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Firepower Upgrade Planned for Strykers

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Ever since CMSF I've been a huge fan of the Stryker. My favorite scenarios in CMBS involve the vehicle and many of my QBs have them as well. I've definitely ran into many a fight where the added firepower of a 30mm gun instead of the .50 machine gun would have made the difference in my favor. I think it'd be a wonderful thing to see in a future module/CMSF 2, etc I also think it's certainly a needed, real world upgrade.

 

Firepower Upgrade Planned for GDLS Strykers

By Joe Gould 7:14 a.m. EDT October 15, 2015

WASHINGTON — Amid fears that Stryker-equipped US Army units in Europe are outgunned by their Russian counterparts, General Dynamics Land Systems is pressing ahead with fast-track efforts to mount a medium-caliber cannon on a portion of the fleet, company officials said.

Though the Army has announced the upgrade for 81 vehicles in response to requests from the Germany-based 2nd Cavalry Regiment, company officials anticipate the Army will eventually replace the .50-caliber machine guns with a 30mm gun and turret for the entire active fleet, about 1,000 of the eight-by-eight wheeled vehicles.

“What the Army wants is a weapon with a longer range, greater accuracy and more punch than the .50-caliber machine gun, and a 30mm will give you a lot more in all three of those areas,” General Dynamics Land Systems business development manager, Timothy Reese, said.

The Army plans to field the larger gun in Europe by 2018. Because the GDLS-led procurement is evaluating existing cannons and involves replacing the vehicle’s suspension with suspensions already in the Army’s inventory, the process is expected to move quickly, Reese said.

“We’re looking for complete systems right away, and the Army is looking for that from us,” Reese said.

The defense policy legislation passed by both houses of Congress funds the Stryker “lethality upgrade,” and lawmakers have asked that the program be managed “with dispatch and efficiency.” The defense policy bill’s conference report also cautions the Army to “reduce the unit cost of the Stryker lethality upgrade program and evaluate ways to more efficiently pursue upgrades to the Stryker vehicle fleet.”

Brig. Gen. David Bassett, the Army's program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said the effort would be hit particularly hard if Congress adopts a continuing resolution that extends beyond December. Such stopgap funding measures allocate funding at the previous year’s level, and there was no dedicated funding for the upgrade in 2015.

Budget issues aside, Bassett said he was proud of how fast the Army has sped approvals for the program.

“At this point, we’re waiting on money, but we’re continuing to do things on program to move it forward with the recent release this week from General Dynamics,” Bassett said.

The fast-paced plan accounts for long-lead items such as the cannon barrels and includes tests in Germany, where the 2nd Cavalry is based.

“So, 2018 is the time we’re looking at, but like all the rest of our programs, we’re looking for opportunities to move a little quicker,” Bassett said.

GDLS, which is running the competition, issued a competitive request for proposals on Sept. 30 and plans to complete a source selection process, guided by the Army, by year’s end. The fast-tracked schedule calls for a production-ready capability, ready for tests.

“Just like the Army would, we’re evaluating the vendors based on the criteria, schedule, performance,” Reese said. “We’ll go immediately into test, its going to be a very quick transition.”

The 30mm cannon will be able to fire an air-burst round that will explode above a target, a technique used to hit people hiding behind walls. The 25mm round — fired by a Bradley — is not large enough to allow for such a fuse, Reese said.

“That will be a game-changer for the crew [of a Stryker],” Reese said.

Among other requirements for the gun and turret procurement, the interior of adapted Strykers would still have to be able to carry a nine-soldier squad, so — unlike a Bradley — the turret cannot take up space inside the vehicle. Instead, the gunner would operate the cannon from right-front of the vehicle, as he does for its .50-caliber machine gun.

The upgrade process will involve cutting the top off of a Stryker, a process familiar to the company from its battle-damage repair work, Reese said. The Stryker will gain a new top with a ring to accommodate the turret, and an upgraded suspension to carry the additional weight.

“We don’t think there’s a lot of technical risk at all,” Reese said.

Although GDLS is upgrading Strykers to a double-V hull, designed to deflect underbelly bomb blasts, the Army’s announced upgrade plans only mention flat-bottomed models already in the inventory in Europe.

“My understanding is that eventually the Army is going to apply this to all its brigades, so some of the brigades that have the double-V Stryker can get the upgrade,” Reese said. “The DVHs already have the new suspension on them, so in some sense it will be easier and less expensive to upgrade those brigades.”

