Bradley Based Medium Tank
The Bradley IFV is a heavily armoured vehicle that was intended to accompany the Abrams fighting the battles of the Fulda gap.
To reflect this it was given a potent anti-vehicular armament in the shape of a pair of TOW launchers and a stabilized high velocity 25mm cannon. Scott Miller of the Dominant Logistics site has described the Bradley as a "Tank Destroyer with passenger seats", and that very much sums it up.
On several pages I've addressed the need for medium tanks, and often suggested an updated M60 might fill this role. An alternate or additional idea would be to create a medium tank of around 33-40 tons weight from the Bradley. Ralph Zumbro has suggested a Bradley with a AMX-13 turret (105mm) or the 90mm Cockerill gun.
Scott Miller suggests the 75mm ARES gun as an armament. The ARES was a prototype, but the Israeli 60mm HVMS or the 76/90mm gun I propose as a Tankita armament might also suit the Bradley Medium tank (BMT), especially if supplemented by Starstreak pods. That level of weight and armament puts it in a similar class to the T34, a very effective vehicle and a few of these are still providing good service.
Ideally, we should be able to convert surplus Bradley hulls, but fitting a conventional turret on these means a high vehicle, more akin to an M4 Sherman than a T34. In fairness, such a turret may not prove any higher than that on the current Bradley, but the bulk may be significantly greater.
A possible solution would be an external turret, as was tried on the DFSV and is being developed for the Stryker MGS. The Bradley hull will probably be more stable mounting such a gun than the LAV 3. It may be the external gun turret is an over-complication.
The Swedes have mounted 105mm and 120mm turrets on a vehicle of similar weight to the Bradley
Scott Miller: Take a Bradley, reinforce the front, use command detonated ERA on the sides and top,
.......go with the mine-resistant tracks, throw in the British force field system for additional shaped charge protection, drop in the 75mm ARES turret with missile/rocket provisions and multi-fused ammo and you're ready to rock. You can carry extra rounds in the additional space or add a couple of side gunners - include provisions in the CDERA system for active defense or allow the blocks to be manually fired by the appropriate gunner (the driver to the front or the side gunners for the sides). The vehicle would only REQUIRE a crew of three but you have the means to put in a larger crew for dealing with contingencies.
With this system, you're ready to rock against pretty much any threat out there today. Even MBTs had better think long and hard about messing with this vehicle because it can easily disable the tank with its standard rounds (taking out the vision blocks, using top-attack airbursts, and potentially blowing the tracks and road wheels) and then rapid fire APFSDS rounds to kill it. You've got super-elevation for air defense missions and the vehicle could be slaved to a radar system and even effectively address fast movers. You've got excellent RPG protection for infantry missions and with the multi-fused rounds you can really hammer the hell out of infantry, including those behind cover. And you're set for urban ops as well.
For the Bradley, I'd use it as THE platform for mech units with the armor enhancements (force field and CDERA). I'd go with Ralph's double platoon concept mixing the medium tank version w/ ARES turret and an APC version with no turret at all. Cav and ADA versions come from a 40mm gun and missile turret in a Bradley. With the improved survivability, the Bradley can take a more active role instead of sitting back in support.
I'd move all Abrams and most artillery systems to separate Fire Support Regiments that would be added to the regular divisions as needed.
Ralph Zumbro: The Bradley is now up to the same size and weight as the WWII Sherman, which was a good infantry buddy or battlefield bully. There was just no backup around till the M-26 came along in the latter months of the war. The problem there was the flawed American interpretation of the tank destroyer concept.
It would be possible to take the basic Bradley lower hull, the part normally referred to as the "chassis" and build up with existing, available components what would be essentially be a medium tank. To all intents and purposes, the vehicle would be "New" but could be put into production VERY quickly.
The existing engine could be replaced with a genset and electric motors and new tech batteries, conferring silent running and long range on batteries, if band tracks were used. The band tracks would be used for patrol work and normal running but be replaced with steel tracks in cities The idea would be to create very quickly out of Bradley and some M113 components a basic lower hull and then start dropping existing commercial turrets on to it. Some would be city fighters, some patrol tanks, some artanks, and some infantry carriers/IFVs.
PW: Such a hull should be capable of mounting a three-man turret or possibly an uparmored M8 turret. A 105mm or possibly 120mm gun should be possible. The US order of battle could certainly use a medium tank, as has been discussed elsewhere. There is preceedent for creating a medium tank from a IFV. The Argentinian TAM was created from the German Marder.