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.