Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle family Part I

The two basic variants of the Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle are the Stryker IAV Infantry Carrier Vehicle and the Stryker IAV Mobile Gun System. The Stryker ICV is the base model for eight additional variants of the Stryker. This brings the total number of Stryker variants to ten:
M 1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV)
M I 127 Stryker Reconnaissance Vehicle (RV)
M 1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS)
M 1129 Stryker Mortar Carrier (MC-A with dismounted mortar and MC-B with recoiling mortar system)
M I 130 Stryker Command Vehicle (CV)
M I 131 Stryker Fire Support Vehicle (FSV)
M 1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle (ESV)
M I 133 Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle (MEV)
M 1134 Stryker Anti-Tank Guided Missile vehicle (ATGM)
M 1135 Stryker NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV)

Named after Medal of Honor recipients
Deliveries of the first LAY III IAVs to the U, S, Army began from GM's plant in London, Ontario, in March 2002 and GDLS's Anniston, Alabama, facility in April 2002, On 27 February 2002, the army officially named the IAV "Stryker" in a ceremony at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, The name originated from two Medal of Honor recipients, These are Pfc Stuart S, Stryker who served in WWII, and Spc Robert F. Stryker who served in Vietnam, Specialist Robert Stryker, who served with the I st Infantry Division, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of fellow soldiers near Loc Ninh, Vietnam, Private First Class Stuart Stryker, who served with 513th Parachute Infantry, posthumously received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack near Wesel, Germany, that captured more than 200 enemy soldiers and freed three American pilots, By giving the IAY the name of a private and a specialist, the Stryker became the first U, S, Army vehicle not named after a general to enter service, In the past only names of generals were given to armored vehicles (for example, that of General Creighton Williams Abrams or that of General Omar Nelson Bradley).

Stryker IAV armor protection
The Stryker vehicle hull is made of High Hardness steel, which provides basic armor protection. In order to achieve a higher protection level for the steel armor, a suite of 132 ceramic tiles can be mounted. Called MEXAS 2C (Modular Expandable Armor System 2C) and designed by the German company IBD/Deisenroth Engineering, the armor provides the vehicle with STANAG 4569 Level IV protection. Level IV protection means the armor can withstand hits by 14.5mm armor piercing rounds fired by heavy machine guns at a range of 200m at a velocity of 911 m/s. As for artillery fragments , the armor offers protection against 20mm splinters (fragmentation simulation projectile) with a velocity of 960m/s when detonated above or on the side of the vehicle at a distance of 25m or above. One of the major threats for U. S. forces in Iraq is the Russian-designed RGP-7 short-range antitank weapon. The RPG-7 has a combat range of up to 500m and when a standard HEAT warhead such as the PG-7N is used, it can penetrate up to 400mm of steel armor. Other warheads such as tandem warheads to defeat reactive armor are also available. In order to protect the Stryker IAY from deadly RPGs, all Strykers deployed to Iraq are fitted with standoff add-on armor known as slat armor. The slat armor is fitted around the front, sides and rear of all Stryker IAY variants at a distance of some 400mm. The armor segments look like grills with spaced horizontal bars. The slat armor functions in two ways. It detonates an RPG warhead before it reaches the vehicle’s hull or it damages the warhead when it strikes the bars. The latter results in the deformation of the warhead and prevents the shaped charge from developing its energy gas jet and boring through the armor of the hull. 

Development of slat armor took nine months and it was conducted prior to deployment of the first SBCT to Iraq in 2003. Manufactured by GDLS, the full slat kit for a Stryker has a weight of some 2200kg. A brigade set of slat armor costs $5.9 million according to a contract awarded to GDLS in May 2006. The increased width of the Stryker IAV when slat armor is fitted results in the vehicle losing its capability for transportation by a C-130 Hercules. The slat armor also makes it harder to maneuver the Stryker IAV in urban areas, while at higher speeds it increases the risk of accidentally rolling the vehicle. Due to the added weight of slat armor, malfunctions of the CTIS sometimes occur, and the speed of the vehicle is reduced. The slat armor is only an interim solution, as development of reactive add-on armor started back in November 2002. It was then that United Defense (now part of BAE Systems) was awarded a development and test contract worth $7.9 million. Product qualification testing of the new armor began in May 2003. After initial setbacks the full vehicle add-on reactive armor successfully completed live-fire and product qualification testing in 2004. In March 2005, United Defense was awarded a contract to provide 289 armor kits for the Stryker IAY. Delivery of the kits took place between September 2005 and October 2006. In February 2006, the first Strykers IAY were fitted with the new full-vehicle add-on reactive armor kits that add some 3100kg to the vehicle's combat weight. Other armor systems fitted to the Stryker IAY operating in Iraq are blast shields that run around the vehicle roof and hatches. Fitted from late 2004 onwards, these blast shields protect the crew from splinters and blast effects of IEDs.

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