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  • Stryker dead?

    There was an article recently in the Newsweek May 10 issue on the Stryker armored vehicle in Iraq. Among other things, the article says that the Styker cannot stop RPGs and that the Army won't be buying any more of these. Is this true? Has anybody heard anything on this?

    The article mentions that the vehicle can't really support the additional armor it would take to make it resistant to RPGs.

  • #2
    I have not heard this, but it would not surprise me. Everyone knew that this would be a problem with the vehicle. I heard all kinds of creative dismisals of the short-coming, but no solutions.
    PATRICK E. PROCTOR
    ProSIM Company
    http://www.prosimco.com/writing

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    • #3
      There is simply no substitute for a MBT. Perhaps instead of finding ways to replace it with much inferior vehicles, the Navy should explore methods of transporting it to the battlefield quicker. How about some transport vessels than can actually move at high speed. The Army may also want to explore the possibility of having several pre-stocked vessels ready for rapid deployment.

      There are several options that bear further exploration. Stryker is a poor solution IMHO. Iraq has clearly demonstrated that the Army's heavy units are still very much relevant on the modern battlefield.
      Editor-in-Chief
      GameSquad.com

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      • #4
        The USN is experimenting with Aussie buit HSVs (High Speed Vessels), catamarans that we built as ferries, but used in military sense as fast littoral to littoral transports - what we used to move the ASLAVs and heavy stuff to ET in a lot quicker than I've seen the US pre-positioned stuff go (we also don;t have as much stuff to move...)

        I think Stryker is still a good buy, but it isn't suited for an urban insurgency. I've said from the beginning the US should follow the Israeli example for fighting an urban foe, HAPCs based on MBTs, and liberal covering fire from gunships, none of this sit and shoot stuff, strafing runs to keep the heads down while the HAPCs disgorge combat enginners/pioneers equipped with IBA, personal radios and weapons with a bigger punch than 5.56mm SS109.

        Stryker is much more suited to the digital battlefield against a conventional military force, Robert Leonhards example of High-Velocity Warfare suits the Stryker BDEs to the tee. A thousand pin pricks, with the battlespace aware SBCTs engaging in disrupting operations with their quicker speed, and strategcally, modularity, making op tempo easier to maintain.

        That said, the MGS doesn;t work, forget about it, embrace the Thunderbolt or AGS, and move on.

        How many M60s does the Army have laying about? How hard to modify them for COIN work? Not very...
        Last edited by Ivan Rapkinov; 16 May 04, 20:38.
        Now listening too;
        - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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        • #5
          I do not want to imply that I do not think the Stryker has a use. The Stryker would be very valuable as an "armored battle wagon" to get light infantry forces to the ORP (Operational Rally Point), outside direct fire range. This vehicle would provide relative protection from indirect fire and a rapid method to deliver infantry to the decisive point.

          Currently, in light-heavy operations, this is accomplished with un-armored 2.5 ton trucks. They are woefully inadequate for the task.

          Unfortunately, the emerging doctrine for the Stryker has been to use them as a troop-carrying main battle tank. I think they have demonstrated their inability to perform this task.
          PATRICK E. PROCTOR
          ProSIM Company
          http://www.prosimco.com/writing

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          • #6
            I think I've made clear in other threads that I am no fan of Stryker. Even so, I think protection is the one area where Stryker performs about as well as can be expected. It's actually held up pretty well against the RPGs; most serious damage has been done with larger bombs. For the most part, its done a pretty good job of keeping the troops inside safe from enemy fire. I don't think you could expect much better out of its weight class. Most soldiers that have died inside a Stryker didn't die due to enemy action; they died in rollover accidents. A case could be made that the bouncy wheeled suspension is excessively prone to that sort of hazard, but we'll leave that alone for now.

            That said, I do think Stryker should be cancelled and replaced with a tracked vehicle that is more suited to air transport, both between and inside the theatre of operations. As an air-deployable "medium" force suited for rapid deployment, which was the whole point of the SBCT, Stryker is a miserable failure. It utterly fails to make optimal use of our relatively scarce heavy intertheatre airlift, can't be moved by CRAF airframes at all, and in many cases can't be moved by intratheatre airlift either. It is completely incapable of either helicopter transport or airdrop. Considering that rapid deployability was one of the primary mission requirements, it still mystifies me how they settled so emphatically on this particular design, which anybody with a calculator and a tape measure could see was going to have air transport difficulties.

