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M6 Bradley Linebacker (BL)

The Linebackerís combined arms mission is to provide air defense force protection to forward area heavy maneuver combat forces, combat support elements, and other critical assets from attack by enemy Rotary Wing (RW), Fixed Wing (FW), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and Cruise Missiles (CMs). Air Defense battalions in the heavy divisions employ the BL. The Linebacker provides heavy maneuver forces with dedicated air defense fire power: the modified fire control subsystem fires the Stinger missile from the turret while the four- man squad remains under armor and on the move. Targeting data is provided by Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD) Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I). This C3I complement provides early warning/alerting, the complete air picture, slew-to-cue, and target identification friend or foe (IFF).

While the Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle (BSFV) provides air defense of the heavy maneuver force, the Stinger team must dismount to engage targets. Converting the BSFV to the Bradley Linebacker overcomes this deficiency. Bradley Linebacker retains the capability to maintain pace with the armored force with the added enhancement that the Stinger team remains under armor protection during engagements. Bradley Linebacker consists of the M2A2(ODS) Bradley with an integrated, externally mounted launcher that can fire four Stinger missiles while stationary or on the move. An integrated position, navigation, and north seeker capability allows for on-the-move cueing. FAAD C2 and Sentinel provide targeting information to assist in acquisition.

The initial Linebacker build is a short range air defense (SHORAD) Stinger missile system configured on an Operation Desert Storm (ODS) Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV/M2A2). In the summer of 1998, the M6 Bradley Linebacker (BL) began to replace the fielded SHORAD Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle (BSFV). As the BFV upgrades to the M2/A3 vehicle, future Linebackers (fielding to begin in 2003) will eventually replace the ODS M2/A2 which will roll down to replace any remaining active Army Force Package 2-3 BSFV units.

The standard vehicle mounted launcher (SVML) carrying 4 Stinger missiles is added to the 25mm gun turret, eliminating the tube-launched, optically-tracked, wired-guided (TOW) missile which is standard to the BFV and the BSFV. In addition to the Stinger launching system, the Linebacker carries standard Bradley Fighting Vehicles weapons: the 25mm gun and 7.62 coaxial machine gun. The Linebacker system allows shoot-on-the-move and slew-to-cue capability, replacing the BSFV "MANPADS-Under-Armor (MUA) Dismounted Stinger Team" employment concept.

The 25mm chain gun contributes adjunct air defense firepower and, as with the 24CD 7.62 coax machine gun, provides self-defense. In the event of launcher system damage or failure or should the maneuver force commander choose to employ the Linebacker in a static mode, the system maintains dismounted Stinger missile capability.

The Bradley Linebacker will be integrated with the M2A3 Bradley as funding is provided. The Bradley M2A3 provides a second-generation FLIR, C2 software, and a fully digitized, integrated turret. M2A3 vehicles for Force Package 1 units have been resourced and will begin fielding in FY 02.

The material solutions will correct major deficiencies in Stinger team survivability, fire control, target acquisition, and identification such that Bradley Linebacker will --

Failure to fund Bradley Linebacker M2A3 modifications would continue to require Stinger teams to dismount the vehicle exposing them to direct and indirect fires. In addition, the teams would not benefit from the Bradley FLIR acquisition enhancement and integrated digitized system, thus severely diminishing their ability to acquire and engage air targets. Funding is necessary to procure an additional 8 units to complete the Bradley Linebacker M2A2(ODS) acquisition objective of 107 systems.

Specifications

Manufacturer FMC (upgrade by United Technologies)
Weight 29.9 tons
Length 6.5 m
Height 2.6 m
Armor Spaced aluminum and steel armor
Maximum Speed 66-68 kph on-road
7.2 km/hr water
Range 300 miles
Powerplant Cummins VTA-903T diesel V-8
Horsepower 600 hp
Armament
  • four-tube FIM-92A Stinger launcher (fire arc T)
  • 10 [11?] FIM-92A Stinger missiles
  • Turret-mounted M242 Bushmaster 25mm autocannon (LAC) with 600-900 rounds
  • coaxial-mounted M240C MG (LMG) with 1340-3600 rounds

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