M1126 Stryker ICV
|Type||Armored fighting vehicle|
|Place of origin||Canada / United States|
|Weight||ICV: 16.47 t (18.12 sh tn)
MGS: 18.77 t (20.65 sh tn)
|Length||6.95 m (22.92 ft)|
|Width||2.72 m (8.97 ft)|
|Height||2.64 m (8.72 ft)|
|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)|
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+4-wheel-drive, 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: Pfc Stuart S. Stryker, who died in World War II and Spc4 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 HMMWV). 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 is developing Autonomous Navigation for the Stryker and several other vehicles with a $237 million contract through 2013. 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 StrykShield 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 and possibly as an add-on kit. 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.
The vehicle comes in several variants with a common engine, transmission, hydraulics, wheels, tires, differentials and transfer case. The M1130 Command Vehicle and M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle have an air conditioning unit mounted on the back. The medical vehicle also has a higher-capacity generator. A recent upgrade program provided a field retrofit kit to add air conditioning units to all variants, and production started in 2005 of the Mobile Gun System mounting an overhead GDLS 105 mm automatic gun.
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.
Remote weapon system screenExtensive computer support helps soldiers fight the enemy while reducing friendly fire incidents. Each vehicle can track friendly vehicles in the field as well as detected enemies. The driver and the vehicle commander (who also serves as the gunner) have periscopes that allow them to see outside the vehicle without exposing themselves to outside dangers. The vehicle commander also has access to a day-night thermal imaging camera which allows the vehicle commander to see what the driver sees. The vehicle commander has almost a 360-degree field of vision; the driver, a little more than 90 degrees.
Soldiers can practice training with the vehicles from computer training modules inside the vehicle.
General Dynamics Land Systems is developing a new Power and Data Management Architecture to handle computer upgrades.
Stryker rolled over by a buried IED in 2007. All crew survived, but the vehicle required a factory rebuild before returning to service.The Stryker's hull is constructed from high-hardness steel which offers a basic level of protection against 14.5mm rounds on the frontal arc, and all-around protection against 7.62mm ball ammunition. In addition to this, Strykers are also equipped with bolt-on ceramic armor which offers all-around protection against 14.5mm, armor-piercing ammunition, and artillery fragments from 152mm rounds. Problems were encountered with the initial batch of ceramic armor when it was found that a number of panels failed in tests against 14.5mm ammunition. Army officials determined that this was due to changes in the composition and size of the panels introduced by their manufacturer, IBD Deisenroth. A stopgap solution of adding an additional 3mm of steel armor was introduced until a permanent solution could be found. The issue was eventually resolved later in 2003 when DEW Engineering was selected as the new, exclusive supplier for the ceramic armor. Stryker with slat armor, full Hull Protection Kit and commander's ballistic shieldIn addition to the integral ceramic armor, optional packages have been developed. These include slat armor and Stryker reactive armor tiles (SRAT) for protection against rocket propelled grenades and other projectiles, the hull protection kit (HPK), armored skirts for additional protection against improvised explosive devices, and a ballistic shield to protect the commander's hatch.
The Stryker also incorporates an automatic fire-extinguishing system with sensors in the engine and troop compartments that activate one or more halon fire bottles, which can also be activated by the driver, externally mounted fuel tanks, and a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Warfare system which will keep the crew compartment airtight and positively pressurized.
M151 Protector with a M2 heavy machine gun on an M1126 Stryker ICV variant.With the exception of some specialized variants, the primary armament of the Stryker is a Protector M151 Remote Weapon Station with .50-cal M2 machine gun, 7.62 mm M240 machine gun, or Mk-19 automatic grenade launcher. The choice of armament was driven by many factors. The US Army wanted a vehicle that could rapidly transport and protect infantry to and around battlefields. Heavier armed infantry transport was introduced with the Soviet BMP series in the late 1960s. Vehicles armed in this manner are intended to be used in an assault against an enemy position. However, this also adds weight to the vehicle due to the additional armor, and reduces the number of infantry that could be transported when used with a conventional manned turret as a turret basket is necessary.
