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Stryker 8x8 ICV

Unitied States America

Stryker Family of Vehicles

Stryker 8x8 Anti-Tank
Unveiled / Entered Service
2002
Stryker 8x8 ICV
Status
in-service
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the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Introduction

The Stryker is a family of 8x8 vehicles developed for the US Army and to support their new (at the time) Stryker Brigades. Since their introduction in 2002, the family has continued to grow with new variants added in 2022. The vehicles manufacturer, General Dynamic Land Systems (Canada) have upgraded the vehicle to the Stryker A1. The US Army plans to keep the Stryker in service until 2050.

Background

The US Army had identified in the 1970’s that their conventional armoured force was to large and heavy to react to global crisis in a timely fashion, such as the Middle East and East Asia.

The need for more lightly armoured vehicles, capable of being quickly deployed led to several programs, which resulted in a number of light tank prototypes such as the HSTV-L and RDF/LT, which were cancelled and then revisited throughout the 1970’s to 1990’s.

By 1999 the US Army was reassessing the project. This time two programs were started to find suitable vehicles for the newly formed “Interim Brigade Combat Teams”.

The first project was called the “Interim Armored Vehicle competition” which sought to find an off the shelf (already in service) vehicle to avoid any lengthy development program for the IBCT.

The second project was the “Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicles” which was to develop a series of new vehicles that would eventually replace the winner of the IAV competition.

The US Army trialed several off the shelf vehicles, including the Canadian LAV III. The LAV III was the latest model of the Canadian LAV 8×8, entering production in 1999. Unlike previous LAV models, the LAV III was designed solely by GM Defence of Canada (purchased by General Dynamic Land Systems in 2003) and not a license copy of the MOWAG Piranha.

The LAV III met the US Army’s criteria over protection, adaptability into different variants, mobility (including strategic mobility) and internal volume.

In late 2000, GDLS was awarded an $8 billion contract to produce just over 2000 LAV III, now known as the Stryker for the IBCT, which was also renamed as Stryker Brigades.

By 2009 the Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicles project was cancelled, and the Stryker switched from an interim solution to a permanent one.

Description

Stryker Brigades and their Stryker vehicles can be deployed within 96 hours by C-130 aircraft, any where in the world as a medium armoured force in response to any incident or conflict with the goal of stopping it from escalating, with a specialty of operating in urban areas.

Upgrades

The Stryker was deployed to Iraq in late 2003 and Afghanistan in 2009. Based on IED attacks and other operational feedback, the Stryker received several protection upgrades, such as bar armour and StrykShield situational awareness kit.

There have been two major upgrades for the Stryker –

Stryker DVH

It was announced in 2010 that GDLS was working on a new hull for the Stryker, which would give the vehicle enhanced protection against mines and IED. The new hull featured a double V-shape to help the energy of the IED disperse, rather than build up and penetrate the flat hull.

The DVH entered production in 2012. At the same time, the armour was improved, new tyres and suspension were fitted as well as new brakes and blast absorbing seats for the infantry.

STRYKER A1 aka STRYKER DVHA1

The A1 focuses on removing and replacing vehicle components with up rated ones to accommodate any future technologies.

The existing 350hp engine is replaced with a new 450hp one, a new drive train to handle the increased power, new sensors to monitor the engine and new suspension to handle any additional weight in any future growth.

A new digital infrastructure to handle any new future communications/battlefield management and new Ethernet connections with new displays for the commander and driver.

The most recent order for the DVHA1 was for 300 vehicles in the summer of 2023.

Stryker Exchange Program

Anniston Army Depot’s Stryker Exchange program started in 2012. As flat bottom hull Stryker’s are replaced with DVH Stryker’s, the older models are stripped of parts that can be refurbished and reused in the new DVH Stryker’s. On average, the program saves $200,000 in the manufacturing costs of each new DVH Stryker and so far has saved the US Army $172 million.

Firepower

With so many different variants of the Stryker, there are a number of different weapons the family operates. When the Stryker was launched, the ICV and other variants used the Kongsberg PROTECTOR M151 Remote Weapon Station for defensive purposes only.

Operated from within the vehicle, the M151 featured a thermal sight for detection and a 50.cal heavy machine gun. The M151 can traverse 360 degrees with a high elevation. Its down falls are accuracy at range and ability to penetrate enemy armour and structures.

Within the late 2010’s additional variants appeared, including those using 30mm chain gun’s, Surface to Air Missiles and Hellfire ATGM as well as Javelin ATGM launchers.

Protection

The Stryker is manufactured out of a hardened steel that provides protection against 14.5mm rounds over the frontal arc and 7.62mm on the sides and rear. Additional armoured plates are bolted on to provide increased protection.

