M3 Bradley

From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Fighting Vehicle, Cavalry, M3
General characteristics
3 peopleCrew
117 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
38 / 44 / 44Hull
25 / 25 / 25Turret
22.3 tWeight
967 hp507 hpEngine power
43.4 hp/t22.7 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
74 km/h forward
15 km/h back
66 km/h forward
13 km/h back
12 roundsAmmunition
2 roundsBelt capacity
120 shots/minFire rate
-19° / 29°Vertical guidance
up to 6 km/hFire on the move
25 mm M242 cannonMain weapon
1500 roundsAmmunition
0.2 / 0.3 sReload
300 roundsBelt capacity
201 shots/minFire rate
-9° / 59°Vertical guidance
4400 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
200 roundsBelt capacity
750 shots/minFire rate
250000 Rp icon.pngResearch
690000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2300 / 3801/2120 / 3504/2320 / 3834Repair
200000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
690000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2100 Ge icon.pngAces
226 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
140 % Sl icon.png130 % Sl icon.png100 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the light tank M3 Bradley. For other uses, see M3 (Disambiguation).


GarageImage M3 Bradley.jpg

The Fighting Vehicle, Cavalry, M3, or M3 Bradley, is a rank VI American light tank with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic".

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour protection of the Bradley CFV (Cavalry Fighting Vehicle) is relatively weak, it does offer protection from machine guns and some lower penetrating autocannon fire from the front, but most autocannons will easily penetrate the sides of the vehicle damaging components, crew and often detonating ammo stored in the rear of the vehicle. As aside, the engine mounted in front of the vehicle will offer some protection from main guns on tanks by absorbing spalling, saving crew members and preventing ammo detonations. Getting your gunner shot out is common, however, the breech of the autocannon is very small and therefore does not generally get knocked out. The vehicle does not often hull break although losing too many crew members is common, as there are only 3 in the tank.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 74 15 22.3 786 967 35.25 43.36
Realistic 66 13 448 507 20.09 22.74

The M3 Bradley has a maximum speed forward of 66 km/h or 49 km/h in battlefield conditions as well as -12 km/h in reverse. The transmission features 6 forward gears, 2 reverse as well as neutral steering. The vehicle is quite nimble and really only struggles to neutral steer in thick mud. Its lightweight allows it to traverse steep inclines with ease. It should be noted that the vehicles TOW missile launcher will automatically retract when the vehicle reaches speeds in excess of 10km/h.


Main armament

Main article: M242 (25 mm)
25 mm M242 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 1,500 (300) 201 -9°/+59° ±180° Two-plane 57.1 78.8 96.0 106.2 112.9 0.26 0.23 0.21 0.20
Realistic 35.7 42.1 51.0 56.4 60.0


  • Default: HEI-T* · APDS
  • M792: HEI-T* · HEI-T* · HEI-T* · APDS
  • M791: APDS · APDS · APDS · HEI-T*
Penetration statistics
Belt Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Default 81 80 76 70 66 61
M792 81 80 76 70 66 61
M791 81 80 76 70 66 61

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M3 Bradley. Racks outlined in red are 25 mm clips.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
5 (+1) (+2) (+3) (+4) No

Additional armament

Main article: BGM-71A TOW

The M3 Bradley comes equipped with a BGM-71B TOW ATGM launcher. The launcher contains two TOW missiles, which can be fired one after another in quick succession. Then, they are reloaded. Before you can fire, though, you have to be either stopped or moving at very low speeds, around 5 km/h. At higher speeds, the launcher folds up against the turret. When you stop, it takes time for the launcher to unfold before you can fire. This is where cruise control can be important. The first cruise control setting for forward and reverse speed is the "battle" setting. This controls the speed of the vehicle to where it is slow enough that you can fire the TOW missiles on the move. As before stated, this speed is very low, only about 5 km/h, so you should probably not drive in this mode of cruise control for the whole battle.

BGM-71A TOW missile
Capacity (Belt) Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer
12 (2) -19°/+29° N/A N/A


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
TOW ATGM 430 430 430 430 430 430
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
TOW ATGM 299 18.8 0 0.1 2,450 80° 82° 90°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M3 Bradley. Racks outlined in green are ATGMs.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
12 10 (+2) (+4) (+6) (+8) (+10) Yes

Machine guns

Main article: M240 (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm M240
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 4,400 (200) 750 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

One way the Bradley can be played is as an ambush vehicle. Find a good location where you have sufficient protective cover to secure your position, but where you can see at least one lane of attack that the enemy is likely to use. Since you will be sitting still, your TOW launcher will be deployed, and you can fire TOW missiles whenever you need to. The best way to use the TOW missiles is to hit the enemy in the side. Two TOW missiles to the side should almost always kill a tank if well aimed.

Another way to use the Bradley is to get hull down, at long range and use the TOW launcher to deadly effect. Since you do not have to calculate for drop for ATGMs, you should be able to reliably hit your target and do major damage. Because you are firing at such long-range, it is likely the enemy will not spot you in time to shoot at you, or they will miss at least their first shot.