            I guess somebody high up thought the silhouette looked really cool or something.

            --- Kevin
            Last edited by kbluck; 17 May 04, 11:00.

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            • #7
              Iraq has clearly demonstrated that the Army's heavy units are still very much relevant on the modern battlefield.
              Actually, I don't think Iraq has demonstrated any such thing. M1 tanks are equally as inappropriate to fighting an insurgency as Stryker. It certainly has been well demonstrated that letting soldiers drive around in unarmored HMMWVs anywhere there is even a slight chance of encountering enemy fire is an exceedingly bad idea, but Stryker-level protection is quite adequate for patrolling highways and such.

              I'm with Ivan on this one; we need what amounts to a completely new type of unit optimized for urban warfare and counter-insurgency work. The troop carriers need to be well-protected, carry a lot of troops with a lot of personal firepower, and offer excellent all-around visibility to everybody. The unit also needs to have a considerable capability for reducing obstacles and getting around in tight spots. It also needs to be able to blow stuff up in a hurry at quite close ranges; long-range engagement capabilities are completely unnecessary.

              Traditionally, combat engineers have been the go-to guys for serious urban fighting, and I think that is a logical mission for them once again. They know how to deal with IEDs, booby traps, and obstacles. They know demo. They have the heavy equipment to deal with rubble and barricades. They have the technical knowhow and skilled operators to operate "unusual" systems with lots of doohickeys. They know which end of the weapon to point at the enemy, too.

              We should create "urban assault" combat engineer battalions, and equip them with the unique systems and training required for the job. They are not intended for use on the open battlefield; they are not intended for garrison duty. Their job is to reduce obstacles and take apart serious armed resistance in an urban setting, period.

              And no "Stripes" jokes about "urban assault vehicles", please.

              --- Kevin
              Last edited by kbluck; 17 May 04, 11:24.

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              • #8
                I sincerely believe the tried and true M113 family of vehicles should have been upgraded and modified for the role the Stryker has now. I could go into a long littany many of you have already read before, but I'll keep it practical. It would be inexpensive and provide better protection than the Stryker affords. In addition, THE THINGS ALREADY FIT IN OUR AIRCRAFT!!!

                To me, this is all a no-brainer.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CPangracs
                  I sincerely believe the tried and true M113 family of vehicles should have been upgraded and modified for the role the Stryker has now. I could go into a long littany many of you have already read before, but I'll keep it practical. It would be inexpensive and provide better protection than the Stryker affords. In addition, THE THINGS ALREADY FIT IN OUR AIRCRAFT!!!

                  To me, this is all a no-brainer.
                  Your forgetting the comercial aspects. Its well known that certain politicians (Brits as well) will do military contracts purely for comercial gain....
                  RobP
                  www.AncientArmies.co.uk

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                  • #10
                    Back to the original question...

                    Is Stryker dead, or not?

                    Far be it from me to question a source as reputable as Newsweek.
                    PATRICK E. PROCTOR
                    ProSIM Company
                    http://www.prosimco.com/writing

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                    • #11
                      Well, let's keep in mind how many times in its early life Bradley was reportedly on the edge of extinction due to its many and varied perceived faults. As I recall, there was a continuous drumbeat of criticism and dire predictions. First they complained that it didn't have enough armor. Then they complained that it didn't float very well.



                      Even good systems have critics.

                      Army programs have a lot of intertia. Once serious money has been spent on a program and actual systems fielded, it takes a near Act of God to kill it. Sgt York was killed only after years of failure to actually hit targets and they simply couldn't pretend it would work any longer. Crusader was killed because it was going to be hideously expensive and not much in the way of tangible reminders had been produced yet to regret. Comanche was only killed after nearly 20 years of development, $9 billion spent, and still no fieldable airframes to show for it. (At least we can take comfort in the fact that the Soviets/Russians don't seem to be having any better luck with the Havoc.)

