Senators Nearly Triple Army Request for Stryker Cannons

Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Young, senior NCO of the Army’s Stryker combat vehicle program, discusses the 30mm cannon on the Infantry Carrier Vehicle-Dragoon vehicle at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Aug. 16, 2017. (Photo Credit: Sean Kimmons)
Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Young, senior NCO of the Army’s Stryker combat vehicle program, discusses the 30mm cannon on the Infantry Carrier Vehicle-Dragoon vehicle at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Aug. 16, 2017. (Photo Credit: Sean Kimmons)

The Senate Armed Services Committee's version of the Pentagon's 2020 spending plan earmarks $393.6 million for Army Strykers, nearly tripling the service's request for 30mm cannons to arm the eight-wheeled vehicle.

Army budget officials initially requested $144.4 million for the Stryker "MOD" effort in the base budget and another $4 million from the overseas contingency account in the fiscal 2020 budget request.

"The FY20 president's budget for the Stryker program was $144.387 million; this positive markup of $249.200 million increases the program to a total of $393.6 million," Army spokesman Lt. Col. Isaac Taylor told Military.com.

The committee approved "additional funding above the administration's request for the 30mm cannon upgrade," according to the panel's fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act executive summary.

The Army also requested $550 million for other Stryker upgrades in the fiscal 2020 request; that number so far remains unchanged, Army officials said.

The service recently selected five defense firms to participate in a design study for mounting a 30mm cannon on the Stryker wheeled vehicle in an effort to field the first Stryker brigade with that armament by 2022.

Army Stryker officials have been working on the lethality upgrade since a 2015 urgent operational needs statement resulted in a directed Stryker lethality requirement. The effort involves replacing the vehicle's standard .50 caliber machine guns and Mk19 grenade launchers with a more potent 30mm cannon to give the vehicles more punch against near-peer adversaries such as Russia or China.

The Army took delivery of the first Stryker infantry carrier armed with a 30mm cannon in October 2016, but the effort continues.

On May 22, the Army awarded contracts worth up to $150,000 to Raytheon Company; Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication Inc.; Kollsman Inc.; DRS Sustainment Systems Inc.; and the Stryker's maker, General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., to conduct a design integration study for mounting weapon station, which includes a government-furnished XM813 "medium-caliber gun," on a Stryker infantry carrier with a double-V hull.

The Senate committee's version of the spending plan also approved more money for AH-64 Apache helicopters and the Army's effort to replace M249 squad automatic weapons and M4/M4A1 carbines in combat units with the Next Generation Squad Weapon.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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