Military

BAE shows off Next-Generation Bradley Fighting Vehicle prototype

The new concept vehicle borrows technology from other systems to keep down costs
The new concept vehicle borrows technology from other systems to keep down costs
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The new vehicle could replace the previous version of the Bradley shown here
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The new vehicle could replace the previous version of the Bradley shown here
The new concept vehicle borrows technology from other systems to keep down costs
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The new concept vehicle borrows technology from other systems to keep down costs

BAE Systems has unveiled the possible successor to the US Army's veteran Bradley Fighting Vehicle at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting in Washington DC. The Next Generation Bradley concept vehicle is designed to demonstrate an improvement in the Bradley's capabilities while keeping down costs.

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle first entering service in 1981, but its development can be traced to back to the 1950s when the US Army began developing the infantry fighting vehicle as a fast piece scout/troop carrier capable of keeping up with main battle tanks while dealing with Soviet armor. Over the decades, shifting needs, advancing technologies, and concerns about vulnerability brought on many upgrades, resulting in vehicle weight jumping from 8 to almost 30 tons.

The Pentagon has considered a number of options for replacing the Bradley, including a complete blank sheet redesign, but recent budget cuts have required a rethink. BAE is betting that an improved version of the Bradley using existing systems borrowed from other vehicles is an answer that the US Army will find attractive.

"In the current budget environment, the Army often has to choose between maintaining an existing fleet and developing new capabilities," says Deepak Bazaz, director of Artillery and Bradley Programs at BAE Systems. "We're investing in research and development to demonstrate cost-effective options for the Army to address current gaps. We're focused on integrating current, emerging, and future technologies to significantly improve the Bradley's mobility, force protection, and lethality."

The new vehicle could replace the previous version of the Bradley shown here
The new vehicle could replace the previous version of the Bradley shown here

The concept Bradley has an upgraded chassis with more underbelly armor to deal with IEDs, compartments for fuel and ammunition for greater safety, and more electrical power in anticipation of new technologies. The suspension has been upgraded to allow it to keep up with the US Army's main armor groups, and there's an improved turret, tracking sensors, and better connectivity.

In keeping with its strategy of borrowing from other designs, the Bradley concept has the armor, fuel tanks, and the driver's hatch from the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle; the 600-volt electronics and drives from the M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer; and a general design that has more in common with other BAE vehicles, so parts and systems can be swapped between them.

BAE says that the prototype will be used to develop new technologies and act as a development, experimentation, and evaluation testbed.

Source: BAE Systems

7 comments
VincentWolf
In some neighborhoods that's what you need to survive.
LaurencePotgieter
good comment by VincentWolf! nice tank / armoured car, but why? arms manufacturers should go the way of the dinosaurs now, but unfortunately governments are subservient to them, the kickbacks are just too irresistable for the Defence Minister and all associated parties ...
KeithPhillips
In my opinion the world would be a better place without this type, and many more vehicles similar!!
Wolf0579
I've always thought the bradley was a suicide machine. The armor was substandard, and it's undergunned.
McDesign
I was with the maintenance contract holder for the Bradley program during the first Gulf War. The vehicle was a victim of "mission creep"; it got so armored and heavy that it started to look like a mini MBT, and unschooled folks pointed out that it didn't have sufficient armor or weaponry. For an MBT, no - but folks, it was a troop carrier - it did that very well. Anyway - as a civilian driving them at our test course in the deep mud in Ladysmith, VA, it sure was fun to work the turbo-lag; back to full throttle upon entering the mudholes, then in precisely two and a half seconds seconds all 900 inches and 600 horsepower came out to play. Fun times.
Derek Howe
KeithPhillips - Just because you want peace, doesn't mean everyone else does. Armored vehicles and bigger guns will continue marching on.
habakak
Humans have always needed defense and have gone to war, either out of being provoked or fighting over resources. We always will. At least it's getting less and the world is a vastly more peaceful place than it was 50 or 100 or 500 years ago. Or any other time in history. It's a long march and there will never be a time without violence or some sort of war. We are doing pretty well to fight our natural instinct to fight. Read 'The better angels of our nature' to see and understand how truly brutal and violent human history has been. There is much more peach and less violence now than ever before. There will be deviations from the trend, but it will get better all the time. When humans lived in tribes and bands of a few hundred at a time, it lead to way more violence. Imagine a population of 10 million humans consisting of groups of 100 to 300 people. It would in essence be 30000 to 100000 'nations' with their own independence and governance. A lot more opportunity and reason to fight. And fight they did. Violence back then was also much more violent than today.
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