General Dynamics had its new Stryker Dragoon wheeled vehicle, outfitted with a 30mm cannon, on display at this year’s AUSA convention.
The linkless 30mm cannon and Kongsberg turret mounted atop an M1126 Stryker infantry carrier adds a formidable edge to the Stryker line.
The dual-feeding system allows a commander to select the type of ammunition needed for specific targets, Wendy Staiger, program director for Stryker and Specialty Wheeled Vehicles at General Dynamics Land Systems, told Military.com at the 2017 Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.
“You can select from either side because you typically have one type of ammunition on one side and one type on the other, unlike a linked system where you actually end up firing off a couple before you get to what you need,” she said.
The Army intends to field 83 Stryker Dragoons to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment this summer. Soldiers from the 2nd CR are scheduled to participate in a user evaluation this fall, Staiger said.
Fielding is scheduled to begin July 18 in Poland, GDLS officials maintain.
Despite the presence of the turret-mounted 30mm, the Stryker Dragoon is still an infantry carrier capable of carrying a nine-member infantry squad.
It is based on a flat-bottom Stryker and has an upgraded 55,000-pound suspension and it has much wider tires, Staiger said.
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 vehicle.
But most Stryker vehicles are infantry carriers armed with .50 caliber machine guns or MK19 automatic grenade launchers.
The Urgent Operational Needs statement submitted in March 2015 resulted in a directed Stryker lethality requirement, one that included an accelerated acquisition effort to integrate the 30mm cannon on the vehicles.
The 30mm cannon has a max rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute and is capable of engaging lightly-armored enemy vehicles at ranges out to 3,000 meters, according to Army officials.
By comparison, Strykers armed with M2 .50 caliber machine guns have a maximum effective range of 1,830 meters on an area target.
The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, announced the service’s plans to mount a 30mm cannon on the Stryker in 2013.
Maneuver officials began initial tests in early 2014, which featured Kongsberg’s MCRWS and a stabilized 30mm cannon. Kongsberg has been working with Stryker-maker General Dynamics Land Systems on the MCRWS since 2008. The company also makes the M151 Remote Weapon Station that’s currently on the Stryker.