M2 Bradley set fire to a Russian MT-LB after a hail of bullets

A hail of bullets prevented a Russian MT-LB from withdrawing, setting it aflame. This intriguing video surfaced on social media, with sources suggesting the footage was taken recently, offering a glimpse into the daily engagement between Ukrainian and Russian ground forces. 

The MT-LB is a high-speed troop transport vehicle. At least a dozen Russian soldiers could be seen mounted on its roof, shielded by a canvas cover. Although not serving as an impervious barricade, the cover appears to be used either for camouflage or as protection against the sun. At one juncture, the Russian vehicle halts and the soldiers promptly begin to disperse, seeking cover amid the naturally occurring camouflage of nearby bushes and trees. 

It was at this moment that a Ukrainian M2 Bradley spotted the activity and assumed an optimal firing position. Initially, the MT-LB driver seemed unaware that he was in the crosshairs. This would explain why he started to withdraw at a leisurely pace. However, with the firing of the first shot, the speed of the MT-LB rapidly increased as the driver attempted a futile escape. 

M2 Bradley set fire to a Russian MT-LB after a hail of bullets
Video screenshot

But it was too late for the Russian armored vehicle. A rain of bullets begins to pour down the front right and rear of the Russian MT-LB. The M2 Bradley successfully immobilized the MT-LB from a distance, even managing to ignite its rear, where the soldiers’ compartment is located—although it appeared to be unoccupied in this instance. The dismounting Russian soldiers sought to flee from the ensuing chaos, only to find themselves helplessly caught in the M2’s relentless crossfire.

Could MT-LB save itself?

It’s conceivable but certainly challenging. The M2 Bradley holds a significant advantage over the Russian vehicle, especially if the latter is caught retreating. Certain areas of the MT-LB, notably the front right and rear, are particularly vulnerable for several key reasons. 

M2 Bradley set fire to a Russian MT-LB after a hail of bullets
Video screenshot

The first reason lies in the design and construction of the vehicle. The MT-LB features relatively thin armor that’s engineered to protect against small arms fire and shell shrapnel. However, this armor is not thick enough to withstand larger caliber bullets or anti-ship missiles. 

In comparison to the M2 Bradley, the MT-LB’s chances appear slim. The M2 boasts a primary weapon known as the M242 Bushmaster, a 25mm automatic cannon. This is a significant upgrade in caliber compared to the machine guns typically found on infantry fighting vehicles. 

The M242 Bushmaster is a chain gun, a distinctive type of weapon that draws on an external power source to rotate the weapon, substituting the recoil or gas from the previous shot. This feature enables it to maintain a high rate of fire and can be set to deliver single shots or burst fire. 

US Bradley IFVs in Ukrainian camo colors are in the war zone
Photo credit: Twitter

The impressive 25mm caliber of the M242 Bushmaster suggests that it discharges a cartridge that’s larger and more powerful than most machine guns. This ability provides the M2 Bradley with the capacity not only to engage infantry and light vehicles but also to penetrate armored targets. The gun utilizes various ammunition types, including armor-piercing and high-explosive rounds, to combat various threats. 

Secondly, the arrangement of the MT-LB’s critical components exacerbates this vulnerability. The engine is situated in the front right of the vehicle, making it a prime target. A direct hit in this area could immobilize the MT-LB. As it happened in this case, as judged by the video.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

US Bradley IFVs in Ukrainian camo colors are in the war zone
Photo credit: WarZone

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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