                      Stryker, on the other hand, is equipping actual units and is performing reasonably close to expectations thus far. Sure, its not rapid-deployable and all, but its here and it works, more or less. Bird in the hand, and all that. They may choose to stop development on the LAVIII program and move to something else instead (here's hoping, anyway), but probably not, since too many high-ranking people would have to admit they screwed up. I suspect we'll finish the initial buy and those existing vehicles will be around for at least the rest of the decade and probably the next.

                      Perhaps if they really grow to dislike them, they'll ship 'em to the Guard.

                      --- Kevin

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                      • #12
                        I doubt it -> too much invested to just chuck it in.

                        What needs to be changed is the doctrine they are used under. The wheeled LAV concept is getting more and more sales (Hagglunds, Pirahna, Patria etc etc - the Euros love their LAVs), so obviously someone see's something in it.

                        However, these aren't APCs, they're PCs lacking armour, and should be used in a dragoon like manner - get where you're going quickly, dismount and engage.

                        Digitization of the battlespace means that the Stryker equipped units will generally (in a non-SASO/OOTW op) be operating with enhanced situational awareness, and thus, be able to enact out Leonhard's model of high velocity warfare, which Peters describes as chnaging from massed forces engaging each other to small tactical units engaging the enemy in more of a prepared ambush situation.

                        The Stryker units are going to be able to get there quicker and detected less easily than M113 equipped units, that's a given - BUT, however well they are going to dominate the future CONVENTIONAL battlespace, they are a pre-emptive force, and as such, are not suited for the sudden contacts that charcterise OOTW - for that we need to sacrifice mobility for surviability, much like the Israelis did with the Achazarit and MICV.

                        What it comes down to (and incidentally what I'm currently doing a paper on... ) is the resurrection of the primacy of Infantry in a world that is casualty conscious - as such, we need to minimise casualties (hence survivabilty) in order to achieve the miliatry aims, without the political sphere nfluenceing the course of action too greatly.

                        Therefore my proposal for the Force XXI (or whatever it's called now) is the realisation that a military force is best suited when it is a specialist in it;s field - it carries out it;s duties more effectively due to familiarisation, and without having to train for unnecessary tasks, it;s budget is more effective, and morale is higher, leading to greater rentention rates...

                        Hence my Two-Phase Army for Tomorrow....

                        Phase One - Offensive Unit of Action:

                        this is the Stryker equipped BDEs, along with the Amroured units, backed by effective battlespace awareness, to engage in pre-emptive tactical contacts in order to deteriorate the effective combat mass of the opponent, to a determined limit where control is passed over to the Phase-Two units.

                        Phase-Two - Stabilising Unit of Action:

                        this is the HAPC equipped, combat pioneer based force, backed by PA attachments, MP units and other constructive units (vs destructive units) that are used to both win hearts and minds, and rebuild the infrastructure of the area controlled, whilst providing a hardened, mobile force that is capable of safe movement in P&K ops in a COIN situation.

                        By specialising into the two Phase system, we cut down unnecessary training for units that don;t need it - ie Phase One units don;t need to attend JRTC as their focus is the conventional aspects of modern war, and likewise, Phase Two units can avoid travelling to NTC, due to the fact they are speciailists in OOTW.

                        The only majoer problem I can see is the op tempo of the Phase-Two units being significantly higher than that of the Pahse One units, and as such, an asymmetry developing btween the relative sizes of the two forces.

                        ofc, this is just a Strategics tudies paper suggestion and feel free to ridicule it

                        ps. Stryker ain't dead
                        Now listening too;
                        - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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                        • #13
                          Ivan,

                          I'd love to see the paper when it's done. I hope you'll post it on the site.

                          Take care,
                          Brian

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                          • #14
                            The Stryker is a dead fish. If a vehicle cannot protect crew and passengers from at least an RPG hit, then it is pretty much useless. Here is a picture of the Army's next project. Looks neet but?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kevin E. Duguay
                              The Stryker is a dead fish. If a vehicle cannot protect crew and passengers from at least an RPG hit, then it is pretty much useless. Here is a picture of the Army's next project. Looks neet but?
                              So how do you build an APC holding 8-10 people plus gear below 20 tons and make it proof against HEAT with 700mm armor penetration (yes, that is what better RPG-7 warheads are rated at). Hint: the weight limit for the volume required allows you a maximum of about 20mm steel around and less on the top, and that only if you don't have a turret and/or a cannon.

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