First Stryker vehicle prototype with 30mm cannon delivered to Army

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The baseline M1126 Stryker usually had either a M2 .50-caliber machine gun or a 40mm Mark 19 automatic grenade launcher. The first prototype of the upgraded Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle outfitted with a 30mm cannon (designated the XM1296) was delivered in late October 2016 to the Army. The Army plans to assign 81 of the up-gunned vehicles to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Courtesy of Program Executive OfficeGround Combat Systems

The first prototype Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle, outfitted with a 30mm cannon, was delivered to the Army recently.

The upgraded Stryker vehicle will be known as the Dragoon, the name of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. The prototype also features a new fully integrated commander’s station, upgraded driveline components and hull modifications, according to a press release from Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems.

“It’s important to realize the genesis of this event,” said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, speaking at the General Dynamics Land Systems Maneuver Collaboration Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Following the 2015 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Army leaders in Europe “identified a capability gap that threatened our forces in theater,” Allyn explained. “The Russians, it turns out, had upgraded and fielded significant capabilities while we were engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Army leaders recognized that existing Stryker weaponry placed U.S. forces at “unacceptable risk,” he said.

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 canon on the vehicles, he said.

Fielding to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Europe will begin in May 2018, which represents “a near-record time from concept to delivery,” according to Allyn.

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Officially, the Dragoon is known as the XM1296 Infantry Combat Vehicle. It features a Mk 44 Bushmaster II, a 30mm version of the M242 25mm chain gun used on the M2/M3 Bradley, the LAV-25, and a number of United States Navy and Coast Guard vessels.

“This is an example of what is possible when government, military and industry leaders unite as one team,” he continued, describing the collaboration between General Dynamics Land Systems and PEO GCS.

— David Vergun (Army News Service)

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