M1126 Stryker ICV
|Type||Armored fighting vehicle|
|Place of origin||Canada / United States|
|Unit cost||$3.8 million|
|Weight||ICV: 16.47 tonnes (18.16 short tons; 16.21 long tons) |
MGS: 18.77 tonnes (20.69 short tons; 18.47 long tons)
|Length||6.95 m (22 ft 10 in)|
|Width||2.72 m (8 ft 11 in)|
|Height||2.64 m (8 ft 8 in)|
|Crew||Varies. Usually 2.|
|Armor||7.62 mm/14.5 mm resistant|
|M2 .50 cal. machine gun or MK19 40 mm grenade launcher mounted in a PROTECTOR M151 remote weapon station (RWS) (ICV)|
|.50-cal M2 MG and M240 7.62 mm MG (MGS)|
|Engine||Caterpillar C7 |
260 kW (350 hp)
|Power/weight||ICV: 15.8 kW/t (19.3 hp/sh tn)|
|500 km (310 mi)|
|Speed||100 km/h (62 mph)|
The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive (8x4), armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor: Private First Class Stuart S. Stryker, who died in World War II and Specialist Four Robert F. Stryker, who died in the Vietnam War.
In October 1999, General Eric Shinseki, then U.S. Army Chief of Staff, outlined a transformation plan for the army that would allow it to adapt to post-Cold War conditions. The plan, dubbed "Objective Force", would have the army adopt a flexible doctrine that would allow it to deploy quickly, and equipped for a variety of operations. An early phase of the plan called for the introduction of an 'Interim Armored Vehicle' which was intended to fill the capability gap between heavy and lethal, but not easily deployable vehicles (such as the M2 Bradley), and easily deployed, but lightly armed and protected vehicles (such as the Humvee). A variant of the Canadian LAV III offered by the General Dynamics-General Motors Defence Canada team was ultimately awarded the contract in November 2000.
The Stryker MGS moved into low-rate initial production in 2005 for evaluation.
The Stryker has come under intense scrutiny from military experts since its introduction in the US Army; this has also been the subject of reporting in the mass media.
General Dynamics's Robotic Systems division was developing autonomous navigation for the Stryker and several other vehicles with a $237 million contract until the program was cut in July 2011. TARDEC has also tested an active Magneto Rheological suspension, developed by MillenWorks for the Stryker, at the Yuma Proving Ground, which resulted in greater vehicle stability.
The US Army plans to improve its fleet of Stryker vehicles with the introduction of improved semi-active suspension, modifications reshaping the hull into a shallow V-shaped structure, to protect against improvised explosive devices. Also included are additional armor for the sides, redesigned hatches to minimize gaps in the armor, blast absorbing mine resistant seating, non-flammable tires, an upgrade to the remote weapon station that allows it to fire on the go, increased 500 amp power generation, a new solid state power distribution system and data bus, and the automotive and power plant systems improvements to support a 25% Gross Vehicle Weight increase. The upgraded V-hull will be part of the new situational awareness kit, which will address many of these upgrades. Allegheny Technologies' ATI 500-MIL armor steel was designated the primary armored plating for the StrykShield package in 2008.
The upgrade incorporating lessons learned from Afghanistan is designated LAV-H and General Dynamics had a technology demonstrator displayed at the 2007 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Exposition. In March 2010, it was reported that General Dynamics and Army were working to incorporate a double V-hull into the Stryker design. In July 2010 the Army awarded a $30 million contract to GDLS to start production of the new hull.
On 9 March 2011, the Department of Defense's director of operational test and evaluations testified that the new V-hull design was "not suitable" for long missions in Afghanistan's terrain. The issues are due to the tight driver's compartment and difficulty releasing the seat to extract an incapacitated driver. General Dynamics stated these issues would be corrected before the new Stryker version deploys.
The U.S. Army is seeking replacement of the M113 APC and derivatives by Stryker, MRAP, and Bradley Fighting Vehicle vehicles starting in 2017. In the long term the army is tentatively pursuing replacement with the 50+ ton Ground Combat Vehicle family of vehicles concept.
Engine and mechanical features
For its power pack the Stryker uses a Caterpillar diesel engine common in U.S. Army medium-lift trucks, eliminating additional training for maintenance crews and allowing the use of common parts. Because of obsolescence concerns, the Caterpillar 3126 engine was recently replaced by a Caterpillar C7 engine and the Allison 3200SP.
Pneumatic or hydraulic systems drive almost all of the vehicle's mechanical features; for example, a pneumatic system switches between 8X4 and 8X8 drive.
Designers strove to ease the maintainer's job, equipping most cables, hoses, and mechanical systems with quick-disconnecting mechanisms. The engine and transmission can be removed and reinstalled in approximately two hours, allowing repairs to the turbocharger and many other components to be done outside the vehicle.
Command, control, and targeting
Strategic and operational
The unit cost to purchase the initial Stryker ICVs (without add-ons, including the slat armor) was US$3 million in April 2002. By May 2003, the regular production cost per vehicle was US$1.42 million.
Comparison with contemporary vehicles
Below is a comparison of some modern APCs and IFVs including the Stryker:
An article by Defense Industry Daily addresses both a negative Washington Post article and the surprise of POGO at the positive reviews Stryker got from soldiers who had used it in combat. It includes extensive additional quotes and experiences from soldiers and reporters who have served with Strykers in Iraq, and even a Russian analyst review. It concludes by discussing the broader lessons from these experiences that apply beyond the Stryker itself.
Soldiers and officers who use Strykers defend them as very effective vehicles; an article in the Washington Post states:
The Stryker chassis' modular design supports a wide range of variants. The main chassis is the Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV). There have been no proposals yet for an Air Defense variant along the lines of LAV-25 LAV-AD Blazer turret, M6 Linebacker or AN/TWQ-1 Avenger vehicles.
The Stryker vehicles have the following configurations:
- Army Stryker site
- Stryker Brigade Combat Team Project Management Office
- 3rd Brigade / 2nd Infantry Division, 5th Brigade / 2nd Infantry Division pages and "172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team". Archived from the original on 2006-07-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20060718070024/http://www.wainwright.army.mil/172_SBCT/.
- Other web pages
- General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Stryker page
- General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Stryker brochure
- Army Technology - Stryker
- Stryker at howstuffworks.com
- Stryker destroys VBIED from distance (video)
- Stryker photos and walk arounds at Prime Portal
- Stryker Vehicle on Armour.ws
- Extract from International Defence Review article about Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, April 2006
- A non-military website dedicated to the troops in the Stryker Brigades
- Stryker Information and Images
- A 2003 report criticizing the Stryker program
- Superman - Report of a Stryker named "General Lee" getting bombed by IED in Iraq from Michael Yon, July 2007
- STRYKER family of vehicles on YouTube
- Improving the Strykers on Defense-Update
- Defense News double V-hull, 03/2010
- Army Times double V-hull, 07/2010
- Stars and Stripes double V-hull, 05/2011
- M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle
- M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle
- M1128 Mobile Gun System
- M1129 Mortar Carrier
- M1130 Commander's Vehicle
- M1131 Fire Support Vehicle
- M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicle
- M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle
- M1134 Anti-Tank Guided Missile Vehicle
- M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Reconnaissance Vehicle
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