The first prototype Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle, outfitted with a 30mm cannon, has been delivered to the U.S. Army. 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 componentry and hull modifications, according to a press release from Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems.
Following the 2015 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Army leaders in Europe "identified a capability gap that threatened our forces in theater," explained Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn. "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. 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. The goal, he noted, was to offer forces on the ground the best equipment and protection possible.
According to PEO GCS, the Army has provided programmatic direction to initiate the first two elements of the Stryker Fleet Lethality strategy: providing an under-armor Javelin capability for the Stryker and improving the capabilities of the Stryker Anti-Tank Guided Missile vehicle to better locate and engage targets via networked fires.
Supporting the fight around the globe means having the best technologies for soldiers to ensure overmatch against future adversaries in an increasingly complex and dangerous world where the threat is often "elusive and ambiguous," said Allyn. This environment will place a premium on unmanned systems, lethal technologies and rapid maneuver capabilities that the new Stryker system exemplifies, he concluded.