Most of them exploded on mines: NYT finds out how many Bradley infantry fighting vehicles were damaged during Ukrainian counter-offensive
During the counter-offensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, about 15% of Bradley combat vehicles were damaged. Most of the equipment exploded on mines.
The New York Times reports this, citing a senior US military official. Three weeks after the launch of the counter-offensive, which is critical to Ukraine's prospects against Russia, Ukrainian defenders have faced a number of problems that complicate their plans, even though Ukraine has modern Western weapons.
The biggest problem is the vast swath of minefields protecting the occupiers' defence line and forming a battlefield for Ukrainian troops advancing across the open steppe in the south.
"Everything and everywhere is mined," said Lieutenant Ashot Arutiunian, a drone unit commander who watched a mine explode near Bradley and halt the convoy's progress via drone video.
But the Ukrainians continue to face obstacles that distinguish this counter-offensive from the rapid advance through Kharkiv region in September and even the more intense offensive that retook Kherson in November.
The terrain in the southeast is mostly flat, open fields, unlike the hilly terrain of the Donbas or the dense forests in the north, which deprives Ukrainian troops of cover. In addition, the invaders have been digging in large trenches for several months, making them difficult to uproot.
Russian KA-52 attack helicopters have also been able to slip past air defences, slowing down Ukrainian movement while damaging or destroying Western-supplied tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.
The fierce resistance has taken its toll on Ukraine's military. Since March, 113 Bradley fighting vehicles have been deployed. According to a U.S. official, at least 17 of them - more than 15 percent - have been damaged or destroyed in the fighting.
Interestingly, Ukraine has advanced in two areas where its troops have received the least amount of new Western weaponry, and stalled in the area where the most advanced new weapons - the US Bradley and German Leopard 2 tanks - have been deployed. It is unclear whether this is because Western weapons were deliberately deployed in areas where Russian defences were more robust.
It is worth noting that the M2 Bradley ("Bradley" is named after the legendary American general of World War II, Omar Bradley) is an American infantry fighting vehicle created in the second half of the 1970s on the basis of the XM723 prototype, taking into account the experience of using the Soviet IFV-1 and the technical features of the German Marder IFV as a better protected and armed alternative to the outdated M113 APC.
The front armour of the M2A2 Bradley ODS can withstand 30mm armour-piercing ammunition. The hull is protected against fire from 14.5 mm heavy machine guns. The vehicle can also be fitted with additional dynamic protection.
This model is powered by a Cummins VTA903E-T675 supercharged 8-cylinder diesel engine with 675 horsepower and an HMPT-800-3ECB automatic transmission. The truck also received a reinforced suspension compared to previous models.
In early April, Russia boasted of the destruction of a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle in Ukraine. However, the propagandists did not take into account one "little thing": at that time, Ukraine had not yet received these armoured vehicles.
It was also reported that, according to a statement by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the United States is planning additional deliveries of Abrams and Bradley to Ukraine.