Strykers Upgraded for Future Combat
Strategypage has news on the new “Stryker 2.0” intended for impending service in Afghanistan:
The new version will weigh about a ton more, and have a more powerful engine (450 horsepower versus the current 350), a suspension system and other mechanical components upgraded to support up to 27 tons, larger tires, improved brakes and improved sensors (so that troops inside the vehicle will have better awareness of what’s outside.) These are the major modifications, there will be several more minor ones (better air conditioning, a sniper detector, more electricity generation and so on). Outwards appearance won’t change much at all.
Stryker by no means is a perfect vehicle, but for the type of counter-insurgency campaigns we are facing in a new century, it is the right vehicle, right on time. Also the authors mentioned each Stryker prices $1 million each, but I understood they ran $3 million per. Maybe this is the production price, which is fantastic, and far from the $10 million for a new heavy tank.
An earlier Defense Update post on improving the Strykers mentioned adding a V shaped hull, which the above made no remark:
Survivability enhancements will include modifications reshaping the hull into a shallow V-shaped structure, additional armor for the sides, front (driver protection). An active protection system, probably a derivative of the Raytheon Quick Kill system developed for Future Combat Systems (FCS) is planned.
Perhaps these additions were deferred due to cost? Here’s more info from the builders, General Dynamics:
Under the contract, the Army and General Dynamics will develop designs and build a demonstrator to
assess options for continuing to enhance survivability, power, suspension, mobility and lethality, and the
integration of new technologies – core enabling capabilities – for the Stryker. Mobility enablers include
analysis of adding a 450 horse power diesel engine, upgrading the suspension system and driveline to carry
a 60,000-lb. payload, larger tires and a new braking system. Work also includes design of a digital
architecture system that connects new command, control, communication, computers, intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance technologies, to ensure soldiers continue to have access to the best
available situational-awareness and mission systems.
One thing for sure, the newer Strykers have taking the “interim” armored vehicle further from its weight goal of fitting on a C-130 plane, the weight limit being 38,000 lbs. The new version will probably match or exceed this load. Still, 4 can be carried by the versatile C-17 airlifter.
This brochure from the Project Management Team seems to emphasize increased power for the vehicle. This is why I think Stryker should be looked on as mindset, as the “brains” of the new team, with its infantry acting as the brawn. Certainly a new way of thinking about armored warfare.