Army to Test Kongsberg’s New Gun on Stryker

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Early next year, Army maneuver officials at Fort Benning, Ga., will test Stryker vehicles armed with new stabilized 30mm cannons in an effort to increase the firepower of the service’s all-wheeled infantry carriers.

In February, the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence will conduct a “proof on concept” test using company’s worth of Styker Vehicles equipped with Kongsberg Protech Systems new Medium Caliber Remote Weapons Station, said Carl Sundin II, who is in charge of senior business development for Army programs at Kongsberg, at the Association of the United States Army’s 2013 Annual meeting and Exposition.

Kongsberg began working with Stryker maker General Dynamics Land Systems on the MCRWS in 2008. The company also makes the M151 RWS that’s currently on the Stryker.

Army officials at Benning’s Maneuver Center announced the service’s plan to “up-gun” Stryker vehicles in September based on lessons learned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stryker Brigade Combat Teams first saw combat in Iraq in late 2003. The highly-mobile infantry force is equipped with potent variants such as the 105mm Mobile Gun System and anti-tank guided missile.

But most Stryker vehicles are infantry carriers armed with .50 caliber machine guns or MK19 automatic grenade launchers.
The Medium Caliber Remote Weapon Station looks like a turret mounted on top of a Stryker, but Kongsberg officials maintain that a true turret would consist of a basket that extends down into the vehicle and eat up a lot of space.

“That would detract from the main mission of the Stryker — to transport a nine-man infantry squad,” Sundin said, describing how a true turret would make the Stryker “look a lot like a Bradley inside, holding four to five men tops.”

The MCRWS can also be loaded from the inside of the vehicle, but the current configuration eliminates one of the Stryker’s four top hatches.

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Matt Cox
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  • why not have a few around in case the apaches cant get to it

  • blight_

    Perhaps we’ll switch some Bradleys to an external turret to free up the space inside. Maybe the cav scouts will keep the full-size turret? Or a Bradley unit will be a hybrid of full-turret and remote-turreted vehicles?

    (And if we go the way of upgunning…might as well upgun the Bradley too?)

    • d. kellogg

      the last 5 pages specifically.
      This impressive combo was trialed on a Bradley chassis back in 2002.
      Woulda been quite formidable armament going into OIF.
      Who needs a 30 when you can use the brutish 40mm Bofors ammo.

    • guest

      Really, how about a few, high velocity 75mm guns. That 105 seems to really jolt the whole chassis. I mean, yea, it looks like it works but……. I think a HV 75mm might be a better alternative, and could move much quicker, and shoot on the run much better. Just a thought…with all the new tech in munitions, I am sure a round could be developed that could defeat most, if not all modern armor we would face. IMHO…that is…hahahahaha

  • wtpworrier

    Why not mount a 105MM to it. I believe in giving the Infantry a fighting chance against the enemies armor units.

    • FormerDirtDart

      You mean like the M1128 Mobile Gun System, a current Stryker variant?
      And, pray tell, exactly where do you intend to carry the infantry squad that rides in the vehicles this article is specifically talking about?

      • blight_

        I guess they’re riding desant…until the 105 fires.

        • FormerDirtDart

          Hell, lets just save some weight & money and just use FMTVs. You could bolt some Navy Mk 38 25mm mount in the truck beds for infantry carriers. And mount some M119 Howitzers in the beds of other trucks.

          • moondawg

            Too simple and doesn’t cost enough.

          • William_C1

            So you have guys operating a chain gun (or trying to operate a 105mm howitzer) from the back of the truck, thus they are exposed to small arms fire, have no stabilization and no advanced fire control systems.

            Gun trucks have their uses as field expedient forms of convoy protection but using them to a real armored fighting vehicle like the Stryker isn’t one of them.

          • I think he was being sarcastic.

    • val

      fighting against tanks with strykers is not a wise career move.

      Dismounted infantry with Javelins, AT-4s and LAWs have enormous anti-tank punch.

      It would not be a bad idea to incorporate a single Javelin missile into the RWS, for use in tandem with the gun.

