AUSA: The Stryker’s come a long, long way since 2000, when it was derided as a lightweight wheeled vehicle only suitable for Canadians, not the heavily armored US Army. In Iraq, the eight-wheel-drive vehicle proved both more mobile and more survivable in the face of roadside bombs than the much smaller 4×4 Humvees.
Today a Stryker brigade, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, is the Army’s heaviest unit still stationed in Europe and got an urgent upgrade with a new 30 mm automatic cannon to take on Russian armored vehicles. While not capable of killing not heavy tanks, the 30 mm can hurt the host of thinner-skinned scouts and troop carriers that accompany them. (Click here for an interesting criticism of the project).
But the 30 mm Stryker was rapid project with inevitable imperfections, starting with the choice of vehicle: The 2nd Cav has the original Stryker with a flat-bottomed hull (FBH), but the Army wants to move to the more roadside-bomb resistant double-V hull (DVH). So, at its own expense, manufacturer General Dynamics installed an improved 30 mm turret on the DVH Stryker with an array of other improvements from wider hatches to 360 cameras that give the troops inside a better view of everything around them. The goal: convince the Army to buy this option when it decides on a “lethality upgrade” for the entire Stryker fleet in January. GD’s Mike Peck walks us through the features.