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The M2A2 as it appears in Steel Beasts Professional

M2A2: Infantry Fighting Vehicle


Main Gun: Bushmaster 25mm Autocannon
Ammunition Stowage: 300 ready/600 stowed
Default Ammunition "A": 70/180 M791 APDS-T, 230/420 M792 HE-I-T*

ATGM: TOW missile
Ammunition Stowage: 2 ready/5 stowed
Default Ammunition: 2/5 TOW-2

Coaxial Machine Gun: 7.62mm M240C
Ammunition Stowage: 800 ready/1400 stowed
Default Ammunition: 800/1400 7.62mm AP (NATO)

Grenades: Smoke Grenades
Ammunition Storage: 2 salvo ready/2 stowed
Default Ammunition: 2/2 Smoke

Armour Protection:
Front Turret: Protected from 30mm AP
Front Hull: Protected from 30mm AP
Equipped with spall liners (in troop compartment areas)

Weight: 29 tonnes
Length: 6.55m
Width: 3.60m
Height: 2.98m
Engine: 600hp Cummins VTA-903T 8-cylinder diesel
Speed: 66kph


Introduced in 1988, the M2A2 is an up-armoured version of the M2A1 Bradley, itself a modification of the original M2 Bradley which entered service in 1981. The M2A2 upgrade included steel add-on armour in addition to the original aluminum armour (along with the ability to mount explosive reactive armor), an improved 600 horsepower engine, new transmission, a small bustle-rack on the turret rear, and Kevlar spall liners. The modeled M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Shield) variant, is an upgrade of the Bradley based on lessons learned during the 1991 Gulf War. This version received a laser range finder and a new stowage configuration of the infantry with 2 benches to ease exit from the vehicle, along with some other minor modifications.

Beginning with version 3.002 of Steel Beasts Professional this vehicle is also available with Combat Engineering capacity, allowing it to mark cleared paths through mine fields, carry barrier material (concertia wire rolls), and construct wire obstacles in a manner identical to the M113A3 Engineer (rev. 4.000), along with the ability to tow a MICLIC trailer.

As an IFV the M2A2 carries 6 dismounts, equipped with M136 (AT-4) anti-armour weapons, a Javelin ATGM, and 5.56mm rifles. When employed as an engineering vehicle, the M2A2 carries an 6 man engineer section equipped with 5.56mm rifles.

Beginning with revision 4.156 the M2A2 may be equipped with the Diehl Active Vehicle Protection System (AVePS) to enhance protection against RPG and ATGM threats.

Thermal Signature

M2A2 TIS image, front-right M2A2 TIS image, rear-left

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Crew Positions

Tank Commander's Position F7

TC's unbuttoned view

In Steel Beasts Professional the tank commander's (TC) position on the Bradley is fully crew-able and modeled. The TC's position is accessed by pressing F7.

From this position the user can raise and lower their perspective (and exposure level) by holding the Q key (to go up) and the Z key (to go down). The TC can also button or unbutton (close and open the TC's hatch) by pressing the B key (toggle). While unbuttoned, the TC may also wish to use binoculars to get a closer view on a distant area by pressing the N key (toggle).

The TC also has smoke grenades at his disposal. The TC can fire up to two smoke salvos by pressing TAB, at which point the grenade launches will need to be reloaded.

  • The usefulness of the smoke grenade launches should not be underestimated, and it is one of the most useful tools at the disposal of the TC. Smoke grenade launchers are a vital tool for the security of the vehicle and should be used for a variety or reasons. These include, but are not limited to: attempting to break contact with the enemy, protection against non thermal sight equipped threats, and protecting the vehicle from enemy attempts to range you with an laser range finder. At the same time, care should be taken on when smoke is deployed since you are basically announcing your location to anyone else who might be unaware of it.

TC's Control Panel

In front of the TC is the TC control panel.
  • The FAN switch can be used to test the gun fan (or to annoy the gunner).
  • The TOW abort button can be used to abort a TOW in-flight. This can be useful if a higher-priority thread was detected and the TC needs to override the gunner - note that while a missile is in flight, overriding the gunner is disabled!
  • To the right of the TOW abort button are some warning indicators which are mostly non-functional.
  • To the right of the control panel is the turret clock.
TC's control panel

Gunner's Primary Sight Extension (GPSE)

The GPSE, as the name implies, is an extension of the Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS). The TC can look through the GPSE to see what the gunner is looking at and can use to to override the gunner onto another target or even choose to engage the target himself. Press F2 to access the GPSE.

