US Army says Strykers need bigger gun to fight Russia

Stryker-1-5-LDefense News has posted an article in which they report that at a recent press conference, the commander of the the Stryker-equipped 2nd Cavalry Regiment says his vehicles are outgunned by their Russian counterparts.  The Army staff in April approved a request from 2nd Cavalry Regiment commander, Col. John Meyer, to fit a 30mm cannon on 81 of the infantry carriers, needed for it to engage similar units or light-armored vehicles.  The 2nd Cavalry earlier this year completed a high-profile show-of-force convoy operation that maneuvered 120 vehicles across Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and back to its home base in Vilseck, Germany. The mission, called a Dragoon Ride, was one of a series of multilateral operations and exercises meant to reassure US allies in Europe in the wake of Russian activities.

The article notes that earlier this month, the Army requested that $9.8 million in 2015 funds be reprogrammed to outfit Strykers with the 30mm cannon. According to that request, the program would ramp up over the next two years, at $97.5 million in 2016 and $55 million in 2017. The first unit would be equipped in 27 months.  However, not everyone in Congress approves of the idea.  Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., argued against the move, saying the program had not been vetted by the committee. It looked like an expensive multiyear commitment whose costs were unclear and availability “would not be instantaneous,” he said. He said the estimated cost to up-gun Strykers was $3.8 million each.

Full article here.

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