News on the Stryker MGS

No Mobile Gun System for Stryker — for now

I’m not a subscriber, so I can’t read this story. But the headline doesn’t sound good. Or surprising.

Earlier, it was the lead story on Army Times and it indicated that the deployed units had been requesting the 105mm-armed Strykers to help in the urban fighting.

I’ve looked around but can’t find any more info on this story. If anyone has some, pass it on.

I’ve considered subscribing to Army Times in the past, but the subscription (at $55) doesn’t get you online access to the subscriber-only stories in Navy Times, Air Force Times, or Marine Times. Murdoc can’t afford $200 a year to hit them all.

Buy some Blogads or click on some ads or something…

Comments

  1. Apparently nobody else has the $55 to waste either. Next drill I will see if they have the magazine laying around the armory.

  2. The Article in question. Source:http://www.strykernews.com/archives/cat_stryker_vehicle.html By Matthew Cox, Army Times (subscription) Stryker brigade commanders, in need of more firepower, have asked for an early fielding of the Mobile Gun System variant for street fighting in northern Iraq. But they’re going to have to do without it. The high-tech, wheeled cannon won’t be seeing combat for at least a year after the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (SBCT) returns home this fall, Stryker program officials say. Read the Entire Entry…-+ The high-tech, wheeled cannon won’t be seeing combat for at least a year after the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (SBCT) returns home this fall, Stryker program officials say. The unit is equipped with the Anti-tank Guided Missile Strykers, but the wire-guided, TOW missile system is proving to be ineffective against fast-moving insurgent forces operating in crowded neighborhoods of Mosul. ‘The Stryker Brigade Combat Team needs a vehicle capable of rapidly delivering direct fire explosive projectiles in confined urban terrain,’ said 1-25 commander Col. Robert Brown, in an email from Iraq. […] The plan is to begin equipping Stryker brigades with the MGS in fiscal 2007. ‘The unit is operating at a reduced capability until they get MGS,’ Fuller said, describing how 1-25 had sent an ‘urgent operational needs statement’ in March asking that the MGS be fielded as soon as possible.

  3. This may be old news, but per: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/iav.htm Add-on armor for the Stryker adds approximately 7,000 lbs to the vehicle weight and approximately 12-14 inches to each side. To accommodate the increased weight, the tires were inflated to 90 psi and the Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) was disengaged. As the vehicles moved from a hard surface to a softer one (in a grove of trees) the vehicle’s tires sank into the soft ground. The winch on the Stryker is not sufficient to recover a Stryker with add-on armor mounted; therefore, some other vehicle recovery asset must be used. Another challenge was the problem moving the vehicles down narrow two-lane roads while they had the add-on armor on the Strykers. The vehicles were unable to pass side by side. One driver had to pull off the road to make room for the other vehicle to pass. When he did this, the vehicle would sink into the dirt and require another vehicle to recover it. This made it important for the battalion staff and company-level leaders to ensure that they did detailed mission planning and route selection to reduce the possibility of two vehicles passing. While this does not appear to limit maneuver, it could cause temporary loss of momentum. It sounds like the Stryker with the slat armor, losses its ability to go off road.

  4. A couple of more thoughts on the Stryker. I no longer oppose the Stryker for the following reasons. 1. The DOT&E, pronouced that the Stryker is deemed is Operationally effective and survivable in small scale contingencies. 2. Small Scale Contingencies are not traditional conflicts. They are basically peace keeping conflicts. ‘SSCs are not ‘fight-and-win’ operations designed to inflict maximum damage on the enemy, and the ‘enemy’ is often ambiguous in its attitude and actions. This calls for a distinct change in attitude, conduct, and interpretation of the ROE, with an emphasis upon restraint whenever possible, while ensuring force protection and carrying out a more limited mission. ‘ http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/sa98/sa98ch10.htm So basically the Stryker is a peace keeping vehicle, so it is not intended to get into serious combat with other military forces. The Strker force, can however contribute in a greater war if needed. THus when the Stryker unit was sent to Iraq, ‘Based on lessons learned from a congressionally directed operational evaluation, lOT &E, and LFT &E, the Army initiated a series of improvements before the first SBCT was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Enhancements included adding FBCB2 to wingmen, adding M I tanks and an aviation task force, and adding additional contractor logistics support. ‘ I would have to say that the Stryker is just fine for peace keeping duties.

  5. James, The IOT&E write up on GlobalSecurity.org talks about the add-on-armor package (ERA) and not slat armor. Slat armor weighs around 5,000lbs. Since SBCT-2 was part of the IOT&E, they’d have to comment on the write up. What I can tell you is that in Iraq, I went off road nearly everyday, with a hand full of days where the majority of my movement was conducted off road. My vehicle got stuck only once, and that was when I wasn’t paying as close of attention as I should have been and let me driver go right into a sink hole. Also, my company never once had to use a recovery asset to recover stuck vehicles, slat or no slat. We were always able to use either the tow ropes or winches to self-recover. Maybe the 2,000lbs difference for the ERA is the straw that broke the camel’s back, but I’m willing to bet that since the ERA was new, the safety releases for using the winch with the ERA were not available, thus forcing them to use recovery vehicles. Also, last time I checked, OIF was not a ‘peacekeeping’ operation. It would be a far stretch to even term it a ‘peace enforcement mission.’ The awarding of combat patches, CIBs, EFMBs, CABs, and AARs/news is enough confirmation that it is not a ‘peace’ operation.