Once in the GPSE view, the view will essentially be identical to the GPS view (which is explained in the gunner's section). The important thing to remember is that the TC can override the gunner by holding the P key. While looking through the GPSE and holding the override key, the TC can move the turret and engage targets if necessary. By releasing the override key, you are giving control back to the gunner. Overriding the gunner onto an enemy target and then releasing the P key is known as designating a target. If the AI gunner identifies the target that you have put in view, it will begin tracking and wait for your order to fire (SPACE BAR).

GPSE extension

TC's vision block view

On some occasions the TC may need to look around the vehicle without having to spin the turret and without having to expose himself to hostile fire. The vision block view allows the TC to remain safely inside the vehicle and quickly scan around for close threats. It is most useful when enemy infantry are in the immediate area. Access the TC's vision block view by pressing F4.

Once in the vision block view, the mouse or joystick can be used to quickly and seamlessly pan the TC's view from vision block to vision block, allowing him to scan around the vehicle. While the vision block view completely protects the TC from hostile fire, it does have an extremely limited field of view and offers no magnification.

TC's vision block view

Anti-aircraft sight

Using this sight the TC can fight the M2/M3 even if both the GPS and GAS are out of action. It is accessed by pressing the F3 key while in the TC's position.
AA sight

Spirit-level (bubble) view

This view position can be entered by pressing the Alt-F2 key while being in the TC's position. The floating bubble will indicate if the vehicle is on a sufficiently flat place to fire its TOW missiles.

The rule is that a missile can be launched until the bubble is just touching the blue line (which is indicating a 5° slope).

TC's spirit level

Weapon control panel

The weapon control panel is located behind and below the gun, and can be reached and operated by both the gunner and the TC.

The controls should be fairly self-explanatory, however, of note:

  • The "LO AMMO OVRD" button can be used to override the vehicle's end-of-belt stop (EOB), which occurs if 26 AP rounds or 36 HE rounds remain. If the EOB is active, the yellow light above the button will blink, if it is overridden it will be steadily lit. Caution: Firing rounds past end-of-belt will result in much longer reloading times. Do this only in an emergency.
  • The "Trigger" button will fire smoke grenades
Weapon control Panel

Key listing for M2A2 TC's position

General Commands:

TAB: Pop smoke. Launches smoke grenades to deploy a smoke screen in the direction that the turret is facing. Useful for breaking up enemy LRF or completely obscuring your vehicle against a non thermal sight equipped threat.

P: Override. Hold to override the turret and use the joystick or mouse to move it.

Q: Raise position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level up in the hatch.

Z: Lower position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level down in the hatch.

B: Button and unbutton the hatch (toggle). This is used to close and open the hatch.

N: Multipurpose zoom (toggle). When the TC is unbuttoned, this will bring toggle the binocular view. When the TC is inside the turret this key will make the TC lean forward, essentially zooming in on that spot in the turret.

LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing these keys will cause the TC to face to the left or right of the main gun (turret).

UP ARROW / DOWN ARROW: When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing these keys will cause the TC to face in the direction of or to the rear of the gun (turret).

U: Unload troops.

SHIFT + U: Load troops.

Driver related commands:

SHIFT + BACKSPACE: Shut down / start up engine (toggle). Orders the driver to shut off or start up the engine. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to execute a "short count" and simultaneously shut down or start up their engines.

W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.

S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.

X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.

A: Driver, go left. Instructs the driver to go left (hold the key).

D: Driver, go right. Instructs the driver to go right (hold the key).

Gunner related commands:

SPACE BAR: Multipurpose. Orders the gunner to fire at a target he is looking at when not overriding the gunner. If the TC is overriding the turret, the this will fire the main gun/TOW.

H: Hold fire. Orders the gunner to hold fire. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to hold fire.

F: Fire at will. Orders the gunner to fire at will. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to fire at will.

E: Engage. Orders the gunner to engage, and instructs the driver to take up a battle position. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to engage and take up a battle position in the direction of the user's view.