The suspension, meant to accommodate 5,000 to 8,000 pounds of additional weight on V-hulled variants versus flat-bottomed variants, would easily accommodate 2,000 to 4,000 more pounds for the gun and turret, Reese said. The original flat-bottomed Stryker weighs about 38,000 pounds.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/show-daily/ausa/2015/10/14/firepower-upgrade-planned-strykers/73943576/

Edited by BigDork
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Stryker currently far exceeds its original max weight specs. Especially including either the slat cage or the ERA armor package. Adding another two tons to the vehicle on top of that doesn't sound like a very good idea. They did the same thing to Humvee too. Until they turned it into a top-heavy suspension buster.

Edited by MikeyD

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I think history is not going to be so kind to the Stryker.  

The weight is also a serious issue.  Even without the ERA it was already having major issues with crossing any terrain that was not a functional roadbed.  And it's already blowing suspensions.  I'm not trying to be Mike Sparks but once you cross a certain point in terms of weight, wheels stop being quite so practical.  

I think the more reasonable plan was not every vehicle with a 30 MM, but instead working out some manner of fire support Stryker to fill the role the MGS did not quite live up to.  Then there's also rumblings about attaching some manner of bolt-on ATGM to the not-cannon armed vehicles.  

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They are planning on upgrading the suspension system to handle the 30mm cannon. It's about as heavy as the 105mm gun system which is transportable. It is added weight but well within the specs with the new suspension

my question is, who thought it was sufficient to arm them with only .50 and 40mm grenades originally 

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The same guys who figured they'd be so lightly armored that the weapon used should match the armor package. Once it started up-armoring, it was time to up-gun. ;) Next, it'll up-engine. Then they'll add another pair of wheels. Then they'll wrap tracks around 'em. Then the army will put a requirement that they be amphibious and air-droppable.

Welcome to procurement.

(Sarcasm/joking aside, bigger guns are a good thing. Longer reach, better accuracy. Yes, there's a cost, but .50/40mm is great for low intensity; they need more gun for taking on anything bigger than a technical. Far cheaper/faster to upgun a Stryker than to create something new. Hell, that'd take 20 years and $20 billion just to get a prototype. Toss a turret on the hull and ship a bunch of spare suspensions in-theater. If mobility/flotation really suffers, just bolt another wheel onto each end of each axle. Yeah. I know.)

 

Ken

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I always thought the general rule was that any system should be capable of defeating it's enemy equivalent. To me it's absurd than an armored vehicle would be incapable of taking out and Enemy Light armored vehicle. But I'm not an expert

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I always thought the general rule was that any system should be capable of defeating it's enemy equivalent. To me it's absurd than an armored vehicle would be incapable of taking out and Enemy Light armored vehicle. But I'm not an expert

A .50 CAL is more than capable against its near peer threat who I am guessing you are "referring" to is Russia. The .50 CAL is a huge threat to BTR's, MTLB's and even BMP's, especially with SLAP rounds. The 40mm grenades are also capable but obviously less so at range due to travel time and limited accuracy. Combine that with a highly mobile vehicle and sophisticated thermal optics and the Stryker is more than capable of defeating its "counterparts".

However as a fan of the stryker, I have no problem seeing a 30mm cannon slapped onto her!

 

:D

Edited by Raptorx7

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I don't know how realistic it is, but in-game the 40mm grenade launchers are quite deadly against anything smaller than a MBT, up to around 1km

All US GMGs have the HEDP round, on paper which is capable of penetrating 90mm of RHA. But pretty much goes through anything the Ukrainians or Russians have ingame.

The AGS-30 actually can fire GPD-30 enhanced blast rounds, but I don't think they are ingame. :rolleyes:

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Great discussion and all, but the game is set in 2017, and the Army itself says the rearmed Strykers won't be fielded until 2018. Seems to me that's a problem. On a separate note, the M25 fires an AB projectile, so unless the issue is thicker shell walls because of the MV delta, which translates into a lot more Gs, I fail to see why the M25 can AB, but the 25 mm HE from the Bradley can't. It is possible that the internal configuration of the Bradley shell may be an issue, but it might well be implementing the set of smart interfaces which allow the FCS to talk to the shell before firing. Absent such factors, on principle I don't see a fundamental impossibility in creating an AB capability for the Bradley.

