The Strykers of Christmas Future?
The U.S. Army decided this week to sign over a combat vehicle to a new Pentagon program that seeks to defeat rocket-propelled grenades, explosive devices, sniper fire and hostile crowds during urban combat.
The Army dedicated $3 million and one of its Stryker vehicles–a cross between a Humvee and a tank–for the initiative, said the Office of Transformation, which initiated “Project Sheriff.” The office, which is charged with transforming the military to combat 21st-century threats, has contributed $9 million in funding from its fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2005 budgets to the effort.
Beyond combat vehicles, the office envisions telecommunications-operated, unmanned aerial vehicles with advanced technologies and electrical power that can reach extended ranges.
The sherrif would be equipped with crowd-control heat beams, anti-sniper laser “dazzlers”, senstive acoustic listening devices, automatic weapon aiming systems, and a computer-controlled anti-RPG shotgun.
Tests begin late this year and the Army hopes to deploy a few of these next year for further testing in the real world.