New Vehicle Commander shields on Strykers

This morning I noticed this pic on Frontline Photos:


The caption reads

Sgt. Charles Lusk searches for an insurgent sniper who fired on his Stryker vehicle moments earlier in Mosul, Iraq, on Thursday.

but I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at. I thought maybe it wasn’t actually a Stryker. Frontline Photos captions have been known to be just plain wrong in the past (for example), but this one was taken by a Military Times photographer so I was not really questioning the caption.

Well, as luck would have it, regular commenter and Stryker expert Shek emailed me with this tidbit on the photo:

Wanted to point out a photo that shows the new shields for the RV and FSV Strykers for the VC. The shield with the ballistic glass is Army fielded and ties in to the VC hatch and ballistic shield (chicken plate) on the weapon to provide nearly 360 degrees of protection for the VC. As you can see in the picture, the unit has also added some locally fabricated shields made out of steel that closes the small gaps at the rear between the hatch and Army fielded shield and adds additional ballistic protection to defeat/minimize fragments from larger IED blasts from reaching the VC.

(By the way: “VC” stands for “vehicle commander” and not “Viet Cong”, ya commies.)

I’ve pointed out previously that armor plating is replacing the sandbags we’ve grown accustomed to seeing atop the Strykers. This is additional armor, apparently only for Reconnaissance Vehicle and Fire Support Vehicle variants. Commanders on those puppies are far more effective when they can stand in their hatches, and the additional protection given by the armor while performing their duty is no doubt welcome.


  1. If I’m not mistaken the Recon variant and Fire Support variant are equipped witht eh LRAS 3 sight, but no Kongsberg RWS, instead a .50 is usually pintle mounted like the loader’s M240 on the M-1. I’m wondering if this current setup would be similar to the Israeli urbanized M113s, where the commanders position is similarly armored but usually equipped with an M-240/MAG-58.

  2. The RV has the LRAS3 with M2 or MK19 in a tandem mount and the FSV has a G/VLLD with a M2 in a tandem mount. The Israelis have shields for their M113s that provide 360 degree protection and top protection as well. I’m not that familiar with the Israeli’s shields to comment on them, although one of the current limiting factors on RV and FSV is the amount of weight that the power cupola can handle. Another interesting shield development is the new ‘chicken plates’ for the M113’s mounted weapons that are compose of primarily ballistic glass. I don’t know the weight trade offs, but it certaintly provides much better observation and I hope that that initiative is spreading across the entire fleet (M1114s, Strykers, ASVs, etc.). Here’s the link for the pics, although several of the ‘factoids’ on the page are false.

  3. I wonder, I was looking at some articles on the Sea Fighter. It seems that they coat the ship with QuiteShip, that reduces the sound emitions by 70%. I wonder if it could be applied to ground vehicles.

  4. There is some promising R&D out there. The single crystal transparent saphire would answer most the requirements. 30% Lighter and nearly half again stronger then ballistic glass. The only problem, is that the army considers its cost prohibitive. Cost prohibitive?? I shudder to think at what price does the army consider something, cost prohibitive.