Regards,

John Kettler

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A .50 CAL is more than capable against its near peer threat who I am guessing you are "referring" to is Russia. The .50 CAL is a huge threat to BTR's, MTLB's and even BMP's, especially with SLAP rounds. The 40mm grenades are also capable but obviously less so at range due to travel time and limited accuracy. Combine that with a highly mobile vehicle and sophisticated thermal optics and the Stryker is more than capable of defeating its "counterparts".

However as a fan of the stryker, I have no problem seeing a 30mm cannon slapped onto her!

 

:D

Mk19 is capable, but it's range is lacking

and I'm not sure a .50cal is going to penetrate a BMP-3 at 800 meters anywhere but the top or rear

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Mk19 is capable, but it's range is lacking

and I'm not sure a .50cal is going to penetrate a BMP-3 at 800 meters anywhere but the top or rear

The BMP crew certainly isn't going to enjoy it, how about I put it that way?

 

As for MK19 yes I pointed that out in my post.

 

If this sounds confrontational...it isn't. :P

Edited by Raptorx7

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According to a quick Google, the M903 SLAP round for the M2 will penetrate 34mm of "High Hard" armour at 500m, and the BMP-3 has 35mm on the front (so presumably less on any other facing; one reference says 25-30mm). "Book" rating for the round has it defeating 18-19mm at 1500m. The armour plate on the BMP is aluminium, though, and those numbers look like absolute values rather than "RHA-equivalent", so it's more complicated than a straight comparison of those numbers, and that's not even counting any ERA effects (does a small round set the ERA off? I'd expect such a defense to be exta-effective against such a small projectile). Anyone got better references?

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I think history is not going to be so kind to the Stryker.  

The weight is also a serious issue.  Even without the ERA it was already having major issues with crossing any terrain that was not a functional roadbed.  And it's already blowing suspensions.  I'm not trying to be Mike Sparks but once you cross a certain point in terms of weight, wheels stop being quite so practical.  

I think the more reasonable plan was not every vehicle with a 30 MM, but instead working out some manner of fire support Stryker to fill the role the MGS did not quite live up to.  Then there's also rumblings about attaching some manner of bolt-on ATGM to the not-cannon armed vehicles.  

I never had a very high opinion of the Stryker anyway. And That was based on CMSF  which showed me that, although th Stryker is useful against insurgents but is badly flawed against a conventional opponent that has even halfway decent equipment. And the Syrian army is not even Sir Ivan!

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Mmm, the front (unadjusted for angle) on a BMP-3 is

  • Upper front hull 18mm
  • Lower front hull 10mm+70mm (air)+60mm.
  • Front side 60mm

 Gomiryn O., Shumilov A., Armor news #5, MoD Published, 1991.

I don't see how M903 SLAP can do anything at 500, perhaps closer if it manages to hit upper front hull which is a lot smaller then it looks. 

As a bonus though, NATO pen is calculated and rated at 50+1% chance perforation, USA I believe usually only does penetration depth into RHA for example, and the Soviet system rates penetration (and subsequently armor) at 70% chance perforation with 30% energy carryover as average value. So mm RHA values are very ambiguous.

Edited by BTR

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It's like Pentagon Wars all over again.  The Army finally gets an APC that does the job of an APC and they're slowly trying to turn it into a Bradley.   Ring alarm bells when someone suggest mounting Javelin launchers onto the turret.

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It's like Pentagon Wars all over again.  The Army finally gets an APC that does the job of an APC and they're slowly trying to turn it into a Bradley.   Ring alarm bells when someone suggest mounting Javelin launchers onto the turret.

That sounds like an interesting idea. A mobile Javelin launcher with some armour.... :-)

 

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It's like Pentagon Wars all over again.  The Army finally gets an APC that does the job of an APC and they're slowly trying to turn it into a Bradley.   Ring alarm bells when someone suggest mounting Javelin launchers onto the turret.

well isn't the job of the APC  to get the troops there and provide support? The Stryker brigades are supposed to be highly mobile which prevents tank support. That means any support must be organic. If you have no ability to engage enemy armor, then that severely limits situations in which this brigade can be used no?

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When you are bundling out a Javelin launcher to every squad then that's your organic AT capacity.  Putting a massive gun on a chassis that can't absorb more than light arms fire does not an AT capacity create.  The Bradley has done okay in combat, but that's only because it got to fight Iraqi tanks with TOW missiles from beyond their effective engagement range. And in order to do that it had to be terrible at actually transporting troops.  

The job of the APC is to move troops rapidly around the battlefield/operational area while attracting a minimum amount of attention.  If it's getting into fire-fights then it isn't doing its mission.

 

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