  • hibeam

    You know who doesn’t get blown to hell and back by IEDs? Drone drivers in Las Vegas.

    • William_C1

      What does that have to do with the article?

    • Val

      You know who cannot take or hold ground?

      Drone drivers in Las Vegas.

  • Stan

    What’s wrong with having vehicles dedicated exclusively to fire support accompanying strikers and reconaissance/air support from drones overhead?

    • blight_

      That’s pretty much the Stryker family of vehicles. There’s supposed to be a mortar carrier, ATGM, and MGS versions of the Stryker.

      However, this is leaps and bounds above the original RWS.

    • Contrary to popular belief not every unit has assigned drones. One Stryker BN could be engaged in three different fights and be lucky to have one drone with a limited number of comparatively expensive missiles. There’s also the reality that missiles don’t suppress (maintain a rate of fire to keep the enemy’s head down and stay in static positions), guns do.

      More vehicles means a larger footprint and more logistics in every way. Support vehicles are typically not part of the company because of different training requirements (e.g. you don’t have a bomber in a fighter squadron). So it takes more training, coordination, time and resources to link them up with the Infantry formation. The enemy doesn’t often wait.

    • Val


      Against a Russian mechanized thrust?

      Dude…For that you want M1A2’s with Bradleys, heavy Paladin and MLRS artillery, with A-10 Warthogs providing CAS.

      Drones are for killing peasants.

  • Karl

    A remote 30mm will make a big difference, specially if using smart/air bursting ammunition.

  • OldGrunt

    If the Army is going to shift to Asia… they better find something that floats.

  • JohnnyRanger

    I’m a little confused (imagine that)…will this turret include a gunner/TC basket like the BFV/CFV? Or is it roof-mounted with no hull penetration? Even if the latter, I wonder what the effect will be on weight/strategic deployability?

    I read somewhere that the Stryker BCTs are removing the MGS from the rifle companies and consolidating them in a single company at the brigade level…27 to 10 per BCT, if I recall correctly. 3 of these per company seems like a decent compromise.

    • d. kellogg

      Roof mounted with minimal hull penetration. Quite a few newer RWS are being designed as such, so as not to reduce internal troop layout.

      Samson (Israel’s Rafael) is another type, to include the impressive RCWS 30 system.
      But we can’t be arming American vehicles with Jewish weapons when we’re still inherent on killing muslim fanatics with it. Wouldn’t be PC.

      • JohnnyRanger

        Very cool and thank you! I hear ya about the PC part…

  • John D

    WOW!! Kinda like the LAV-25 which th eStryker is based on expensivly modified, now reversing an dgoing back to th edrawing board!! What a waste of money!!

    • FormerDirtDart

      Except that a LAV-25 can’t carry nine dismounts, and a Stryker can, and a Stryker with with an upgunned remote weapons station will still be able to.

      • orly?

        “That would detract from the main mission of the Stryker — to transport a nine-man infantry squad,” Sundin said, describing how a true turret would make the Stryker “look a lot like a Bradley inside, holding four to five men tops.” – Article

        • FormerDirtDart

          Yeah, but why are you commenting on my post?

          • orly?

            You said a Stryker with the new turret can carry nine dismounts.

            I did not see that in the article.

          • FormerDirtDart

            Yes the article is stating that a traditional turret with crew basket would negate from the Strykers task to carry a nine man squad. And alludes that Kongsberg’s MCRWS does not create such an obstruction. So, using basic reading comprehension skills, it relatively easy to conclude that a Stryker with a MCRWS will still carry nine dismounts.

        • orly – the remote station doesn’t protrude into the troop area. I got to climb in it at the Maneuver Conference at Benning last month. If you click on my name you can visit my blog and the article I wrote about it and the MPC.

          • blight_

            They had an XM-8 AGS there? Nifty.

            Was it the rumored Thunderbolt demonstrator? Or a vanilla LAPES-able tank?

          • FormerDirtDart

            In at least two entries in your blog, you have stated that the Marine Personnel Carrier is being put forth to replace the AAVP7. That is not the case. The USMC’s Amphibious Combat Vehicle program is tasked to field the AAVP7’s replacement.