Stryker unloading from a C-130One of the key objectives outlined as part of the army transformation plan was the ability to deploy a brigade anywhere in the world within 96 hours, a division in 120 hours, and five divisions within 30 days. Operational mobility requirements dictated that the vehicle be transportable by C-130 aircraft. While ultimately the Stryker's ability to be transported by C-130 has been demonstrated, there has been criticism about the Stryker's suitability for C-130 transport as the aircraft’s range may not meet its 1,000 mile goal. This is affected by many variables such as the particular C-130 variant and conditions at the departure airport. The Stryker is too heavy (19–26 tons, depending on variant and add-on features) to be lifted by existing helicopters.
In August 2004, the US Air Force successfully air dropped an up-weighted Stryker Engineering Support Vehicle from a C-17. This test was to determine the feasibility of air dropping a Stryker MGS. Even though this test was a success, none of the Stryker variants have been certified for airdrop.
U.S. Army and Indian Army troops with Stryker IFV during a bilateral training exerciseThe Stryker can alter the pressure in all eight tires to suit terrain conditions: highway, cross-country, mud/sand/snow, and emergency. The system warns the driver if the vehicle exceeds the recommended speed for its tire pressure, then automatically inflates the tires to the next higher pressure setting. The system can also warn the driver of a flat tire, although the Stryker is equipped with run-flat tire inserts that also serve as bead-locks, allowing the vehicle to move several miles before the tire completely deteriorates.
Some criticism of the Stryker continues a decades-long ongoing debate concerning whether tracked or wheeled vehicles are more effective. Conventional tracks have superior off-road mobility, can pivot a vehicle in place, and are more resistant to battle damage. Wheeled vehicles are easier to maintain, and have higher road speeds. The US Army chose the Stryker over tracked vehicles due to these advantages.
An additional issue is that rollover is a greater risk with the Stryker relative to other transport vehicles, due to their higher center of gravity. The high ground clearance, however, is likely to reduce the damage caused by land mines and improvised explosive devices on the vehicle.
While not amphibious, the Stryker's watertight combat hatch seals allow it to ford water up to the tops of its wheels.
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.
Stryker team members deploying from the rear rampThe Stryker family of vehicles fill a role in the United States Army that is neither heavy nor light, but rather an attempt to create a force that can move infantry to the battlefield quickly and in relative security. Brigades that have been converted to Strykers have primarily been light, or, in the case of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, unarmored HMMWV-based cavalry scouts. For these units, the addition of Strykers has increased combat power by providing armor protection, a vehicle-borne weapon system to support each dismounted squad, and the speed and range to conduct missions far from the operating base.
Stryker units seem to be especially effective in urban areas, where vehicles can establish initial security positions near a building and dismount squads on a doorstep.
The Stryker relies on its speed and communications for the majority of its defense against heavy weapon systems. It is not capable of engaging heavily armored units, relying on communication and other units to control threats outside of its classification. One variant is armed with anti-tank missiles.
However, at the National Training Center (Fort Irwin California) 3rd Brigade 2nd ID proved that, through the use of unconventional tactics and small dismounted teams armed with anti-armor weaponry, a Stryker unit could hold its own against a conventional armored unit, should the need arise. This situation is something that commanders would most likely avoid due to a higher casualty rate.
Brigades equipped with the Stryker are intended to be strategically mobile (i.e., capable of being rapidly deployed over long distances). As such, the Stryker was intentionally designed with a lower level of protection compared to tracked vehicles like the M2 Bradley, but with much lower logistic requirements.
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:
- M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) : Armored personnel carrier version that provides protected transport for 2 crew and a 9 man infantry squad, and can support dismounted infantry. Weighs 19 tons, communications include text and a map network between vehicles. It can be armed with 0.50 inch M2 Browning machine gun, 40 mm MK19 grenade launcher or 7.62 mm M240 machine gun.
- M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle (RV) used by RSTA Squadrons and battalion scouts, moving throughout the battlefield to gather and transmit real time intelligence/surveillance for situational awareness. The RV's purpose is to anticipate and avert threats, improving the brigade's decisiveness and freedom of maneuver.
