If the US Army can manage to keep its future budgets in line with current projections, the service will transform all nine of its Stryker brigades into the heavily armored “double V-hull” (DVH) configuration.
The Army already fields two DVH brigades while a third is in the works to be fully equipped by the end of fiscal 2016. That’s the good news.
The not-so-good news is that the remaining six brigades remain unfunded in fiscal 2016-2020 budget projections obtained by Defense News.
Strykers have already been fitted with add-on armor for better protection against landmines and IEDs. The double-V hull design is intended to improve this significantly.
One thing this means is that relatively new standard hull Strykers will be deactivated with a lot of life left in them. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, as an inventory of surplus but fairly modern vehicles means that ramping up a bigger army can be managed more easily if needed, but it’s going to cost a lot of money and there just isn’t a lot to go around.
Seems to Murdoc that two standard hull Stryker brigrades would be better than one with DVH vehicles if the cost of new DVHes means cuts elsewhere. And storing and maintaining a fleet of armored vehicles isn’t cheap. This seems like a strange decision, considering the deep budget cuts the military is facing.
On the other hand, the active Stryker fleet will be newer and better protected.
Additionally, the Army has decided to reduce the number of NBC recon Strykers. These are nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance vehicles.