The M2 Bradley, or Bradley IFV, is an American infantry fighting vehicle that is a member of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle family. It is manufactured by BAE Systems Land & Armaments. The Bradley is designed for reconnaissance and to transport a squad of infantry, providing them protection from small arms fire, while also providing firepower to both suppress and eliminate most threats to friendly infantry. It is designed to be highly maneuverable and to be fast enough to keep up with heavy armor during an advance. The M2 holds a crew of three: a commander, a gunner and a driver, as well as six fully equipped soldiers.
The M2 was the basic production model, first fielded in 1981. The M2 can be identified by its standard TOW missile system, steel laminate armor, and 600 horsepower Cummins VT903 engine. Basic features also included an integrated sight unit for the M242 25 mm gun, and thermal imaging system. The M2 was amphibious with the use of a "swim barrier" or "flotation screen" and was transportable by C-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy aircraft. All M2 vehicles have been upgraded to improved standards. The M2 armor protects the vehicle through a full 360 degrees against 14.5 mm armor-piercing incendiary (API) ammunition. The turret was offset to the right to maximize the room in the passenger compartment. Six infantry soldiers for dismounted fighting were held in the passenger compartment. Vision for the troops was provided through three periscopes placed between the rear ramp and the cargo hatch just behind the turret, as well as two periscopes on each side of the hull above the side firing ports. The passenger compartment also held up to five TOW or Dragon missile reloads. The side and rear hull armor consisted of two 6.4 mm steel plates one inch apart and 89 mm away from the aluminum armor. The hull top, bottom, and front consisted of 5083 aluminum armor, and 9.1 mm steel armor was added to the front third of the hull bottom to increase mine protection.