|General Dynamics Land Systems - GDLS
|Wheeled armoured personnel carrier
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.
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 Stryker is based on the LAV III light-armored vehicle, which in turn was based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha III 8x8.
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.
Extensive 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.
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.
In 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.
There are plans to add the Boomerang anti-sniper system and Raytheon Quick Kill anti-RPG system.
Reports from military personnel and analysts state that the Stryker is superior to other light military vehicles regarding survivability against IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
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.
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.
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:
KONGSBERG Protector MCRWS selected for Stryker (21.12.2015)
GD Awarded $118 M for Stryker Double-V Hull Vehicles (11.09.2013)
Stryker `Double V-Hull` Proven Success (03.12.2012)