New Footage Shows Russia’s Vikhr Air Launched Missile Destroying American Bradley Vehicles in Ukraine

On June 9 Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov released a video showing the Vikhr air launched missile destroying an M2 Bradley fighting vehicle operated by the Ukrainian Army in Eastern Ukraine. The footage was released as other footage showed Bradleys and German Leopard 2A6 tanks, which represent the most capable armoured warfare assets of both types which Ukraine currently fields, being destroyed in Eastern Ukraine – reportedly near the town of Malaya Tokmachka. Kalshnikov reported regarding the footage: “The first-ever documented destruction of U.S.-made Bradley M2A2 fighting vehicle, by the guided missile Vikhr-1, took place in the Orekhovo area as part of the special military operation.” The missile class was developed to strike armoured and manoeuvrable ground targets, including those using advanced reactive armour, but also retains the capability to strike helicopters and lower flying aircraft. According to Klashnikov, its product can penetrate 750mm of armour. 

The U.S. has donated 113 M2A2-ODS Bradley fighting vehicles to Ukraine, with losses in recent days reported to be in the dozens. The vehicles first entered service in 1981, concluded production 28 years ago in 1995, and are each equipped with 25mm guns and anti tank missiles as their primary armaments. The Bradley’s design has for decades been subject of controversy due to the limitations of its armour protection, as demonstrated both during testing and in the Iraq War with the latter seeing well over 100 destroyed according to multiple reports. The vehicle was designed to be capable of going head to head with lower end Soviet tanks such as T-55s, and reportedly proved effective in such roles during the Gulf War, although its survivability on 21st century battlefields against a major state adversary such as Russia remains in serious question. Russia has notably deployed Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters in significant numbers for anti armour missions using the Vikhr, although whether the missile remains as capable a Kalashnikov has claimed remains uncertain since the Bradley’s armour protection is very significantly poorer than that of main battle tanks which the missile was designed to be able to penetrate.