M2A3 Bradley User Manual

Product: M2A3 Bradley ERA 1.0.7
by The Omega Concern
Modeler, Scripter, etc: April Heaney
Support Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Product Revision Date: 2012-10-04
Manual Revision Date: 2012-10-04


Thank you and congratulations on your purchase of The Omega Concern’s M2A3 Bradley ERA infantry fighting vehicle. Please read this manual before using your new IFV.

The Omega Concern is dedicated to producing quality work at affordable prices, and we support everything we sell. All of our products are designed with the balance of impact on sim performance and ease of use in mind. If you find one of our products to be causing lag, behaving in unexpected ways, or otherwise being a pest, we need to know so we can correct it.

You are eligible for all upgrades on this version, being version 1. Also, your feedback is valued! If there's something you love, hate, or just think would be better if it were just a little different, we want to know. Your input directly influences the course of development and future features of Omega Concern products.

There is a technical support pass phrase in this manual, which you are strongly advised to use when first contacting support about this product. We do this because other people (not you!) don't bother reading the manual which contains the answers to their questions, thus taking our time and attention away from thoughtful questions not answered in the manual, such as yours. As always, emailing the support address above is preferable to offline IMs and notecards, both of which too easily get lost in the shuffle.


About the M2A3 Bradley ERA

The Omega Concern's M2A3 Bradley is a model and simulation of the American infantry fighting vehicle manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments. The Bradley is designed to transport infantry while providing covering fire to suppress enemy opposition and to provide armor protection. The Omega Concern's M2A3 can hold a crew of two: a driver/commander, and a gunner, as well as carrying six fully equipped soldiers.

The Omega Concern is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by BAE Systems, McDonnell Douglas, Alliant Techsystems, FN Herstal, or any other company involved in the design, production or manufacture of the M2 series of armored vehicles or its weapon systems.   All trademarks and copyrights are and remain the property of their respective owners.

  1. Unpacking and Setup

    1. Package Contents

      The Bradley comes in a box that's obviously bigger on the inside than on the outside. Don't be afraid. You will need to rez this box, and select "Open".

      Press the button "Copy To Inventory", and you will now have a new folder in your inventory named "M2A3 Bradley ERA 1.0 (Boxed)" (or similar) which will contain the items from the box.

    2. Rezzing the Bradley

      The Bradley is a mesh model, which means you will need a viewer capable of displaying mesh. The standard SL viewer is one such option, as are several others on the Third Party Viewer Directory.

      To rez the vehicle, simply drag the object named "M2A3 Bradley ERA 1.0" from the folder in your inventory to an open area, bearing in mind that the vehicle has a footprint of about 8 by 5 meters, and you will need 130 prims free on the parcel. This vehicle uses no avatar attachments.

      It is best to rez a new copy of the vehicle from inventory for each use and deleting it when done, as opposed to taking one in-world back into inventory and reusing it.

  2. Driver/Commander and Gunner Roles

    1. Driver/Commander

      The driver/commander is primarily interested in driving the IFV, maneuvering in response to threats, and setting up the vehicle such that the offensive weapons can be utilized when appropriate. In the case of a single operator of the Bradley, the driver/commander will also assume gunner duties.

    2. Gunner

      The gunner obviously operates the 25mm M242 Bushmaster and 7.62mm M240C coaxial machine gun, and also the BGM-71 TOW missile launcher and handles in-flight guidance of the TOW for successful engagement of targets.

    3. Driver-Gunner Handoff

      The driver (being the owner of the vehicle) can assume gunner control, or in the case of a two-person crew, can assign it to or withdraw it from the gunner, as described below in Operation 3.3.7.

  3. Operation

    1. Getting in and out

      1. Driver/Commander: The driver/commander boards the Bradley by right-clicking on the vehicle body and selecting "Board" (Some viewers may simply show "Sit Here" which serves the same function).

      2. Gunner: The gunner follows the same procedure as described for the driver/commander, but must get into the vehicle after the driver/commander has, and must do so before the driver/commander has started the engine.

      3. Troops: The M2A3 Bradley can take on six (6) passengers who will ride in the back and are protected by the Bradley's armor. They must board after both crew members above have, and the rear ramp must be down.