M: Coax / Main gun (toggle). Orders the gunner to toggle between the main gun and coax to engage targets.

SHIFT + LEFT ARROW: Gunner, scan left. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the left and scan for targets.

SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW: Gunner, scan right. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the right and scan for targets.

SHIFT + UP ARROW: Gunner, scan front. Orders the gunner to put the gun over the front and scan for targets.

INSERT: Fire, fire Sabot/KE. Orders the gunner to start engaging with Sabot/KE after the next round is fired.

DELETE: Fire, fire HE. Orders the gunner to start engaging with HE after the next round is fired.

HOME: Fire, fire TOW. Orders the gunner to start engaging with TWO missiles.

SHIFT + PAGE DOWN: Reload all. Orders the crew to reload all weapons systems.

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Gunner's Position F6

Gunner position, left side

In Steel Beasts Professional the gunner's position on the M2/M3 is fully crew-able. The gunner's position is accessed by pressing F6.

  • WARNING: When in the Gunner's Position, the TOW launcher should be lowered before moving out, or you will risk damaging it. With the launcher raised the driver will know to keep his speed within the minimum safe rate to prevent launcher damage, which will allow the vehicle to creep forward and backward into firing position. However, if you are moving at a fast rate of speed and you raise the launcher you will certainly damage it. Use SHIFT + Z to lower the launcher, and SHIFT + Q to raise it.

NOTE: When you jump out of the Gunner's Position (such as to the Commander's Position or External View), the AI gunner will always remember to lower the launcher. If you receive launcher damage from moving, then only the human gunner is to be blamed, because the AI gunner is perfect with its management of the launcher. It is generally a good habit to always press SHIFT + Z before moving, when in the Gunner's Position.

To the left of the gunner is the spirit level indicator (Alt-F2), which can be used to determine if the vehicle is on a surface flat enough to launch TOW missiles. Note that you can use the forward-left vision block to quickly check if your launcher is up, or you can look at the indicator lights on the TOW control panel to the right of the GPS.

Gunner's TOW control panel

A bit further to the right is the turret clock, above it is the GPS ballistic shield lever (Shift-B), and next to it the TIS whot/bhot toggle (KP-), then the TIS on/off toggle (KP+). In front of the gunner is the primary sight's ocular. Somewhat hidden to the left of it is the manual range dial (Mousewheel), which can be used to set the range in 200m increments. Below this dial is the laser range finder's first/last selector switch (`). Note that the M2/M3 will remember both first and last ranges after a successful lase, so you can toggle between these two.

Forward-right of the gunner is the TOW control panel:

  • In the upper left is the launcher up/down toggle (note that you can also use the Shift-Q and Shift-Z hotkeys to raise and lower the launcher.
  • The button to the right of this selects TOW as the active weapon.
  • The 2 "MSL" buttons are non-functional (in SB missile 1 will always be fired first).
  • The four warning indicators below these buttons will light up if the sight or the launcher are damaged.

Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS)

This gunner's primary sight (GPS) is the primary sight the gunner utilizes to engage and destroy targets. The GPS view is accessed by pressing F2.

Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS)

In TIS mode the TOW reticle is always displayed when in low magnification; the AP/HE/Coax reticle is only displayed in high magnification and with the correct ammunition types selected.

Daylight Sight

In the gunner's daylight sight view the TOW reticle is always displayed (being etched into the sight itself). The reticle used to fire AP/HE/Coax is only displayed if any of these ammo types are selected, and the sight is in high magnification.

Note that the laser center point (that you should put on the target you want to lase) is the center point of the synthetic AP/HE/Coax reticle, not the center of the TOW reticle! This means that if you are in TOW mode and want to know the distance to the target, you will have to switch to another ammo type and move the sight off-target!

Additionally, the TOW may only fire in high magnification.

The range value displayed at the bottom of the screen will blink if the laser has multiple returns or the returned range is too large for the selected weapon:

  • 1500m for AP
  • 1200m for HE
  • 900m for Coax
Air Defense Reticle (ADR)

The two vertical "funnels" passing through AP/HE/Coax reticle are the Air Defense Reticles used to engage hovering frontal or closing helicopter targets. The longer funnel is for HE rounds, while the shorter is for AP. To utilize the ADR sight the gunner manually inputs a range of 1800 meters, then "chokes" the fuselage of the enemy helicopter within the appropriate funnel and fires a continuous burst of 20 to 25 rounds (high rate), using the TOT (tracer on target) technique to adjust the rounds.