The Double V-shaped Hull gives additional protection against mine and IED strikes by dispersing the energy from the blast outwards.

During The Iraq War, Stryker’s were targeted by insurgents with IED and RPG-7 attacks. To counter these attacks the Stryker received additional armour packages, such as Bar armour aka slat armour (RPG-7) and Explosive Reactive Armour.

Mobility

Strategic mobility refers to the capability of moving and deploying assets such as the Stryker to the battlefield. The Stryker is capable of being transported by C-130 transport planes, but only when it does not have additional armour such as bar armour due to weight and size.

Whilst the vehicles performance in terms of road speed and range where regarded as satisfactory during trials, the vehicle struggled off-road when additional armour was added during the Iraq War.

Its believed that the suspension lacked growth potential to accommodate any future added weight such as add-on armour. These issues have been resolved during upgrades with new suspensions, wider tyres and a more powerful engine to provide an increased power-to-weight ratio.

Variants and Marks

In service

M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV aka APC) – Forms the backbone of the Stryker family, crewed by a driver and commander, it carriers nine fully kitted troopers into battle.

It is equipped with the PROTECTOR M151 Remote Weapon Station and since 2018, 80+ RWS have been modified with the addition of a Javelin ATGM launcher (single firing tube).

M1296 Dragoon Infantry Fighting Vehicle – In October 2018 the first prototype of a Stryker ICV with a Kongsberg MCRWS (medium-Calibre Remote Weapon Station) armed with a 30mm XM813 chain gun, was delivered to the Army for trials.

Designated the “Dragoon” a total of 81 vehicles were ordered and delivery to German based units began in 2018. The turret is unmanned and operated by a gunner located in the middle of the hull. It uses programmable ammunition with an effective range of 3km’s. The vehicle works in tandem with M1126 retrofitted with the Javelin ATGM, providing a much required level of lethality.

Based on the Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ SAMSON remote weapon station, a total of 249 systems have been ordered and equipped across three Stryker Brigades. The turret features the same 30mm XM813 chain gun as used on the Dragoon.

Stryker A1 IM-SHORAD aka Sgt Stout – The US Armies Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense program seeked to provide a platform capable of engaging all short range aerial targets including 3 UAS (drones that weight 55+ pounds). Named the Sgt Stout by GDLS, the platform comprises of a Stryker A1, the Moog Inc Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) that features a Stinger SAM launcher (x4 missiles), 30mm chain gun & 7.62mm Machine Gun as well as Hellfire anti-tank missile duel launcher.

The radar and control systems are provided by Leonardo as part of their DRS’ M-SHORAD Mission Equipment Package. All systems are delivered to GDLS to integrate with the Stryker A1.

An initial order of 28 platforms was made in January 2021, which is the first of 144 vehicles to be delivered over a 5 year contract.

M1129 Mortar Carrier – The vehicle features a 120mm mortar mounted on a traversable turntable allowing it to fire in different directions without maneuvering the vehicle to do so. To operate, two large hatches in the vehicle roof are opened and the mortar elevated. Additional mortar rounds are kept in racks for the x3 firing crew to use, who also stand in the open hatches.

M1130 Commander Vehicle – Featuring battlefield management systems and communication equipment used to monitor the battlefield and make strategic decisions. It is operated on a Brigade, Battalion and company levels.

M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle – Used to scout ahead of the primary force, this vehicle locates and conduct surveillance of the enemy. Equipped with a Raytheon long-range advanced scout surveillance system (LRAS3) it carries out target location & acquisition using thermal imaging and laser range finder.

M1131 Fire Support Vehicle – Used to provide enhanced surveillance, target identification, target acquisition,  and target designation.

In essence its a communications hub, monitoring the information of the various Battalions within the SBCT. It integrates the current M707 Striker Mission Equipment Package. The FSV provides the Fire Support Teams (FIST) with the capability to automate command and control functions, to perform fire support planning, directing, controlling and cross-functional area coordination.

M1132 Engineer Support Vehicle – Equipped to clear mines, IED’s and other obstacles for other Stryker’s. It features a v-shaped clearing device, mine detection systems and lane marking device.

M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle – Used to transport injured infantry from the front line to medical facilities in the rear of the battlefield. It can transport up to six injured soldiers with up to three medical personnel.

M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Reconnaissance Vehicle – Used to move across contaminated areas of the battlefield and identify safe transport lanes using external monitors and relay the location of these lanes to other brigade assets.

M1134 Anti-Tank Guided Missile – The M1134 uses a traversable dual tube TOW launcher mounted above the hull. It is capable of firing both the TOW 2A and TOW 2B wire guided anti-tank guide missile. Reloading of the launcher is done manually by the crew, with spare missiles carried in the rear of the hull.

