70 ÷ 70 = 50%

Soldiers Defend Faulted Strykers

I wondered about the 50% success rate of the Stryker’s slat armor last week. Seems I was right to.

Via ACE:

The Army report found that the Stryker’s protective slat armor — essentially a metal cage that is welded to the vehicle — is effective against just half of all rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs. The armor, developed specifically for use in Iraq, is designed to “catch” or deflect the grenades so they detonate before penetrating the vehicle.

Soldiers and commanders said the 50 percent figure was highly misleading because it characterized shrapnel sprayed by RPGs detonating on the slats as a failure. But soldiers said that in such instances, most of the Stryker’s occupants remain safe. Gunners exposed from three hatches are still vulnerable, but not because of any shortcoming in the vehicle, they contended.

“That’s the operational risk you take,” said Capt. Rob Born, 30, a Stryker company commander from Burke.

The current Stryker unit in Iraq has sustained more than 250 RPG attacks in six months, including more than 70 direct hits, according to brigade figures. None has penetrated a vehicle. [emphasis mine]

It would be nice to see just a little bit of constructive coverage of the military from time to time without it being a correction or clarification of bad initial reporting.

What if Legacy Media ran a story saying that the Interceptor Body Vest armor was getting about a 20% success rate in Iraq? Plaster that statistic all over the place for several days, then come back a week later and say that the “failures” were cases where the ceramic inserts were destroyed and had to be replaced.


Clueless. Take two parts “No Right Answer” game, add three parts “no real understanding of the military”, and flavor to taste using “rabid anti-Stryker talking points”.

BTW, I didn’t get part 2 of my Stryker Report coverage posted this weekend, but it will be up soon.

UPDATE: Forgot to include this snippet from the article, as well:

In addition, the report noted that the slat armor, which adds 2.5 tons to the vehicle, requires additional air pressure for the tires. The report said nine tires a day need to be changed as a result, but Debruller and others said tire damage is caused as much by roadside bombs as it is by the added weight.

The soldiers said they would gladly accept the maintenance work caused by the added weight as a cost of the safety of the slat armor.

Asked about the report’s finding that the slat armor’s added weight caused handling and performance problems during the rainy season, when parts of Mosul can be reduced to a swamp, Debruller replied: “No kidding.”


  1. The ‘metal gage’ or slat armour, around the Stryker appears to be nothing more that bargrating that is used in industrial flooring. I am sure that the Army up speced it to make it more resistant to RPG’s but my point is that there is no way that that amount of bargrating weighs 5,000 lbs. I but the weight at about 2,184 lbs. and that is using the most liberal calculations. Maybe another error in main stream reporting. Bill

  2. Hhhmm, I’d be interested in seeing your numbers. I can easily get to 5,000 lbs using the following assumptions: -Armor is 50 inches high (roughly 1/2 height of vehicle) -Armor sticks out one foot on each side of vehicle -Vehicle is 107 inches wide (plus 24 inches for how far armor sticks out) -Vehicle is 275 inches long (plus 24 inches for how far armor sticks out) -weighs 17 lbs per square foot (including weight of supports) – not a ridiculous weight for steel bargrating. ( 2*50*(107+24) + 2*50*(275+24) ) / 144 * 17

  3. That article you linked to is bizarre. ‘The defects outlined in the report were either wrong or relatively minor and did little to hamper the Stryker’s effectiveness, they said.’ SOMEONE reported each of those defects. Others may not use the vehicles the same way so they may not come across them. I don’t think that makes them ‘wrong’. The ‘did little to hamper..effectiveness’ is a lot more reasonable. ‘I would tell you that at least 100 soldiers’ lives have been saved because of the Stryker,’ Compared to what? If they were using HMMWVs? If they were standing on the street with a target painted on their chest? That’s a meaningless statistic. Assuming they’d be in another kind of vehicle, some of those 100 may have been saved by that other vehicle. Maybe there were 100 hits which would have killed someone in an HMMWV – but maybe the shots would have missed the smaller vehicle. Maybe an up-armoured M113 would have saved just as many people, or less, or more. I don’t know what to make of that statement. ‘The armor, developed specifically for use in Iraq, is designed to ‘catch’ or deflect the grenades so they detonate before penetrating the vehicle.’ That’s a simplification at best. But this *is* the MSM so I suppose I shouldn’t expect them to explain anything very well. I find the article’s content to be valid (i.e. people over-reacted to the report in a negative way), but they way they’re talking about it, it’s like the report was negative, whereas in reality, it was the STORIES about the report which was negative. If the report was full of stuff like ‘Stryker ROCK dude!!’ it wouldn’t be of much use in improving the vehicle, would it? *sigh*

  4. Yeah, the article had the usual cluelessness. But it was nice to see the reaction of the troops to the earlier bashing, and it was nice to clarify that the 50% failure rate against RPGs included 0% penetrations. The first round of bashing seemed to be a reporter quickly scanning the leaked report and going ‘armor sucks, radios suck, tires suck, too heavy, computers overheat, and not enough interpreters.’ Just like the WMD reports that were reported as ‘No WMDS!’ there’s a lot more in there than most people realize, and it can be found by actually reading the report.

  5. Just about every piece of military hardware has been modified (officially or unofficially). It’s unrealistic to expect a vehicle to be ‘perfect’ right off the designing computer. Sure, they can fix some of the stuff, and I’m sure they will.

  6. Yeah, I find it interesting how historically units will often make simple field mods to the vehicles to improve them. Common such mods include adding gunshields (often taken from other vehicles) or welding/bolting weapon mounts. Like some of those M113s where they’d stick 5+ machine-guns on the top so that they could have crew-served weapons pointed in all directions, or swing several around to aim at one group of targets when necessary. Adding ad-hoc armour panels, or even using spare parts and such as armour, are other examples. Like how the Germans liked to attach spare tracks to the front and side faces of their tanks so that while they weren’t using them, they acted as extra armour where it was needed. To some extent that kind of thing is healthy, as it lets the users adapt the vehicle to the conditions they’re using them in, and their favoured tactics. However sometimes it’s unfortunate that they end up making modifications which probably should happen at the factory. Hopefully as a result of this report the Strykers will be improved from the factory or at a depot level for existing vehiles, rather than forcing the end-users to mess with them in order to solve some of the faults (at least, those for which there is a consensus that they are indeed a problem). If specific units don’t like a particular feature, they might end up changing it themselves.

  7. As for the ‘100 soldiers saved’ statistic, he’s not at all clear on what he’s comparing it to as you point out. But there have been quite a few ‘If I had been in a Humvee I’d be dead’ quotes over the past year plus.