The US Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems $30 million to begin production of a double-V-shaped hull for the Stryker infantry combat vehicle. Preliminary testing of the new hull has proven that the design increases the level of protection and survivability provided to soldiers, the US Army says.
The Stryker is a derivative of the Swiss MOWAG Piranha 8×8, while V-hulls are associated with the South African-pioneered mine resistant armour protected (MRAP) personnel carrier of which the US military have acquired tens of thousands since 2003.
Deliveries will begin in January to allow vehicles to be available for use by the Stryker brigade that will rotate into Afghanistan next year, and will be completed by February 2012. General Dynamics employees in Anniston, Alabama, and London, Ontario, will produce the vehicles. Gordon Stein, senior director for the General Dynamics Land Systems Stryker program, said the increased blast protection provided by the double-V-shaped hull will make the vehicle one of the most versatile, mobile and survivable vehicles on the battlefield.
“Soldiers and Marines attending our Warfighter’s forum earlier this year said their Stryker vehicles have performed superbly in Iraq and Afghanistan because of their speed, agility, stability and off-road capability,” Stein said. “The double-V hull can easily be integrated into all variants of the Stryker.” The Stryker family of vehicles stresses performance and commonality that reduces the logistics footprint and minimise costs. The 21-ton Stryker can reach speeds in excess of 60 mph with a range exceeding 300 miles on 53 gallons of fuel.
The Stryker is an eight-wheeled combat vehicle that is lighter, smaller and more readily deployable than other United States Army combat vehicles. The vehicles are designed in 10 different configurations: Infantry Carrier Vehicle, Anti-tank Guided Missile, Mortar Carrier, Command Vehicle, Reconnaissance Vehicle, Engineer Squad Vehicle, Medical Evacuation Vehicle, Fire Support Vehicle, NBC Reconnaissance and Mobile Gun System. It is C-130 transportable, with 14.5-mm basic armour protection.