The Bradley can also be used effectively in urban combat. If you pick a side street to set up, when the enemy goes past, hopefully without seeing you, you will be able to hit them in the side with the TOW launcher.

In arcade mode, the Bradley can be used very effectively as an anti-aircraft vehicle. Since in arcade you get a lead indicator, you should be able to accurately hit planes and helicopters. When using the HEI-T* ammunition one to two hits is usually fatal for an aircraft. TOW missiles can be used to great effect against helicopters as well, but it is probably smarter to save the ATGMs for ground targets. Also, it can be hard to hit a moving helicopter with an ATGM for someone who's inexperienced with ATGMs.

One last note: the TOW missiles should be your primary weapon, not your autocannon. Firing the autocannon will likely give away your position instantly, so unless you have already been seen, or if you know you can kill the target quickly, do not use the autocannon. The autocannon can not effectively destroy tanks but is mostly just effective against SPAA's and light tanks. Those targets can also kill you very easily though, so it is almost always better to use the TOW missiles, in order to destroy the enemy tank quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, if an enemy tank is at close range, and has spotted you, you can often use the autocannon to damage or destroy their gun barrel with multiple, well-aimed, shots, to buy yourself more time.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts M792 Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire Airstrike
III Filters Crew Replenishment M791 Elevation Mechanism Smoke grenade
IV Transmission Engine ESS Artillery Support Improved optics NVD

Pros and cons


  • Excels at urban combat, as the gun can be effective when engaging MBTs, except for the Russian MBTs
  • Low repair and ammo costs
  • Massive radiator makes tank hull semi-invulnerable to APHE from the right side, can even survive 3 direct hits from the Maus if lucky enough
  • Outclasses stock 35 mm autocannon tanks which use API or APHE as long as long-range (about 1.1 km) and moderate front armour angle is kept, can even sustain low calibre APDS and HVAP hits from spaded light tanks if it has the high ground
  • Can fire missiles at "combat" cruise control, albeit only at about 5 km/h (can be considered as a downgrade after M551, but it's still better than most light tanks)
  • 25mm autocannon can easily tear through lightly armoured SPAAs
  • TOW missiles capable of penetrating many tanks from the front with ease
  • Fast turret traverse + stabilizer = Easy to deal with air targets while moving
  • Slow ATGM allows for easier aiming onto target
  • Has access to NVD + Thermal sight, which is an absolute advantage against its opponents


  • Additional side armour plates and turret frontal slope protect against 12.7 machine guns, but will always set off APHE, so caution is required
  • M242 cannon has a lower rate of fire compared to the M242 used on the ADATS
  • Not entirety of the sides of the hull are protected from machine guns and autocannons, the missile ammo rack in the back and ventilation are vulnerable, turret ring can be exploited by high fire rate autocannons
  • Relatively slow
  • A rather tall and large target, meaning it is very easy to spot
  • Quick firing SPAA's can destroy the Bradley quickly
  • Engine, transmission and driver at front of the vehicle are very prone to damage, although it is better to lose them, than the entire tank
  • TOW missiles have trouble penetrating later Russian tanks from the front
  • ATGM is slow and may allow enemies to go into cover before it hits them
  • Air exhaust near the turret blocks the gunner's thermal sight
  • Thermal sight has low resolution and overall quality is low
  • Like other turbine engines, the engine on the Bradley is loud and makes flanking hard sometimes
  • The Default and M792 belts generally cannot penetrate medium or heavy tanks from any angle


Development of the Bradley began in the late 1950s when the U.S. Army began seeking a replacement for the ageing M113 APC. However, despite beginning development relatively early, the successor to the M113 wouldn't enter service with the Army in the following two decades.

The reason behind this was the constantly changing specifications, requirements and doctrines around which the new vehicle would be designed. The constantly changing requirements, on the other hand, were driven by various technical and political problems arising during development.

Eventually, in 1979, the final design was presented to the Army and production was approved shortly afterwards in 1980. The Bradley, named after WW2 Army General Omar Bradley, was split into two versions, both closely resembling each other, but featuring minor differences and intended for different roles.

While the M2 Bradley was intended as an IFV, capable of transporting and supporting infantry units in combat, the M3 Bradley CFV (Cavalry Fighting Vehicle) is intended to perform scouting and reconnaissance work, ditching its infantry-carrying ability in favour of improved communications systems and increased ammunition capacity.

The Bradley entered service with the U.S. Army in 1981 and saw extensive combat use during the Gulf War as well as subsequent conflicts. Despite several (unsuccessful) efforts being made to replace the Bradley with a newer design, the vehicle still remains in active service with U.S. armed forces today, with over 6,500 units produced.

- From Devblog



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

USA light tanks
  M8 · M22 · T18E2
LVT  LVT(A)(1) · LVT(A)(4)
M2  M2A2 · M2A4 · M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.)
Stuart  M3 Stuart · M3A1 Stuart · M3A1 (USMC) · M5A1 · M5A1 (5th arm.div.)
M24  M24 · M24 (TL)
Post-war  M41A1 · T92 · M551 · M3 Bradley · HSTV-L