        Getting back out of the vehicle may be accomplished by simply hitting the "Stand up" button, but this is rather inelegant and makes you look like a noob. All the cool kids use the "EGRS" button on the HUD, which stands for "egress" and is explained below. Troops in the back will be given the instruction to use the command "/5 egress", "/5 exit" or "/5 out" to gracefully exit the rear of the IFV.

        Your support phrase is 'Angelina 'round the clock'.

    2. The HUD/MPD

      All of the vehicle's systems are controlled by the HUD/MPD (Head-up Display/Multi-Purpose Display) which is also used to convey information about the vehicle. If you don't already have it attached, fear not, as the Bradley will happily pass you one. If you have a gunner, they will similarly be passed a HUD. Simply locate the HUD in your inventory (the "Recent Items" tab is made for this) and right click and select "Wear" from the menu. It will attach to your bottom screen position. If you have a Bradley HUD still attached, it will function without issue, and the IFV won't try to pass you another.  When you get back out of the Bradley, it will hide itself from view. To detach, simply locate it in your inventory, right-click and detach.

      M2A3 Bradley HUD Overview

    3. So Many Buttons

      1. ENGINE
        Starts and stops the engine, and indicates if the engine is running (green) or stopped (red).

      2. RAMP
        Lowers and raises the ramp so you can take on troops. The vehicle must be at a stop and not turning for the ramp to be lowered. Turning or starting motion while the ramp is down will cause the ramp to automatically close.

        When the ramp is open, occupants are not protected from blast as they are when the ramp is closed and the vehicle is "buttoned up."

      3. SMOKE
        Deploys smoke in an arc centered on the direction in which the turret is facing. The number just to the right of this button indicates how many sets of smoke grenades you have available.

      4. EGRS
        Allows you to egress gracefully from the vehicle, as opposed to simply standing up, which is graceless and embarrassing.

      5. EJECT
        Unwanted gunner, or a gunner still giving you grief with all the jibber-jabber? This is the solution.

      6. OCS Mode Indicator
        Surprisingly, indicates if the vehicle is in OCS mode or not. (i.e. if the crew is wearing active OCS HUDs)

      7. GUNNR
        In the case of a single driver/commander/gunner, this will toggle control of the weapon systems and turret tracking. With a two-person crew, on first press this will give control to the driver/commander, a second press will hand off weapon control to the gunner, and a third will deactivate gunner control entirely.

      8. COAX
        Selects and arms the M240C 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The number to the left of this button indicates the number of rounds of ammunition remaining.

      9. M242
        Arms the M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun. When armed, one of the two buttons below will be green, indicating your current ammunition selection, the other will be blue.

      10. M919 APFSDS-T
        These are anti-armor rounds, which are fully described below in Weapons 4.1.1. The number to the left of this button indicates the number of rounds of this type of ammunition remaining.

      11. M792 HE-I
        High explosive, area-effect rounds, which are fully described below in Weapons 4.1.2. The number to the left of this button indicates the number of rounds of this type of ammunition remaining.

      12. TOW
        The BGM-71 TOW is a guided anti-armor missile, the complete operation of which is explained below. The numbers to the left of this button indicate first the number of missiles in reserve, and the number of missiles currently in the launch tubes. When the missiles in the tubes have both been fired, it will automatically reload, and these numbers will update to indicate the new totals.

      13. OPTS
        Options menu. From this menu, you may turn on/off the headlights and change the camouflage scheme between NATO woodland and desert tan.

    4. Going Mobile

      1. Driving Controls

        M2A3 Bradley WASD Controls

        The Bradley uses the arrow keys or WASD keys for gear selection and steering/pivoting control. The WASD keys will be used for the examples here.

        W and S control the tank gearing, shifting forward and backwards respectively. You do not have to hold down W to drive forward, simply tapping the key will increase your gearing, which will increase power to the drivetrain, which will move the IFV forward. The M2A3 has four forward speeds, neutral, and two reverse.

        A and D turn the IFV left and right, or pivot it around when it is sitting still.

        The C or Page Down key will reset your throttle to zero and apply full brakes, stopping the tank.

