What has 8 wheels and goes “BOOM!”?

Stryker ramps up to unveil Mobile Gun System

The long wait is nearing an end:

The newest version of the Stryker vehicle, designed to provide fire power to Infantry units, will be unveiled May 15 at Fort Knox’s Armor Warfighting Symposium.

The development of the Mobile Gun System is being managed by Fort Benning’s Training and Doctrine Command System Manager-Stryker/Bradley.

The system was developed to meet the infantry’s need for a highly mobile support vehicle to supply rapid, direct fire, specifically during close assaults, said Dave Rogers, a TSM-Stryker senior analyst. The Mobile Gun System will eventually be integrated into Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

“The Mobile Gun System brings a tremendous battlefield capability to the Stryker formation, providing direct fire support to infantrymen in close, complex terrain,” said Col. Donald Sando, the director of the TSM Stryker/Bradley.

The Mobile Gun System’s firepower includes a turret-mounted 105 mm cannon, a mounted M-240C machine gun and a pedestal-mounted M-2.50 caliber machine gun for the vehicle commander.

The cannon can blast holes through reinforced concrete walls creating a breach point for infantry, and destroy bunkers and machine-gun nests that typically pin down infantry squads and platoons.

Murdoc was skeptical that this beast would ever see the field, but things have been moving along over the past year.

The Mobile Gun System will be the last Stryker variant to be fielded. The Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle, the other new Stryker vehicle, was fielded to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Lewis, Wash., in February. Soldiers with the 2nd Cav. Regt. will also be the first to receive the Mobile Gun System. They will receive 27 vehicles from July to August, which will be tested in an operational unit environment.

The Army designated 14 Mobile Gun System vehicles for extensive testing at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Testing the vehicle in extreme climates and terrain helps the Mobile Gun System’s designers look for potential problems that may appear in a combat environment.

The 2nd Cav is heading to Germany this summer.


  1. How long have they been working on a mobile fire support vehicle? Remind me to never contract these guys for work around the house. LOL! At least it’s close to fielding and will be good for the troops; hope it doesn’t run into the same weight & handling issues (read RPG cage & all the other strap on tools needed for urban combat) as other Styker variants have.

  2. MO, The article doesn’t convince me of the need for such a system: ‘The system was developed to meet the infantry’s need for a highly mobile support vehicle to supply rapid, direct fire, specifically during close assaults’ Tanks in task-organized formations already do that. What is it that these Strykers with hard-ons can do that an M1 can’t?

  3. Geek Lethal, It’s quieter, lighter, and doesn’t require the same amount of room to get around. It also eases the maintenance requirements for stryker type units while providing a ‘main-gun’ capacity. It’s easier to maintain 30 strykers, than 20 strykers and 10 tanks. Tracks are a pain to work on. This allows for our tanks to be put to the best use, while giving the infantry a heavy hitter.

  4. Chad, Mmmmmmmmmm…still not convinced. But getting there. How quiet or not the system is seems irrelevant to me, when we’re talking about assaulting fortified positions (which, judging by the original article, we are). Tracks can be a pain to work on but there are already heavies fielded, with all their support people. I’m not sure whether attaching a tank platoon to a Stryker company puts that great a burden on the supply/maintenance chain when the units are already in the field. Tanks’ best use is to kill other tanks with long-range direct fire and to dominate maneuver warfare. None of those three things is going on in Iraq, but they’re there. I don’t know anything about how Strykers move, but a tank can pivot steer within its own length; a tank is certainly wider though- is that what what you meant by getting around easier? Stryker can move down more narrow urban spaces? Lighter than tanks? Definitely! As far as being more friendly to air transport, no argument here.

  5. Toejam, That’s a hoot- ‘Alright private, get yer ass out there and reload all 6 of those RRs- we’ll cover you!’ Seems an old school CEV on a ’60 chassis would do the same job; its gun and round were designed to knock walls down!