Mobile Gun System*M1128 Mobile Gun System (MGS) : Version armed with an 105 mm M68A1 rifled cannon (M68A1E4) (a lightweight version of the gun system used on the original M1 Abrams main battle tanks and the M60 Patton main battle tank), an M2 0.50 caliber commander's machine gun and two M6 smoke grenade launchers. The M68A1E4 also features a muzzle brake to assist with recoil and an autoloader, a rare feature on US tank guns. The main gun provides direct fires in support of infantry, engaging stationary and mobile enemy targets, such as bunkers to create a combined arms effect of overmatched firepower that improves survivability of the combat team. The MGS can fire one of its 18 ready 105 mm shells every 6 seconds, and carries 400 rounds of 0.50 caliber and 3,400 rounds of 7.62 mm, and the same C4ISR communications and driver's vision as the ICV. The MGS vehicle is a strengthened variant of the LAV III compared to the standard variant other Stryker vehicles are based on, but retains commonality across all vehicles in the family. 120 mm mortar launched from Stryker MCV-B variant*M1129 Mortar Carrier (MC) armed with Soltam 120 mm Mortar supports infantry with screening obscurants, suppressive forces and on-call supporting fires (HE, illumination, IR illumination, smoke, precision guided, and DPICM cluster bombs). Precision Guided Mortar Munition (PGMM) attacks point targets at extended ranges with GPS guidance. Organic mortars provide responsive fire support to the maneuver commander and are an ideal system for indirect fire in complex terrain. Vehicles at battalion level also carry the 81mm mortar for dismounted use, while company mortar vehicles carry the 60mm mortar.
- M1130 Command Vehicle (CV) provides commanders with communication, data, and control functions to analyze and prepare information for combat missions; can also link to aircraft antenna/power for planning missions while enroute aboard aircraft. Situational awareness helps commanders to coordinate widely dispersed mobile units against decisive enemy points. Deployed as 3 vehicles per brigade HQ, 2 per battalion HQ and 2 per infantry company.
- M1131 Fire Support Vehicle (FSV) is organic to maneuver companies and provides surveillance and communications (4 secure combat radio nets), with target acquisition/identification/tracking/designation being transmitted automatically to the shooting units.
- M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicle (ESV) provides mobility and limited counter mobility support. Integrated into the ESV are obstacle neutralization and lane marking systems and mine detection devices. The ESV with its attachments provides a partial solution to the obstacle clearance role, primarily for clearance of hastily emplaced mines on hard surfaces and rubble, plus will enable the Engineer squad to control future robotic based systems.
- M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle (MEV) is the Battalion Aid Station for brigade units, providing treatment for serious injury and advanced trauma as an integrated part of the internetted combat forward formation. attendant’s seat that will allow the attendant to change position and visually monitor all patients while the vehicle is in motion. Medical personnel must be seated for safety while the vehicle is in motion, but able to visually monitor patients. Geneva Convention markings can be masked/removed as required.
Anti-Tank Guided Missile Vehicle*M1134 Anti-Tank Guided Missile Vehicle (ATGM) is armed with the TOW missile to reinforce the brigade's infantry and reconnaissance, providing long-range antitank fires against armour beyond tank gun effective range. The separate antitank company can alsobe used to shape the battlefield, reinforce the infantry battalions and reconnaissance squadron (e.g. counter-reconnaissance), serve as a reserve, and of course may counterattack. Vehicle commander independently locates secondary targets while gunner is engaging the primary. After ready rounds are fired, crewman will need to rearm the launcher. A vehicle commander, gunner, loader, and driver operate the ATGM in a tactical environment and to carry equipment if the missile launcher is used in a dismounted mode.
- M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBC RV) automatically integrates contamination information from detectors with input from navigation and meteorological systems and transmits digital NBC warning messages to warn follow-on forces. The core of the NBC RV is its on-board integrated NBC sensor suite and integrated meteor-ological system. An NBC positive overpressure system that minimizes cross-contamination of samples and detection instruments, provides crew protection, and allows extended operations at MOPP 0.
- Mxxxx Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) This was a prototype vehicle with turret and ammunition developed by Denel Land Systems. Work stopped after the successful November 2005 demonstration of the prototype.