel, 5083 aluminum, and 7039 aluminum armor
Turret
Steel, 5083 aluminum, and 7039 aluminum armor
M3A1: Automotive
Engine Cummins VTA-903T; 8 cylinder, 4 cycle, vee, turbosupercharged diesel
Horsepower Gross: 500@2600 rpm Torque Gross: 1025 ft-lb@2350rpm Fuel capacity 197gal
746L
Transmission General Electric HMPT-500 hydromechanical, automatic range selection
Steering Hydrostatic, steering yoke
Brakes Multiple plate, oil cooled
M3A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 individually sprung dual/track 1 dual/track, 2 single/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth front drive Dual adjustable at rear of track On first 3 and last road wheels/track
M3A1: Track
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 21"
53cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track Left side: 84
Right side: 82
Ground contact length 154"
391cm
M3A1: Performance
Max level road speed 41mph
66kph
Max water speed 4.5mph
7.2kph
Max trench 100"
250cm
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot
Max fording depth Floats Cruising range ~300mi, roads
~480km, roads


The M3A1 incorporated the same improvements as the M2A1 Bradley. The CFV differed from the IFV in having NBC masks connected to the central filter for all five crewmen, instead of just the driver, gunner, and vehicle commander. The three periscopes on the rear deck were omitted in the M3A1, and replaced by four periscopes in the cargo hatch itself. The two periscopes on the right side of the passenger copmpartment were also deleted.

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Cavalry Fighting Vehicle M3A2 Bradley1-5
M3A2: General
Total acceptances 3053 M2A2 and M3A2
Manufacturer United Defense, L.P. Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret
  • Gunner in turret
  • Driver in hull left front
  • 2 observers
M3A2: Dimensions
Combat weight ~60,000lbs
27,000kg
Height over commander's hatch 117"
297cm
Length 258"
655cm
Gun overhang forward 0"
Width 129"
328cm
Tread 96"
240cm
Ground clearance 18"
46cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 9.3psi
.65kg/cm²
M3A2: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
25mm Chain Gun M242 Bushmaster Turret 1500 rounds
(300 ready)
360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +57° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
7.62mm M240C MG Coaxial to 25mm gun 4200 rounds 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +57° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
Dual TOW missile launcher Turret 10 TOW 2 missiles + 2 in launcher 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +29° to -19°
(electric)
15°/sec
Stabilizer
Azimuth and elevation
Night vision
Thermal
M3A2: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Steel and 5083 aluminum armor
Turret
Steel, 5083 aluminum, and 7039 aluminum armor
M3A2: Automotive
Engine Cummins VTA-903T; 8 cylinder, 4 cycle, vee, turbosupercharged diesel
Horsepower Gross: 600@2600 rpm Torque Gross: 1225 ft-lb@2350rpm Fuel capacity 175gal
662L
Transmission General Electric HMPT-500-3 or HMPT-500-3EC hydromechanical, automatic range selection
Steering Hydrostatic, steering yoke
Brakes Multiple plate, oil cooled
M3A2: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 individually sprung dual/track 1 dual/track, 2 single/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth front drive Dual adjustable at rear of track On first 3 and last road wheels/track
M3A2: Track
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 21"
53cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track Left side: 84
Right side: 82
Ground contact length 154"
391cm
M3A2: Performance
Max level road speed 35mph
56kph
Max water speed 4.0mph
6.4kph
Max trench 84"
210cm
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 30"
76cm
Min turning diameter Pivot
Max fording depth Floats Cruising range ~250mi, roads
~400km, roads


M3A2 acquired the improved armor protection and other modifications of the M2A2.

After live firing testing, the seating and stowage arrengements of the Bradley were redrawn. The observers were moved to a bench on the left side of the vehicle, and the missile stowage was rearranged to enhance safety in case of an armor penetration.

After Operation Desert Storm, the M3A2 was upgraded again with the addition of an eye-safe carbon dioxide laser rangefinder, global positioning system and compass, missile countermeasure device, combat identification system, and thermal viewer for the driver. The 1423 -A2 Bradleys brought up to this standard were referred to as -A2ODS Bradleys.


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Cavalry Fighting Vehicle M3A3 Bradley1,4-6
M3A3: General
Date of first acceptance April 2000 Total acceptances 1602 M2A3 and M3A3
Manufacturer United Defense, L.P. Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret
  • Gunner in turret
  • Driver in hull left front
  • 2 observers
M3A3: Dimensions
Combat weight ~61,000lbs
~28,000kg
Height over commander's hatch 117"
297cm
Length 258"
655cm
Gun overhang forward 0"
Width 129"
cm
Tread 96"
240cm
Ground clearance 18"
46cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 9.4psi
.66kg/cm²
M3A3: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
25mm Chain Gun M242 Bushmaster Turret 1500 rounds
(300 ready)
360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +57° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
7.62mm M240C MG Coaxial to 25mm gun 4200 rounds 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +57° to -9°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec
Dual TOW missile launcher Turret 10 TOW 2 missiles + 2 in launcher 360°
(manual and electric)
60°/sec +29° to -19°
(electric)
15°/sec
Rangefinder
Laser
Stabilizer
Azimuth and elevation
Night vision
Thermal and independent thermal sight for commander
M3A3: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Steel and 5083 aluminum armor
Turret
Steel, 5083 aluminum, and 7039 aluminum armor
M3A3: Automotive
Engine Cummins VTA-903T; 8 cylinder, 4 cycle, vee, turbosupercharged diesel
Horsepower Gross: 600@2600 rpm Torque Gross: 1225 ft-lb@2350rpm Fuel capacity 175gal
662L
Transmission General Electric HMPT-500-3 or HMPT-500-3EC hydromechanical, automatic range selection
Steering Hydrostatic, steering yoke
Brakes Multiple plate, oil cooled
M3A3: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 individually sprung dual/track 1 dual/track, 2 single/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth front drive Dual adjustable at rear of track On first 3 and last road wheels/track
M3A3: Track
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 21"
53cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track Left side: 84
Right side: 82
Ground contact length 154"
391cm
M3A3: Performance
Max level road speed 35mph
56kph
Max water speed 4.0mph
6.4kph
Max trench 84"
210cm
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 30"
76cm
Min turning diameter Pivot
Max fording depth Floats Cruising range ~250mi, roads
~400km, roads


The M3A3 uses enhanced information and communication equipment, including a 1553 databus, central processing unit, and information displays for the vehicle commander and squad leader. The M3A3 became compatible with the intervehicular communication system of the M1A2 Abrams tank and AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter. The commander was provided with an independent thermal viewer, and a new integrated sight unit called the Improved Bradley Acquisition System (IBAS) allowed automatic gun adjustments, automatic boresighting, and tracking of dual targets. The CITV and integrated sight are both second-generation FLIR systems. The roof was reinforced with titanium armor. M3A3s are being converted from M3A2s.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Bradley: A History of American Fighting and Support Vehicles. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1999.
    Reprinted with permission from Bradley, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1999, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.

  2. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.

  3. Foss, Chris. Modern Tanks. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995.

  4. Hogg, Ian V. The Greenhill Armoured Fighting Vehicles Data Book. London: Greenhill Books, 2000.

  5. Federation of American Scientists. "M2A3 and M3A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS)." DOD 101. 5 May 2000. 24 Jun 2001 <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m2.htm>. DOD 101

  6. Net Resources International. "Army Technology - Bradley M2/M3 - Tracked Armoured Fighting Vehicles." Army Technology. 24 Jun 2001 <http://www.army-technology.com/projects/bradley/index.html>.



Last updated 25 Mar 2014.

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© Copyright 2001-14 Chris Conners