Prototypes

StrykerX – Unveiled in 2022, it features stealth technology, diesel electric engine, internal volume expansion, Active Protection System and 360 degree situational awareness technology. Currently a tech demonstrator.

M-LIDS – Announced in 2024, the Army Counter-Drone System will be transferred from x2 M-ATV vehicles to a single Stryker.

Stryker Leonidas – GDLS and Leonardo have signed an agreement to produce the vehicle if and when the system is procured, which is a high-power microwave, fully mobile counter-electronics solution.

M1132 – Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge Carrier. Pearson’s MLC 50 bridge launched from an adapted Stryker.

Retired

M1128 Mobile Gun System – Initially developed on the LAV-III as a proposed replacement for the Canadian Armies Leopard C2, it used a modified and updated Low profile turret developed for The Expeditionary Tank. Featuring an updated M68 105mm rifled main gun and auto loader, the vehicle saw action in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fire support role. Due to a number of issues such as maintenance of the auto loader, the vehicle was retired in 2022.

Operators

The US Army has nine Stryker Brigades, seven are active and two are in the National Guard as of June 2024.

Its believed that over 4000 Stryker’s have been produced for the US Army over its 20+ years of service. The Army expects the Stryker to remain in service until 2050, and whilst technology demonstrators showcase the next generation of Stryker for 2030, GDLS and the ANAD are on a program that sees all single, flat hull Stryker’s replaced with DVHA1 by 2028.

The Following export clients are based on applications made to and listed on the Defence Security Cooperation agency:

  • Thailand – An application for 60 M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles was made in 2019. The Sipri Arms Transfer Database showed delivery in 2020.
  • Ukraine – The Sipri Arms Transfer Database shows the transfer of 189 vehicles by 2023.

Other applicants:

  • Argentina – An application was made in 2020 for 27 M1126. There is no information on a delivery on the Sipri Arms Transfer Database.
  • Bulgaria – The largest export inquiry, in 2023 a request was submitted for 183 Stryker vehicles, which includes 90 Dragoons, x17 M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles, x9 M1132 Engineer Squad
    Vehicles, x33 M1130 Command Vehicles, x24 M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicles and x10 M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles.
  • Iraq – In 2013 an application was submitted for 50 M1135 Stryker Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles. There is no information of a delivery on the Sipri Arms Transfer Database.
  • Lithuania – An application for 84 M1126 Dragoons was made in 2015. Lithuania eventually choose the Boxer.
  • North Macedonia – An application for 54 vehicles was made in 2021, which included M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles, M1130 Command Vehicles and M1129 Mortar Carrier. There is no information on a delivery on the Sipri Arms Transfer Database.
  • Peru – In 2016, an application was submitted for 178 reconditioned M1126. There is no information on a delivery on the Sipri Arms Transfer Database.

Combat History

The Iraq War 2003 to 2011

The Stryker’s first deployment came late in 2003, after the initial invasion and fall of Saddam and his Ba’ath Party, which saw the looting of a quarter of million tonnes of artillery ordnance, RPG’s and explosive materials, only to be used as IED attacks and ambushes of Allied Forces, which included the Stryker Brigades and their vehicles.

Over 300 Stryker’s were deployed during the war and predominately performed patrols and counter insurgency missions. The vehicles protection was constantly tested by the insurgents and the US Army responded by adding additional armour, notably bar armour to catch RPG-7 warheads.

The Afghanistan War

The Stryker’s second deployment came in the summer of 2009.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Ukrainian forces have been operating the Stryker since 2023, which have been supplied as American aid. As of July 2024 a total of x48 Stryker’s have been reported as destroyed on the Oryx blog.

Since the Russian Invasion and Occupation of Crimea, the number of Stryker Brigades and vehicles based in Europe has increased.

Specifications

characteristic
Result
Main Gun
Based on vehicle variant – 50.cal MG and 30mm Chain Gun
ATGM Capability
Based on vehicle variant – TOW or Hellfire
Secondary Weapons
commanders-7.62mm-machine-gun, remote-weapons-station-with-mg
Ammunition Storage
?
Engine
Caterpillar 3126 350 hp
Transmission
Allison 3200SP
Top Road Speed
97km/h
Road Range
500 Km
Fuel Capacity
?
Vertical Obstacle
?
Water Capability
Non-Amphibous
Trench Crossing
?
Gradient
?
Side Slope
?
Length Gun Forward
N/A
Length Hull
6.95m
Width
2.72m
Height
2.64m Hull top
Ground Clearance
?
Weight
16.4+ Tonnes
NBC Protected
yes
Standard Armor(s) Type
steel, laminate
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
composite, bar, modular
Active Protection Systems
no
Crew
commander, driver
Infantry
9