A Ukrainian M-2 Fighting Vehicle Reportedly Blew Up Two Russian Tanks In A Single Skirmish

Jul 18, 2023

The M-2 that knocked out two Russian tanks.

In a single furious skirmish in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the three-man crew of an M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle belonging to the Ukrainian army’s 47th Mechanized Brigade reportedly knocked out two Russian T-72 tanks.

The lopsided fight in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast, recalled by Ukrainian deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar in a Tuesday Telegram post, is difficult to verify.

While Maliar posted photos of the M-2 crew members, she didn’t provide any documentation of their purported fight—or specify exactly when and where it took place.

After suffering heavy losses in a Russian minefield outside Mala Tokmachka in the initial phase of Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive back in early June, the 47th Brigade and its partner brigade, the 33rd Mechanized, fought their way several miles south to the outskirts of Robotyne, where the Russians have dug in deep.

One recent video from the Robotyne sector depicts Ukrainian troops taking cover in a trench they apparently seized from the Russians while an M-2 shoots at nearby Russian troops.

The M-2-versus-T-72s skirmish—if it happened as Maliar described—underscores the strengths of the American-made vehicle. The 25-ton IFV is a potent anti-armor platform, thanks to its fast-firing 25-millimeter autocannon and long-range TOW anti-tank missiles.

“The combat vehicle was initially surrounded by Russian infantry on two sides,” Maliar wrote about the M-2. “And when the invaders were destroyed with the automatic cannon, the Russians announced a real hunt for the Ukrainian Bradley. The enemy urgently introduced a pair of T-72s into battle.”

Most IFVs are no match for a tank. Modern tanks weigh twice as much as a typical IFV does and normally fire miles farther with their cannons than an IFV can do with its machine gun.

But the M-2 isn’t a typical IFV. “The Bradley specifically has formidable anti-armor capabilities that will work against, you know, every kind of armored capability that Russia has fielded in Ukraine,” Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, told reporters in January, shortly after the United States pledged the first 50 M-2s to the Ukrainian war effort.

Subsequent pledges have boosted to 190 the M-2s in, or destined for, the Ukrainian inventory. That’s enough IFVs to replace the dozens of vehicles the 47th Brigade has lost and equip another brigade.

The M-2’s 25-millimeter autocannon, firing armor-piercing fin-stabilizing discarding sabot rounds as far as 3,000 yards at a rate of three per second, can chew right through the 150-millimeter-thick armor on the side of a T-72 tank.

And the two 50-pound TOW missiles in the Bradley’s turret-mounted launcher can blast through a T-72’s armor from any angle from as far away as 3,500 yards.

Perhaps even more importantly, the M-2’s day-night optics are sharp and precise over many miles, helping the crew to spot the enemy before the enemy spots the M-2. “The Brad … is not a tank, but it can be a tank-killer,” tweeted Mark Hertling, a retired U.S. Army general who commanded an M-3, a scout version of the M-2, in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

The Ukrainian M-2 reportedly did to those Russian T-72s what American M-2s did to Iraqi T-72s decades ago. “Both Russian tanks were immediately burned,” Maliar wrote. The “Bradley is equipped with a heavy TOW … anti-tank missile, which the crew skillfully used.”

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David Axe


  1. Good job!
    The M-2 Bradley has become another great weapon in the hands of brave Ukrainian fighters, brought to you by the nation of the HIMARS, Javelin, and other great weapons … the United States.
    Of course, others in the West, too, have great weapons. 😉

  2. The US needs to forget about supplying the M-1. It’s a great tank and can cause a lotof havok on the enemy. However Ukraine needs an APC like the bradly and lots of them.
    Ukraine can settle ont he Leo fo a main battle tank and th eBradly for it front line heavy assalt units. The US is developing a new APC to replace the Bradly and can provide Ukraine with thousands.
    When things settle down Ukraine begin licensed production of Leos while phasing out their Soviet era tanks. When the KW-51 Panther is ready Ukraine can modernise the exsisting Leos witht eh 130mm turrent and then build all new Panthers.

    • I agree. Ukraine doesn’t need another tank. F-16s and ATACMS would be better.

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