          • blight_

            I’m a little confused. The MPC is being tested for amphibious capability, but the ACV is meant to replace AAVP7. Is the idea that ACV is to be staged onboard LHD/LHA’s to deploy from the sea, and MPC’s will be mixed in to step up when the force is on land, or for units that will deploy away from the ocean (and thus avoid what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan with AAVP7’s getting to shot to heck and blown up)?

          • FormerDirtDart

            Here, this should help clear things up
            “Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle
            (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC):
            Background and Issues for Congress”
            (June 26, 2013)

          • FDD – Technically you are right but both systems are being developed concurrently and the ACV has HUGE technical hurdles as well as cost issues that realistically are in doubt of being achieved. The MPC on the other hand exists.

            What role do you think the MPC is designed for?

            The Army swore by the GCV. The future isn’t looking too bright.

    • blight_

      Piranha III->LAV III (basis for Stryker) was bigger than the early Piranha I (which LAV-25 was based on). The Marines never intended their LAV vehicle to do more than reconaissance. LAV-25’s can apparently carry four dismounts, which is not bad for scouts, but terrible when it comes to moving squads, and on a greater scale, platoons and companies of infantry.

      Cosmetically, it does look like “turret on a LAV”, and from that perspective it does kind of look like a larger LAV-25…but that’s judging a book by its cover.

      I wonder if the Marines would be open to using this on their LAV-25. It would be lighter than a legacy turret, which is always nice. It would free up some interior room, which would be nice. Still think it’d be interesting to try this on Bradleys, though the tradeoff between carrying a full squad in a Bradley would be loss of TOW missiles (until Kongsberg adds a TOW launcher). That said, a real turret has pintles that can be used with gunshields; but an RWS with a main gun and remotely operated pintles wouldn’t be a bad idea if it weren’t for the weight.

      • I saw this at the Maneuver Conference last month. The turret is a tad smaller than the LAVs.

        • blight_

          Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

          • It’s good. Click on my name to go to my blog for more details/photos from the event. It’ll fit in a C17.

      • FormerDirtDart

        General Dynamics Samson Mk II remote weapons station.
        Includes two ATGM launchers

        • blight_

          Where’s that dude that swore up and down that the Namer with a Samson Mk II would be Most Excellent Awesomesauce? (Granted the Namer is still heavy as heck…)

          • I remember him.

            I asked the General Dynamics guys with the Stryker Test Bed what about additional ammo besides what’s loaded and they said you probably would lose 1-2 seats. Less than a turret basket for a manned turret but not the 0 our absent friend thought it would take.

          • blight_

            Is that for the Kongsberg or the Samson Mk2? Or both? For the purposes of this article, I think we’re assuming that the Kongsberg MCRWS-equipped Stryker still carries nine guys.

          • That feedback was for the Kongsberg but reload ammo stowage is immaterial of manufacturer.

          • Curt

            You could always store the spare ammunition on the outside of the vehicle. Although not optimal, it would give you a significant firepower upgrade without compromising the infantry carrying capacity of the vehicle. It is not like the Stryker is meant to do sustained direct fire operations like the Calvary version of the Bradley. Add a remote mounted version of the Javelin (forget reloads), and you would have a limited heavy anti-armor punch as well.

          • It’s all fine and dandy until you have to reload under fire…

            Then the conversation devolves to “You go!, No YOU go!”

          • tmb2

            Or a couple stray rounds cooks off your entire basic load.

          • Curt

            Not exactly true. While you may lose a few cans, properly designed and used stowage would limit losses to the cans actually hit. Unless of course your whole vehicle was burning, then the question is mute. Its kind of like reactive armor, you may lose part of you protection but not all of it. Still, it is a compromise.

          • Curt

            True, although if you carry the first few reloads inside, you would only have to go outside periodically to get more ammo. And aren’t the infantry soldiers already outside the vehicle? Just saying.

          • Curt, reread what I originally said that prompted you to suggest stowing the ammo for reloads on the outside.

            You’ve now come full circle.