        The E or Page Up key cycles the driver's camera between the default 'loose follow', rigid 'driving', overhead and drive-by camera modes.

      2. Starting

        Starting the Bradley after you've boarded is done by hitting the Engine Power Switch (ENGINE). Allow the engine a second or two to start, and then tap the W key once or twice to get moving.

      3. Maneuvering

        The A and D keys rotate the IFV left or right respectively, and used in combination with the W and S keys to control gearing, the Bradley can get up inclines of over 45 degrees and over most any object lower than its nose and forward track wheels. If you happen to roll the IFV onto its side, you will lose mobility.

      4. Fording Water

        The M2A3 has a maximum fording depth of approximately 2.0 meters. Attempting to cross water deeper than this can result in water entering the engine intake, the engine being inundated with water and a complete loss of power and mobility. Bear in mind also that crews with OCS HUDs active will also drown in deep water if steps are not taken to abandon the vehicle and get ashore in an expeditious manner.

      5. Stopping

        You can stop the Bradley by either deicrementing the throttle (S key) until you have reached neutral, or by pressing the C key while either in a forward or a reverse gear and you will brake to a stop. If you wish to disembark, press the Engine Power Switch (ENGINE) and then the EGRS button.

  4. Weapons

    Before you can select and take control of any of the Bradley's weapon systems, you must be the active gunner. As the driver/commander, clicking the GUNNR button will toggle control of the weapon system. When the button appears green, you are the "active gunner" and as such, have control over all weapons systems.

    In addition to causing appropriate OCS damage (impact and blast) the weapons on the M2A3 also deliver 100% damage in Linden Damage enabled areas.

    1. M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun

      The M242 Bushmaster is a 25 mm (25×137mm) chain-fed auto cannon, which fires at a rate of 200 rounds per minute. It is the Bradley's first line of offense and threat neutralization. It has dual-feed capability, meaning switching ammunition types is as easy as flipping a switch.

      The M242 in your Bradley has an "in-line" fire control system, which will assist in ranging and wind correction when fired. Its range of motion is 360 degrees horizontal with a traverse rate of 60 degrees per second, and an elevation range of -10 to +60 degrees.

      Your M2A3 has two types of 25mm ammunition, with a capacity of 450 rounds each.

      1. M919 APFSDS-T: Believe it or not, this is the short name. These rounds in full are called "M919 Cartridge 25mm, Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot, with Tracer". They are small sabot (i.e. non-explosive, purely kinetic) rounds designed for armor penetration. They should be your first choice when faced with opposing armor.

      2. M792 HE-I: These are M792, High Explosive Incendiary with Tracer rounds. They are best suited to soft targets (i.e. dismounted infantry) and light fortifications due to their area effect, but lack of armor penetration.

    2. M240C 7.62mm coaxial machine gun

      This machine gun is a high rate of fire (950 round per minute) weapon aimed by the gunner in mouselook. Sustained or high-density fire may result in the barrel overheating. You will be able to again fire the weapon after several seconds to allow the barrel to cool down. It has a capacity of 2400 rounds.

    3. BGM-71 TOW

      "BGM" is a weapon classification that stands for "Multiple Environment (B), Surface-Attack (G), Missile (M)". "TOW" is an acronym that stands for "Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link, guided missile"

      The procedure for launching and guiding the TOW is as follows:

      1. With missiles loaded into the TOW tubes, arm the weapon by selecting the "TOW" button from the HUD.
      2. In mouselook, aim at the intended target. If the turret is not rotated in the direction of the target, wait for it to come around, as the missile will leave the launcher parallel with the turret.
      3. Press the left mouse button to launch. The missile will leave the tube and you will see it flying forward from above and to your left. Engine burn time is short, as the missile will be in cruise for most of the flight.
      4. Stay in mouselook. Keep your mouselook crosshairs on the target. If the target moves, track it, keeping your crosshairs on it. The TOW will fly along your line of sight, and moving your aiming point will cause it to fly to re-acquire flight along the new line of sight.
      5. Visually guide the missile to the target until impact.