  6. Geek Lethal, Quieter makes it a little easy to get in close before you deploy, or allows you to sneak up on the raids we are currently doing a lot of. Tanks can do a pivot steer, but they still take up a huge amount of space in streets and alleys. Tank maintenance is very demanding on the logistics and supply chains. If you have 2 different systems, it take 3 times as many people. Just to keep track of all the maintenance, and to service the vehicles. We have 4 different kind of vehicles at my unit, and when we got the last set, we had to up our parts inventory by a substantial amount.

  7. The real question is: will the 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armor be re-activated? (The Armor battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division) Can they drop this thing out of a place without making it into a crater full of scrap metal? The 173rd Airborne could have used them during their campaign in northern Iraq during Iraqi freedom.

  8. Chad, Well it seems though that if we’re talking about throwing big bullets around, stealth is not really of primary importance. I’m not using that position to argue for or against tanks in task-organized assault forces, just sayin’. I think what I’m still a little foggy about is how these new Strykers would fit into a unit; would they replace attached armor? I mean, the classic infantry/armor mix drives TO&E. So instead of a notional infantry bn, say the 1-23 IN, having one or two tank companies, would it have super stryker company instead? I mean, where would the tanks go?

  9. I like James’ idea – if the Stryker’s engine broke down, it could just point the gun backwards and fire, and it would be propelled back to base at a reasonable clip.

  10. Am I correct in remembering that one of the problems with this setup was that if the gun was fired pointing to either side it tended to rock it rather badly? Enough so that if on a slope it could cause it to roll?

  11. I understand the gun – at least the one they originally tried to mount on the Stryker – was not the reduce-recoil version like that mounted on the M8 AGS. And yes, it sounds like it did kick it around rather badly. I wonder what they did to fix it…

  12. And you know, I don’t think ONTOS was such a silly idea. The vehicle itself was too lightly armoured. But, while the crew have to expose themselves to reload it, they get six shots before that’s necessary, and they can pull back to a safe(r) area to do so. Field reports indicated that it was a highly accurate system – better than many tanks of a similar vintage – and when loaded with flechette rounds was devastating to infantry, especially if fired in a salvo. Recoilless rifles, being recoilless, could even be mounted on small vehicles like HMMWVs or even ATVs. The biggest problem is the backblast. Nobody can stand near the rear when it fires – hot gasses come out both ends – and it reveals your position rather well.

  13. Hmmm interesting point Nicholas. I’ve seen some videos of troops trying to get some air with the strykers. The additionall 10K thrust from an avenger fire should finally get them airborn. Hmmm a stryker with an avenger boost jumps the snake river?? that would be cool

  14. Hmm… a firing GAU-8/A produces 30 to 45 kN of recoil according to varioius references (the manufacturer lists 10000 lbf) and the Stryker weighs, at best, in the area of 40,000 lbs. My physics are rusty in this area, but while I don’t think firing the GAU will do much for acceleration it could represent a tipping hazard when if fired off-axis. And THAT assumes you can fit the beast’s turret and basket in a Stryker. The famous VW Beetle comparison photo argues against it! You might as well go with a Bushmaster. That thread has already been covered in the Strategypage forums. But it would be so damned intimidating see that monster spewing 30mm party-mix downrange!

  15. GeekLethal, A M1A2 requires 10 times the amount of gas than a Stryker. So, your tank platoon attached to a Stryker company would drink as much gas as two entire Stryker companies. Attach a tank platoon to each Stryker rifle company, and you now have nearly tripled your gas consumption. That’s not including the additional maintenance vehicles (such as M88 recovery vehicles) and additional mechanics and additional trucks to carry the additional spare parts that have no commonality with the other Strykers in the unit. Bottomline, you add a huge logistical burden that prevents your from rapidly deploying a SBCT and makes it nearly impossible to sustain it via air. As far as the need for a direct fire assault gun, the AAR comments from the Battle of Jenin ranked tank fire against sniper positions as the #2 most effective weapon, right behind the ‘Zionist Monster’ (aka D9 Dozer). So, having the MGS vehicles will be a welcome addition to the Stryker companies.