Greece gets 164 M2A2 Bradleys, 62 of them as free aid from US

Greek media reported that the Greek Army is set to acquire 164 combat vehicles for the M2A2 Bradley ODS-SA infantry variant. The first 62 have already been inspected visually between June 3 and June 5 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. These initial 62 vehicles will be provided as free aid under the Excess Defense Articles [EDA] program. 

Greece gets 164 M2A2 Bradleys, 62 of them as free aid from US
Photo credit: Flight.com.gr

A Greek Army commission, which conducted the visual inspection, also visited BAE Systems facilities in Texas. There, they selected an additional 102 vehicles from the company’s inventory. The Greek Army’s goal is to equip four battalions with Bradley M2A2 TOMA, with each battalion comprising 41 vehicles. Unlike the U.S. Army, which equips its battalions with 31 M2s complemented by M113A3s, the Greek Army decided on more firepower by opting for 41 vehicles per battalion, totaling 164 Bradleys. 

All 164 Bradleys are second-hand and will undergo upgrades to reach a level roughly equivalent to the M2A3 or A4. These upgrades will take place either in the U.S. or Greece. Looking ahead, Greece is expected to receive a larger stock of such vehicles, either from M2 [TOMA] or M3 [reconnaissance version] inventories.

US-delivered Bradley FVs with BUSK upgrade was spotted in Ukraine
Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

Differences between M2A2, M2A3 and M2A4

The M2A2 Bradley is an improved version of the original M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle [IFV]. It has better armor protection, including extra steel and composite armor, making it tougher in battle. The M2A2 also has a better suspension system and a stronger engine to handle the extra weight. This variant still has the 25mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun and the TOW missile launcher, giving it strong firepower against both soldiers and tanks. 

The M2A3 Bradley improves on the M2A2 with better situational awareness and digital integration. A big upgrade is the Commander’s Independent Viewer [CIV], which lets the commander look for targets while the gunner focuses on others. The M2A3 also has better digital systems, including the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below [FBCB2] system, which helps with communication and coordination with other units. It also has better armor and an upgraded powertrain to support the new electronic and defensive systems. 

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

The M2A4 Bradley is the latest in the Bradley lineup, designed to boost mobility, protection, and firepower. It has a new engine and transmission, making it faster and more efficient. The upgraded electrical system supports advanced tech and future improvements. Enhanced armor and active protection systems help defend against modern threats like anti-tank missiles and IEDs. While it keeps the main weapons of earlier models, it has better targeting and fire control systems.

Current Greek IFVs

The Greek Army currently operates a variety of infantry fighting vehicles [IFVs] to enhance its mechanized infantry capabilities. One of the primary IFVs in service is the BMP-1, a Soviet-designed vehicle that Greece acquired from former East German stocks in the 1990s. Another significant IFV in the Greek Army’s arsenal is the M113A1/A2, an American-made vehicle that has been widely used by NATO countries. The M113 series is versatile and has been adapted for various roles, including as an IFV. 

Germany offers Ukraine Marder IFVs + Milan ATGM and 155mm PzH-2000
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Greek Army also utilizes the Leonidas-2, an IFV developed domestically by the Hellenic Vehicle Industry [ELVO]. The Leonidas-2 is based on the Austrian Steyr 4K 7FA armored personnel carrier and has been modified to meet the specific needs of the Greek military. It offers improved armor protection and mobility compared to its predecessors. 

In addition to these, the Greek Army has incorporated the German-made Marder 1A3 IFV into its fleet. The Marder 1A3 is known for its robust armor and firepower, featuring a 20mm autocannon and anti-tank guided missiles. This vehicle enhances the Greek Army’s ability to engage both infantry and armored threats effectively.

The EDA

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

The US Excess Defense Articles [EDA] program is run by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA]. It aims to give surplus military equipment to foreign governments and international groups. This gear isn’t needed by the US Department of Defense [DoD] anymore and is given away cheaply or even free to eligible countries. 

The EDA program supports US foreign policy and defense goals by boosting the military capabilities of allied and partner nations. Supplying these countries with usable equipment improves their defense readiness and helps them work better with US forces. 

Countries that have mutual defense agreements with the US or are part of regional security groups can get equipment through the EDA program. This program also helps with humanitarian and disaster relief by providing non-lethal gear to countries in need. 

US received newest Bradley M2A4 with 25mm cannon and TOW ATM
Photo credit: Twitter

The items transferred through the EDA program include aircraft, vehicles, ships, communication tools, medical supplies, and spare parts. Before they are offered, the equipment is carefully checked to ensure it’s still usable and beneficial for the receiving nation.

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