US soldiers evaluate potential upgrades to Bradley fighting vehicles – Army Technology

US Army soldiers with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armoured Brigade Combat Team, and 1st Cavalry Division, have evaluated a new capability that enhances the situational awareness for crew members of the M2A3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle.

Designed by the Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), the capability will be installed into existing armoured vehicles to provide troopers inside a 360° picture of their surroundings.

Currently, soldiers riding in the back of an M2A3 Bradley are exposed immediately to threats as soon as they dismount.

via US soldiers evaluate potential upgrades to Bradley fighting vehicles – Army Technology.

Back in the Stone Age when I was a dismount, there simply was zero situational awareness for the dismount squad in the back of a Bradley. Theoretically, there was an intercom system that the dismounts could plug into to talk to the vehicle crew. In practice, plugging more people into the intercom led to a loss of signal, and made crew communications difficult. At best, when the vehicle came to a stop, the Bradley Commander would duck down and shout into the troop compartment whether to dismount to the left or the right.

There are half a dozen or so vision blocks in the troop compartment, but their field of view is terribly limited at best, and often blocked by equipment strapped to the outside of the vehicle.

Of course, the addition of tablets like these to improve the situational awareness of the dismounts comes at a cost. First, it’s one  more thing to have to learn to operate, and to maintain. The troop compartment is exposed to temperature extremes, excessive dust, and severe vibration. The troop compartment is also bumping up against volume constraints- it’s not very big back there. That’s to say nothing about the limits of electrical generation available on the vehicle. There is very little room for growth left on the Bradley.

Still, this seems to be a viable method of increasing the capability of the vehicle and its symbiotic relationship with its dismount squad.

3 thoughts on “US soldiers evaluate potential upgrades to Bradley fighting vehicles – Army Technology”

  1. I sent a bunch of infantry NCOs off to hang out with engineers for a week, a while back in order to dream up futuristic ideas for Bradley development. One of the ideas that they came up with was a clear ramp. I don’t know if it was literally clear or via electronics, but I think it was a brilliant idea.

  2. I’m actually kind of surprised that some kind of coax cable hookup to a simple pair of goggles (similar to what you see small UAV operators use) hasn’t been rigged up to some small cameras on the outside by now. Just give it a basic controller like a Playstation or something and let the team leader run it.

    On a Pave Low, we were lucky to have plenty of comm cords for team leaders to plug into and follow along with the mission flow. It was never an issue as far as loss of signal, most TLs just wanted periodic updates. They could also look off the ramp with their NVGs and see what was happening as well.

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