Yet again, the online combat game “War Thunder” has seen a leak of sensitive military documents related to the M2A2 Bradley fighting vehicle into one of its game forums.
In this case, the leak is information that isn’t legally classified but holds nuts-and-bolts-level details that the Army considers sensitive.
The documents were posted in the “Machinery of War” discussion section of the War Thunder forums on December 12 but was taken down after several minutes. Some users were able to make copies of the documents before it was taken down, and one user sent them to Task & Purpose.
This is the 14th time that sensitive or classified information has been leaked into the forums. The gamers who play War Thunder have a reputation for demanding hyper-realism in the game’s simulation, and users will often try to settle debates on military equipment by quoting information from the technical manuals.
Two pages out of the TM 9-2350-439-23P-2, the technical manual for the M2A2 Bradley Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV), were leaked. The pages detail the commander’s hatch, turret assembly, and the spall liner assembly down to the bolts, washers, and nuts.
The documents aren’t classified but are considered export-controlled data and are only available to the Department of Defense and its contractors. It wasn’t the first place the information was leaked, though. Gaijin Entertainment founder Anton Yudintsev said the leaked documents were spotted on other websites like Reddit and Discord before they landed in War Thunder forums.
“As far as we know, this particular leak did not appear on War Thunder forums first. It was published online on December 8th or even earlier and has been spreading on various platforms for days until it landed on War Thunder forums,” Yudintsev said. “While we did our part in helping to limit the leak spreading further by deleting that post, we can do nothing with what’s happening on other platforms.”
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Classified information about the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter and the F-117 Nighthawk was previously leaked in the forums. Like the other users, the one who posted the Bradley documents has been banned from the War Thunder platform.
Task & Purpose previously reported how some users are confused by the declassified documents and how they are restricted. Export-controlled data, like the Bradley technical manual documents, applies to any information that can hurt U.S. national security if exported.
If the wrong people see the details, they can potentially build their own equipment to defeat the U.S. designs. Yudintsev said the post was taken down quickly. However, the documents may still exist on other websites.
Task & Purpose reached out to the Pentagon for comment, and an update will be provided when they respond. Army spokesperson Jason Waggoner said the “Army is aware & will provide additional information if it becomes available.”
The Bradley has been replaced by the more modern M2A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle in the U.S. military. The M2A2 Bradly AIFV is still in use today, and they’ve played an important part in Ukraine’s defense.
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