More Double-V Hull Strykers

US Plans Radical Upgrade of Stryker Brigades

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.

U.S. Army soldiers from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, "Gimlets" 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25 Infantry Division engage targets at 200 to 1000 meters during a live fire training exercise Sept. 19, 2012, at Pohakuloa Training Area, on Hawaii. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, "Gimlets" 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25 Infantry Division are conducting a month-long exercise at the Pohakuloa Training Area, on Hawaii which is focused on platoon level collective training with enabler integration. The training will culminate in a combined arms live fire exercise later this month.

U.S. Army soldiers from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25 Infantry Division engage targets at 200 to 1000 meters during a live fire training exercise Sept. 19, 2012, at Pohakuloa Training Area, on Hawaii. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25 Infantry Division are conducting a month-long exercise at the Pohakuloa Training Area, on Hawaii which is focused on platoon level collective training with enabler integration. The training will culminate in a combined arms live fire exercise later this month.

Comments

  1. We’ll see.

    It’s a good idea in a resource-unconstrained world, but I seriously doubt the Army can afford to buy six BCTs worth of DVH Strykers (at a cost of around $1.2B per brigade) in the current budget environment without sacrificing other major priorities. The current plan for 3 DVH BCTs would allow enough brigades to be deployed into a high-IED threat environment and remain there while the units equipped with the base hull rotate on the equipment (as they have been doing with the DVHs in Afghanistan).

    NBCRV reduction makes sense given the reduction in number of BCTs (plus there was always some heartburn about executing a full production run of non-DVH vehicles after the value of DVH had been proven in combat).

    The article seems to be based on a briefing from the annual Weapons Systems Review. That’s normally close-hold, pre-decisional data not released outside the Army, because it isn’t Army strategy yet — it’s the “wish list” of items, funded and unfunded, requirements or not, that the programs have. Lots of things get briefed in the WSR that never see the light of day because you just can’t afford all of your “priorities”. So if that’s the basis of the info, the article author is speculating based on working papers and whomever leaked the brief isn’t doing anyone any favors.

  2. Why not strip the standard hulls, and retrofit that equipment to the DVHs? It’s the same powerpack and electronics, right? Should cut down on procurement costs a good bit.

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