Designed to provide unparalleled mobility and protection to ground infantry forces, the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), or simply “Bradley” for short, has a storied history, exceptional technical specifications, a significant operational impact, and a pivotal role within the United States military.

Design and Development History: Pioneering Excellence

Its origins can be traced back to the early 1960s, out from the horrible experience and hard-hitting lessons the American forces learned from the Vietnam War. During this period, the US Army had identified the need for a new infantry fighting vehicle to replace the aging M113 armored personnel carrier (APC). The upgraded IFV that the armed forces developed aimed to bridge the gap between the armored personnel carrier and the main battle tank, fusing the best of both worlds to create a vehicle that could not only transport infantry troops safely into combat but also provide enough firepower to take our the enemy and counter their attacks.

M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
Old School. An M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (Image source: DVIDS)

Enter the Bradley, a lightly armored, fully tracked vehicle that provides cross-country mobility, equipped with robust weapons systems, communications, and enough protection against artillery and small-arms fire to safely transport troops from point A to point B.

The development process was, of course, not without its challenges, with debates over balancing protection, firepower, and mobility. But ultimately, the Bradley IFV emerged as a compromise between these factors, featuring a mix of armor, armament, and mobility—making it a versatile and potent combat platform.