Stryker:The Mighty V!
Solomon at SNAFU Blog writes concerning the Army’s plans for a future Ground Combat Vehicles:
This is more proof that the Stryker concept is dead.
Except when it’s not. Strategypage details something New Wars reported on earlier, an off-the-shelf update that will make the 10-yr old Stryker “interim” armored vehicle a force to be reckoned with continually on the battlefield:
The U.S. Army has ordered 14 Stryker Double-V Hull prototypes. These will cost about $2.1 million each. This new design is intended to improve resistance to mines (more common in Afghanistan than Iraq) by adding a V shaped bottom. This is one of the key elements of the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) design. The current plan is to eventually modify a hundred or so Strykers with the V shape hull, ship them off to Afghanistan as soon as possible, and see if it makes a significant difference in lowering troops casualties.
The price will double, plus about a ton of weight will be added, along with about 100 extra horsepower. Many of the add-ons learned from years of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan will be incorporated into the new-builds.
In contrast, New Wars has likened the future GCV as the Army’s Next Procurement Disaster, and if history is any guide, recalling the mercifully canceled $160 billion Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, this is a near-certainty. The R&D allocated just to research the vehicle, $934 million, easily dwarfs the $58 million used to study the V-shaped Stryker concept. Even the total modifications costs is less than this price at $800 million.
Here is a proven weapon ready to go, whose enemy nowhere matches the 1990s tech of the Stryker, so there is no need for a replacement, an upgrade being more than adequate and ready now for today’s wars and future ones too. Not to say there isn’t a Stryker replacement out there somewhere, only the GCV isn’t it. To think of the precious funding already wasted on this future canceled Pentagon Pork Project is heart-breaking.