TechCaptured M2A2 Bradley revealed in Russian tests, hints at new tactics

Captured M2A2 Bradley revealed in Russian tests, hints at new tactics

M2A2 Bradley ODS displayed by Russians as an attraction in cities.
M2A2 Bradley ODS displayed by Russians as an attraction in cities.
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11:06 AM EST, February 28, 2024

One of the captured M2A2 Bradley ODS infantry fighting vehicles has unexpectedly become a centerpiece in Russian showcase events. However, the images circulating reveal more than intended, showing signs of additional tests that were likely meant to stay under wraps. Here’s what these hidden clues tell us.
It appears that the Russians secured this particular Bradley in the area around Avdiivka. Following ballistic testing, it now serves a new purpose: a trophy paraded around Russian cities, demonstrating what Russian propaganda hails as the "strength of the Russian army in defeating Ukrainians and NATO."
The telltale signs of these extra tests are intriguing. Among them are singular holes punctured in the armor, circled by faint outlines of a white cross - the target mark. Moreover, these shots seem to have been fired from a cannon positioned directly in front of the armor, a strategy rarely seen in actual combat scenarios.
A closer look at the side armor of the M2A2 Bradley ODS reveals the impact of five shots using 30 mm caliber ammunition, varied in their projectile types. Notably, only the marks from the first and third tests have remained clear, identified as 30 mm caliber 3UBR6 and 3UBR8 rounds.
The 3UBR6 round, commonly used, is a full-caliber projectile made of hardened steel, tipping the scales at about 14.1 oz. Its velocity upon leaving the barrel is impressive at 3182 ft/s. According to Russian sources, it can pierce through 0.79 inches of armored steel angled at 60 degrees from a distance of 2297 feet.
However, the 3UBR8 presents a greater threat. Comprising a sub-caliber projectile, it's lighter at around 10.6 oz and is housed in a sabot that sheds post-launch. The design allows for a smaller diameter than the barrel's cross-section, which, coupled with its aerodynamic shape—often arrow-like—enables it to achieve a higher muzzle velocity. For the 3UBR8, this speed reaches 3674 ft/s. Made of tungsten, its design and material make it capable of penetrating as much as 0.98 inches of armored steel plate set at a 60-degree angle, even from a distance of 4921 feet. It stands out as one of the prime choices in the Russian arsenal for vehicles armed with the 2A42 or 2A72 automatic cannons.
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