Future Stryker: US Army to Address Mobility, Piecemeal Upgrade Issues
One complaint heard about the 8×8 wheeled Stryker armored vehicles in Afghanistan was that they had difficulties with the rough, mountainous off-road terrain. The Canadian forces in particular found that their Strykers’ mobility limitations created unacceptable difficulties.
Another complaint about Stryker vehicles is that upgrades designed to address combat needs have been done in a piecemeal fashion. This has resulted in significant inefficiencies, including having to turn off some systems to operate others.
To address Stryker vehicle limitations and overcome the piecemeal approach to vehicle improvements, the US Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has undertaken a Stryker modernization program…
As part of this effort, the command recently awarded a $203 million contract to General Dynamics Land Systems to beef up the engine, suspension system, driveline, tires, and braking system on the Stryker.
Under the contract, the Army and General Dynamics will develop various Stryker designs and build a demonstrator to assess options to enhance survivability, power, suspension, mobility and lethality, and the integration of new technologies.
Among the modifications, the upgraded Stryker base vehicle will have:
- 450-horsepower diesel engine;
- suspension system and driveline to carry a 60,000-lb payload;
- larger tires;
- new braking system; and
- digital architecture that connects the C4ISR system to situational awareness tools.
The Stryker family of vehicles has 10 variants: infantry carrier vehicle, command vehicle, mobile gun system, fire support vehicle, medical evacuation, mortar carrier, engineer squad vehicle, anti-tank guided missile carrier, NBC reconnaissance, and reconnaissance vehicle.
The US Army has 7 Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT), 3 of which are deployed in combat zones: 2 in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. The Army has 3,320 Stryker vehicles, with more than 640 currently be used in combat.
The US Army Program Executive Office, Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS), said that $931.5 million has been budgeted for the Stryker program for fiscal year 2010. In an Oct 6/09 briefing [pdf], the PEO GCS identified a number of technology improvements that the Army is seeking in the Stryker modernization program:
- Improved lower hull survivability;
- 60,000-lb semi-active suspension;
- Increased electrical power generation;
- Gun shot detector;
- Data/video network link;
- greater horsepower for the engine;
- Improved embedded training system;
- Larger cooling module for air conditioning;
- Lithium batteries;
- Improved remote weapons station
- Tire fire suppression system;
- Larger tires with axle spacing change; and
- 360-degree situational awareness system.
The Army wants to use open architectures and common standards on the future Stryker to enable the integration of future technologies.
Contracts and Key Events
Dec 3/09: General Dynamics Land Systems announced that the US Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command awarded the company a $203 million contract to design the Stryker vehicle of the future. The US Army announced an initial $42.6 million increment of this award (see Nov 25/09 entry).
Under the contract, the Army and General Dynamics will develop designs and build a demonstrator to assess options for continuing to enhance survivability, power, suspension, mobility and lethality, and the integration of new technologies – core enabling capabilities – for the Stryker. The award continues the Stryker modernization program, initially awarded to General Dynamics in 2008. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, MI.
Nov 25/09: GM GDLS Defense Group, a Sterling Heights, MI-based venture between General Motors and General Dynamics Land Systems, received Nov 25/09 a $42.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract increment to bring the program to Milestone B/preliminary design review.
The venture will perfom the work in Sterling Heights, MI (81%); and London, Ontario, Canada (19%) with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30/11. The US Army’s TACOM LCMC Stryker in Warren, MI manages the contract (W56HZV-07-D-M112).
- US Army (Oct 6/09) – Stryker Modernization Program Competition Strategy slide presentation [pdf]
- US Army (Oct 6/09) – Stryker Modernization Update slide presentation [pdf]
- General Dyanmics Landmarks newsletter (July 2008) – S-PIP my ride: Stryker mod squald holds events to assess technologies of the future [pdf]
- General Dynamics Land Systems (June 26-27/08) – Stryker Product Improvement Program (S-PIP) Technology Day slide presentations [pdf]