      A few caveats regarding missile guidance: The TOW can be steered up to 90 degrees away from its launch orientation, but no more. For example, if you launch the missile due east and attempt to guide it to fly to the northwest, the missile will self-destruct approximately at the point it is turned north. This is to keep you from shooting yourself. If you leave mouselook or the missile flies over a region border, it will simply continue on its course at the time. Due to Second Life limitations, it cannot track your line of sight over region borders.

      The minimum time between TOW launches is 10 seconds. Reloading of the two missile tubes from reserve missiles takes 30 seconds.

  5. Taking Damage

    1. Compartmentalized Damage Model

      The M2A3 simulates seven separate systems, each of which can take damage and experience degraded performance and/or failure. Damage to a component is determined by where on the body the vehicle was hit, with possible damage to nearby systems. The 'core' of the IFV is its last reserve of hit points, which if depleted will result in its destruction. As a general rule, if you have to get hit by an anti-tank weapon, taking it to the front of the body is your best bet, as this is where the armor is strongest and where the Bradley is least susceptible to catastrophic damage.

    2. Vehicle Status Display

      This display is a pictogram of the vehicle systems, color coded from green to red to indicate the 'health' - better to worse, respectively - of each system from good to disabled, respectively. If a component suffers a failure or critical damage, it will turn red and you will hear an alert.

  6. Defense and Risk Mitigation

    1. Hull Down

      "Hull down" describes when a turreted vehicle positions itself on terrain in such a way that only the gun/turret is visible to enemy forces. This has the effect of making for a much smaller target, and the part of the vehicle that is presented as a target, the turret, is the least vulnerable part of the vehicle.

    2. Smoke

      The M2A3 carries sixteen smoke grenades, which are deployed four at a time. Not only does this help in obscuring the view of your IFV, but it will also help decrease the accuracy and locking ability of active seeking weapons. Bear in mind that to be an effective defense, a vehicle deploying smoke needs to immediately get moving after deployment, as a determined opponent may simply fire a weapon at your last known location.

  7. Troubleshooting

    1. The M2A3 has been extensively tested and is free of any known bugs. If you believe you have discovered a bug, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide, with as much detail as you can, step-by-step instructions for reproducing it. Things don't get fixed if we don't know what needs fixing. :)

    2. To rez the M2A3, the parcel in which you are doing this needs to have at least 130 prims/prim equivalent free.

    3. If you abandon the Bradley on land you do not own (As in are the actual landowner), it will delete itself after a short time to prevent littering.

    4. If things aren't rezzing for you, such as the gun rounds or missiles, check your group tag and the group tag of the vehicle to make sure it is harmonious with the area you are in. Some viewers give the option of always creating objects under the group to which the land is set, which may cause you issues if you aren't expecting it and travel to another parcel that requires a different group.

    5. If you seem to be doing no damage in OCS, first make sure you are wearing an OCS HUD. The OCS logo near the bottom of the M2A3 HUD will appear orange when OCS is engaged and working.

    6. You may have other gestures using the same F-keys as the ones included in this package. To locate and correct these conflicts, press control - G in your viewer and click on the"Key" column header to sort by key assignment. The F-keys are merely suggested key bindings, feel free to reassign them to whatever works best for you.

    7. Sounds, and not being able to hear them: If you're using a Viewer 2 or 3 based viewer, the default sound settings cause sounds to carry a few meters at most, then be unable to be heard. If not already showing, press Control-Alt-Shift-D and make the Advanced Menu appear. From that menu, select "Show Debug Settings." In the box, enter or locate "AudioLevelRolloff" and try setting it between 0.040 and 0.200 for better hearing.

    8. Asset corruption happens. Rarely, a copy of something will become corrupt and behave in very strange ways. The first thing to try is to unpack a fresh copy of the item from the box in which it came. If that doesn't solve the issue, you can have another box of the same item sent to you via the service kiosk at The Omega Concern's main store. Failing that, contact the support address and request a new box be sent to you and you will receive it as soon as possible.

  8. The End

    First, a heartfelt thank you to all The Omega Concern's customers over the years. You guys gave me the sweetest gig in the world, and I love you all for it. I do this all for you.

    Big thank yous to Ropemasterdom Skellerjup, Caete Chevalier, Eric Sheppard and Eddison Campbell for beta-testing.

    As it always has been, and always will be: Fun is the whole point. Do go have some. :)