Bradley vs BMP2 in gun duel?

M3A1, M2A2 or M2A3 Bradley etc question, thinking back to the Cold War Era, was a Bradley sufficiently protected in the frontal ~120 degree arc to resist a BMP-2’s 30mm cannon fire?

I know the big threat is viewed as RPG rounds etc or IED’s now hence the reaction armor packages and other improvements.

Just wondering in Bradley vs BMP gun dual how that would shape up.

Much preferable is real data etc not WOT etc impressions.

Thank you

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Penetration characteristics of the 30 mm on the BMP:

" The M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle has a welded aluminum armor hull. Front arc has a spaced laminated aluminum and steel armor. Initial production variant provided protection against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. Front arc of the latest models provide protection against 30 mm armor-piercing rounds. Also vehicle is fitted with explosive reactive armor and withstands hits from RPG rounds. Bottom was reinforced with steel plates for improved protection against mines."

The latest versions of Bradley should survive but not the initial ones.

Haven’t found anything reliable on the M242 vs BMP frontal armour

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This makes sense since the original BMP-1 only had a low velocity 75mm gun, which the original Bradley would also survive against.

73mm smooth bore

That’s right, Soviets used the 73mm.

BMP-2: In service 1980

Bradley: “The Bradley IFV was developed largely in response to the amphibious Soviet BMP family of infantry fighting vehicles, and to serve as both an Armored personnel carrier, and a tank-killer . Design began in 1963 and entered production in 1981”

Early Bradleys entered service after the BMP-2 …

@Robin_Nilsson, excellent link.

The 30mm cannon ith the M929 APFSDS-T round is pretty impressive Penetration: 50 mm RHA steel at 60 degree impact at 1,000 m range.

I’ve read depending on angle of impact, the Bradley’s 25mm cannon with the UD M919 Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot With Tracer can penetrate 30mm to 100mm of RHA.

Pretty amazing.

I’ve been in a BMP and commanded a Bradley and I think other 11Mike’s would agree with me when I say that I’d much rather be in a Bradley in a gun fight.

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Correct. The initial version of the M2/M3 Bradley was designed in response to the BMP-1. When the Soviet Union found out we were designing the Bradley with a superior 25mm gun in the mid-late '70s, they developed the BMP-2 with a 30mm gun, two man turret, etc. in response.

^^Ditto^^ I have seen BMPs torn to Swiss cheese by a Bradley’s 25mm gun.

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The reverse is also true, the BMP-2/3 can also turn the Bradley into cheese. The frontal armor is protective at certain range, because considering how powerful these Russian 30mm is, immunity at all range is questionable.

Now, both of these vehicles can carry guided missile, which means the armor are nullified. The vehicle with better targeting system and camouflage system wins. And I have more faith in the USA systems.

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I seem to recall a news story about an encounter between several ODS Bradley’s and couple of T-72’s where the Bradley’s prevailed. I can’t recall the details. I’m guessing the TOW system was the ace in the hole in that situation.

Tactically if a Bradley encounters an MBT like a T-55 or T-72 and is out TOW missles, what’s the best plan?

Fire smoke & try to get out of line of sight fast? Set ambush? Call for air/drone support?

Hose the MBT with the chain gun hoping to hit the turret ring or knock out optics while retreating out of line of sight?

CHARGE full speed for the flanks of the MBT?

The only way to engage an MBT is with a TOW, preferably from 3000 meters. The answer to your question is get in defilade and /or beat feet as fast as possible. Don’t attract attention.


I’m with SSG Toms on that one: run like Hell & hope that they haven’t seen you yet. Without the TOW system all light AFVs are only targets waiting to be engaged. As to what I personally would prefer to crew the Marder 2 IFV seems like a good choice for survivability and offensive capabilities. Even the postwar Marder was exceptional for its time.

if your talking about the huge tank battle in Iraq, then I I know three guys that were there. They used TOW’s and would rotate back for a resupply one or two at a time. According to one guy the key here is the sighting system. The Bradley was way ahead of the game

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The 25mm AP rounds could penetrate areas of the T55, at least that’s what the gunner on my vehicle said - granted it was an LAV-25 but the main gun was the same and it’s definitely not the first choice to try to go toe to toe with a tank.

Didn’t the T55 have around 100-200mm of armour on the front?

It is, and the 100mm plate is angled, which make it even harder to damage. Even at point blank, the M242 can hardly do any significant damage to a the T-54/55 from the front. The side plates are of course much weaker. There are some weak spots on the hatch, but hitting these are more of a videogames thing than in actual combat in my opinion.

The ammunition is still quite destructive to the exterior equipment such as range finder and night vision optic, and at closer range, it could damage the tank’s barrel. Though, at such range, the T-55 could shoot back without using these equipment (aside from the barrel of course).

Video games thing? I spent 7 months on my first tour in a vehicle mounting the same gun system we’re talking about, if that was all a video game somebody had better tell those 6 Marines from my platoon who were wounded by an IED to give back those Purple Hearts. As I said, you don’t want to try to slug it out with any tank using the 25mm, but with some you at least stand a chance of penetrating the armor (and let’s face it the T54/55 is pretty common around the world). .

I was a Corpsman, I was taught how to sight and fire the gun and coax just like every other member of the crew. All I know is what I was told by the gunner on the vehicle I was on, the DU (purple tip) and sabot AP rounds on the M242 were capable of penetrating the T55. Since I was was in an LAR company, we didn’t have Bradleys but as I said the -25 variants have the same main gun/coax and fire the same ammunition.

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I read some where many years ago the Bradley’s 25mm cannon with DU round could penetrate the T-55’s armor in some areas. The article didn’t give specific details. I remember wondering if that was really true or typical of the media not exactly getting the story’s details correct.

I would assume a T-55’s armor would be weakest on hull sides, hull rear, maybe turret rear 180 degrees , hull top, rear turret top and those would be vulnerable.

In any case, doesn’t sound like being behind a brick wall or concrete wall or sand bags would provide much protection from the 25mm chain gun.

I think what Dinocamo ment about the video game was the actual chance of hitting the tanks hatch intentionally was slim, it would be something you would try in a video game but not real life.