  6. Shek – The added weight issue and off road capability has more to do with the ground pressure of the wheels. In reading up on this issue, I believe that the Stryker would be ok in dry conditions, but would have some issues in wet or mudd conditions. Then again, since you are driving the vehical, I’ll have to go with the practical. With respect to the peace keeping issue. I would have to say that Iraq represents a low intensity conflict as oppossed to the classic ‘battle’ concept. You are not engaging an organized fighting force with the standard array of military equipement. This does not dimmish in anyway the validity of your mission or the capabilities of the Strker. I am just pointing out that you are performing a peace keeping mission. A stabilization force, that entered the combat zone after major military operations have eliminated the opponents conventional military capability.

  7. 1. ‘Peacekeeping’ – To keep the peace. I doubt you would find many people that would describe the situation in Iraq as keeping the peace. Also, peacekeepers typically wear duty uniform with beret, no body armor, and rifle slung, not full kit with ballistic protection and rifles continuously at the ready. I agree that it is not the classic ‘battle’ concept with linear formations, artillery duals, and tank clashes. I would also agree that it is a low intensity conflict; however, there are frequent high intensity clashes lasting several hours (daily contacts between insurgents and US/IZ forces) through several days (Mosul, Tall Afar, Samarra, Ramadi, Kut, Karbala) through weeks (Najaf, Fallujah). We have had numerous M1A2 Abrams destroyed and have had 80 damaged to the extent that they have been evacuated to the United States for depot level repair. We may not be facing a conventional enemy, but we are certainly facing elements with tremendous capabilities in finding ways to be lethal. Now, let’s look at the United States Army’s doctrinal definition of peacekeeping: ‘PK involves military or paramilitary operations that are undertaken with the onsent of all major belligerent parties. These operations are designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an existing truce agreement and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement. The multinational force and observers (MFO) operation in the Sinai provides a classic example of a force conducting a PK operation. PK activities include observation and monitoring of truces and cease-fires and supervision of truces.’ http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/service_pubs/fm100_23.pdf FM 100-23, Peace Operations, December 1994 So, by definition, Iraq is not a peace keeping operation. 2. Stryker cross-country mobility. I operated the Stryker during the Iraqi wet season, from December through April. While there weren’t monsoons, there were heavy rains at least every other day with rains on back to back days multiple times. While I don’t know exactly how the rainfall totals stack up with each other, it was the wettest winter that I had had in four years, which means that the Tigris River Valley was wetter than Fort Lewis, Washington, which is known for its continual rainy conditions during the winter. So, when I spoke of operating the Stryker nearly everyday off road, I was describing operations in muddy conditions with muck frequently sticking to the bottom of your boots, not dry conditions. Typical averages in Mosul, Iraq December 2.4′ January 2.5′ February 2.7′ March 2.8′ April 2.1′ May 0.8′ In conclusion, if my slat armor equipped Stryker could handle wet soil conditions, then the 2,000 additional pounds with an ERA package will add will not compromise the ability of the Stryker to go off road, except in the worst soil conditions. As I stated in another post, German wet soil is the only soil where the Stryker had a large capability gap vis a vis the M113, and I don’t see a whole lot of adversaries with German soil conditions.

  8. 1. ‘Peacekeeping’ – To keep the peace. I doubt you would find many people that would describe the situation in Iraq as keeping the peace. Also, peacekeepers typically wear duty uniform with beret, no body armor, and rifle slung, not full kit with ballistic protection and rifles continuously at the ready. I agree that it is not the classic ‘battle’ concept with linear formations, artillery duals, and tank clashes. I would also agree that it is a low intensity conflict; however, there are frequent high intensity clashes lasting several hours (daily contacts between insurgents and US/IZ forces) through several days (Mosul, Tall Afar, Samarra, Ramadi, Kut, Karbala) through weeks (Najaf, Fallujah). We have had numerous M1A2 Abrams destroyed and have had 80 damaged to the extent that they have been evacuated to the United States for depot level repair. We may not be facing a conventional enemy, but we are certainly facing elements with tremendous capabilities in finding ways to be lethal. Now, let’s look at the United States Army’s doctrinal definition of peacekeeping: ‘PK involves military or paramilitary operations that are undertaken with the onsent of all major belligerent parties. These operations are designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an existing truce agreement and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement. The multinational force and observers (MFO) operation in the Sinai provides a classic example of a force conducting a PK operation. PK activities include observation and monitoring of truces and cease-fires and supervision of truces.’ http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/service_pubs/fm100_23.pdf FM 100-23, Peace Operations, December 1994 So, by definition, Iraq is not a peace keeping operation. 2. Stryker cross-country mobility. I operated the Stryker during the Iraqi wet season, from December through April. While there weren’t monsoons, there were heavy rains at least every other day with rains on back to back days multiple times. While I don’t know exactly how the rainfall totals stack up with each other, it was the wettest winter that I had had in four years, which means that the Tigris River Valley was wetter than Fort Lewis, Washington, which is known for its continual rainy conditions during the winter. So, when I spoke of operating the Stryker nearly everyday off road, I was describing operations in muddy conditions with muck frequently sticking to the bottom of your boots, not dry conditions. Typical averages in Mosul, Iraq December 2.4′ January 2.5′ February 2.7′ March 2.8′ April 2.1′ May 0.8′ In conclusion, if my slat armor equipped Stryker could handle wet soil conditions, then the 2,000 additional pounds with an ERA package will add will not compromise the ability of the Stryker to go off road, except in the worst soil conditions. As I stated in another post, German wet soil is the only soil where the Stryker had a large capability gap vis a vis the M113, and I don’t see a whole lot of adversaries with German soil conditions.