As promised, here are more snapshots of the Stryker on display at the Chicago Auto Show. Click on any of them for a better look.
The model on display was a Commander’s Vehicle variant. The commander would be sitting inside this hatch, or standing with his head out the hatch overhead of this position. You can see the open hatch on top.
Inside, there was barely room for troops with all the electronic gear and cables all over the place. (This pic is intentionally fuzzy to maintain OPSEC. Or because I had the camera on the wrong mode.)
Here’s the commander’s screen. As mentioned previously on MO, HUD goggles allow the commander to access this information while standing in the hatch. I don’t know if this is the same equipment available for the vehicle commander on variants other than the Commander’s variant or not. Below the display you can see the driver’s position. The back of the driver’s seat is folded back; that’s to allow him to squeeze into position.
The main destination inside the Stryker was the gunner’s position. A soldier with an 82nd Airborne combat patch was helping visitors play with the Remote Weapons Station. The screen is black-and-white, but the clarity is pretty good as you can see.
Another shot of the RWS. The girl with the pony tail kept aiming for the ceiling, so the soldier is reaching across to help her get back on track. Perhaps the fact that the RWS isn’t motion-stabilized contributed to her trouble. Anyway, the RWS is pretty responsive and I imagine that with a little practice one could be pretty good. I tried tracking show-goers and did just fine. I could have spent an hour playing with the controls and the zooms, but more kids were waiting for their turn. I wanted to pull a “don’t you know who I am?” on them, but I would have been totally crushed when they didn’t.
On my way out I stuck my head out one of the rear top hatches and snapped this pic of the top deck. The RWS mount with fake weapon and empty smoke grenade launchers is clearly visible, along with the open commander’s top hatch.
Here’s the driver’s position from outside. His overhead hatch is open a bit, and you can barely make out the periscopes that the driver would use if the hatch was closed and his video system failed. He has a screen similar to that of the commander and the gunner.
Lastly, this article from Soldier Magazine was taped up on the Stryker. The image used in the article is one of my favorites, and I had it as the desktop on one of my machines for quite a while. Since I apparently didn’t post it on MO at the time, I’ll link to it now.
That’s all I’ve got. It was pretty cool for a civie like me to be able to check the vehicle out.
The Army personnel manning the display were mostly (if not all) recruiters. That makes sense, as this sort of interaction with the public is a great opportunity to pick up a few folks interested in serving. But they didn’t really seem to have much real knowledge about the Stryker, and I would have really enjoyed a chance to have a conversation with a Stryker expert. A lot of the questions asked (by me and others) were answered with a “I’m not really sure…”
So I hope that the Army has more displays like this in the future, and I hope they have some answer guys available for the equipment being shown.
And the Army or GDLS or whoever is welcome to invite me out for a test drive any time.