Gunner's Auxiliary Sight (GAS)

The gunner's auxiliary sight may be used if either the primary sight or turret power should fail and can be accessed by pressing F3.

Gunner's auxiliary sight

The auxiliary sight has both APDS-T and HEI-T range scales to help determine range and apply the correct superelevation. The HE scale on the left (with broken lines) extends to 3,200 meters and the AP scale on the right side (the solid lines) extends to 3,400 meters.

To determine the range to a frontal target the gunner uses the half-stadia method. He aligns the center vertical ranging lines with one side of the target then "chokes" upward until the appropriate ammunition stadia line touches the other side of the target.

Frontal BMP at 1100m w/AP

For a Flank target, both left and right stadia lines are used.

Flank BMP at 1100m w/HE

Gunner's Vision Blocks

Gunner's left vision block view, launcher stowed

The gunner has two vision blocks which can be used as a way to look around the vehicle (specifically to either side of the main sight unit). The vision blocks are located to the front left and right of where the gunner is sitting and may be accessed by left clicking the mouse on them in the interior view or pressing F4 and using the joystick or mouse to move from block to block.

As noted above, the forward-left vision block can be used to check if the TOW launcher is erected as the launcher blocks most of the vision block.

Key listing for M2A2 gunner's position

Weapon system commands:

P or Joystick Button 3: Disengage palm switches. Press to release the palm switches and disengage hydraulic power to the turret. This is done mainly to dump lead in the ballistic computer.

N: Zoom (toggle). Toggles between 3x and 10x in the GPS sight.

SPACE BAR: Fire. Fires the currently selected weapon system (main gun, coax, or missile).

CTRL: Lase. Lases the target or area currently in the GPS reticle.

M: Main / Coax (toggle). Toggles between the main gun and coax.

`: 1st return / last return (toggle). Toggles between 1st return and last return LRF modes.

SHIFT + B: GPS shield (toggle). Toggles the GPS shield (dog house doors) open and closed. This is useful to protect the GPS from incoming high explosive artillery rounds.

+ (num pad): TIS / daylight (toggle). Toggles between the daylight and TIS filter in the GPS sight.

- (num pad): White hot / black hot (toggle). Toggles between the TIS white hot and black hot polarity modes.

INSERT: Sabot/AP indexed. Places the ammo selector switch on sabot, indexing that round type in the ballistic computer.

DELETE: HE indexed. Places the ammo selector switch on HE, indexing that round type in the ballistic computer.

HOME: TOW select. Selects the TOW missile launcher.

LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: Manual traverse. Tap to traverse the turret using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to traverse the turret faster. Manual traverse is vital when hydraulic pressure or electrical power is lost.

UP ARROW / DOWN ARROW: Manual elevation. Tap to elevate the main gun using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to elevate the main gun faster. Manual elevation is vital when hydraulic pressure or electrical power is lost.

Tank commander related commands:

T: Identified! Tells the TC that you have located a target and that you are going to engage it. Essentially it tells the AI TC to leave you alone while you engage and forbids the AI from overriding you to another target. Use at your own risk.

I: I can't see it! Tells the TC that you cannot see a target or the one he is commanding you to engage. Essentially it tells the AI TC to override you on to a target that it wants you to engage.

Driver related commands:

W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.

S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.

X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.

Driver's Position F9

In Steel Beasts the driver's position on the M2A2 is fully crew-able but partially modeled. Currently there is no interior 3D view for the driver but there is a driver position view which has an image of the driver's hatch. The driver's position is accessed by pressing F9.

Once in the driver's position, you can drive the vehicle by using the joystick or W A S D X keys. You can also unbutton the driver and raise his view by holding Q and you can lower the driver and make him button up by holding Z.

Squad Leader's Position F11

Pressing F11 accesses the squad leader's position in the vehicle's troop compartment. From here the user can control the carried infantry squad independently from the Bradley, but is limited to unloading (U) and loading (SHIFT+U) when interacting with the vehicle.

Troop compartment view, right side


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