    • Val

      The M-113A3 is a better vehicle than the Stryker will ever be.

      -A former US Army Mechanized Infantryman

  • Lance

    So the Army again follows the Marines lead and follow the LAV-25 to have a chain cannon attached to there vehicles.

    • Uh, actually it was the Marines that followed the Army in this example. Heard of the Bradley?

      The LAV’s turret is developed from it without the TOW launcher.

      • blight_

        And the M113 demonstrators that had a 25mm cannon…which predated the Bradley hull by a few years.

      • RWB123

        Actually the Marines got their LAV-25’s from the Army. The LAV was originally bought for the Rapid Deployment Force. When the Army gave up on RDF the Marines got the equipment. Same deal with the Fast Attack Vehicles (FAV’s)

        • FormerDirtDart

          Yeah, that’s absolute nonsense.
          In the late 80’s 3/73rd Armor once tested LAV-25s as possible replacements for their M551s. They borrowed them from the USMC.
          The LAV-25s were also briefly looked at for 9th ID, in their role as the HTTB. This was around the same time as the USMC were acquiring them.

    • tmb2

      Lance, the M242 25mm was developed concurrently with the program that would become the Bradley. The LAV-25 adopted the weapon during its fielding a few years later.

  • Andrew

    Is the BTR-82 set up similarly with a RWS or does that have a basket? I always loved the Russians willingness to put a 2A42/2A72 on anything that could mount it.

    • bum291

      And the AGS-17!

  • Thomas L. Nielsen

    So of course you can provide those “credible references” and “proof”?

    On the other hand, don’t bother, unless you can first explain how Carl Sundin’s preferences in bedmates are relevant to….well, anything? Unless you’re cruising for a date, in which case it would be relevant, of course, although I’m given to understand that there are other websites that might be more suitable for that purpose.

    And I’m also curious to know how you become a “certified” homo? Is there an exam? And a diploma?

    Regards & all,

    Thomas L. Nielsen

  • Hunter76

    What is your problem?

  • chris

    The Canadian version of a stryker has a 25mm M242 and a three man crew plus 7 dismounts. Its viscious.

    • blight_

      Theirs looks like a bigger version of LAV I (LAV-25 in the Marines). The full-sized turret eats into dismount space. In US usage, we prioritized putting the full nine-man squad in a vehicle over having a turret with an interior basket consuming space.

      Something like Kongsberg MCRWS may give us the best of both worlds: largish chaingun, interior space without sacrificing dismounts.

      • Phalanx

        No, it’s a LAV III (Piranha 3). Completely different vehicle from the ground up. The Stryker, in turn, was based on the LAV III (a portion of them were produced in Canada at the same plant that makes the LAV III).

        The LAV III kind of cheats with its dismounts, though. It has a 3 man crew, but the vehicle commander is also the section leader, so still 9 people per vehicle – the vehicle commander leaves with the dismounts.

  • d. kellogg

    I could see the sense of re-turreting Marine LAV’s with a similar system as this: it would create ammo commonality as the USMC steps up to the 30x173mm cartridge that is to be used in the EFV (if/when…) as well as the San Antonio amphibs (2 turrets?) and the Surface Warfare modules for the LCS.
    Same beefy 30mm family the A-10’s GAU-8 uses, not to be confused with the shorter 30x113mm the Apaches use.
    When I first heard of 30mm on the Strykers, my first thought were an M230/ASP variant featuring new airburst rounds.
    Such a mount was/is mounted on the BAE Armadillo demonstrator, mounted in a Remote Weapon Station similar in size to the current Stryker CROWS…
    There again though, neither the USMC nor USN utilize the 30x113mm ammo on anything, even though the continued impressive results Army Apaches achieve with 30mm rounds leaves me wondering why the USMC still sticks to the 20mm in AH-1 Cobras.

  • Zspoiler

    It looks like same system the Marines were going mount on there new AMTRACs. .You can never have enough firepower.

  • William_C1

    The Army really needs to make this happen.

  • Zspoier

    Why not adapt the Apaches chain gun system to the Stryker . Its combat proven and can a lot of off the shelf parts.