NBC Reconnaissance Vehicles -- Coming Soon

I hadn't seen a picture of the Stryker NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV), but now it's up at a few sites now (here and here). Word is that General Dynamics got the contract in January to start modifying the basic Stryker chassis to manufacture 17 NBCRVs under a low rate initial production contract for test and evaluation through FY2007.This Army Chemical Review article offers more details on the advances of this system over the existing M91A1 NBC Recon System (Fox), including an upgraded chemical standoff sensor (you can make it out -- it's to the left of the remote weapons system in the picture), a biological agent detector, a CB mass spectrometer for sampling, and of course, the standard chemical and radiological point detectors. Plus there's the advantage of having a standard military vehicle instead of a German vehicle (which was always tough to get spare parts and maintenance for).LAND_Stryker_NBCRV.jpgThis might be the last dedicated Army NBC recon vehicle for a long time. Currently, there are no plans to have a Future Combat Systems NBC recon variant. Rather, the proposed FCS recon and surveillance vehicle will include the NBC defense systems, and one would hope that the chemical specialists would be an integral part of the future scout platoons. No offense to the infantry, but the scouts I knew had trouble keeping their protective masks clean, let alone operating sophisticated CB defense sensors.--Jason Sigger, crossposted at Armchair Generalist

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