Armor: September 24, 2002

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The U.S. Army's new Stryker LAV got a workout during the Millennium Challenge exercise last month. As with most new systems, there were a lot of problems. As had been discovered earlier, the Stryker is a tight fit when loading it into a C-130 for transport to the battle zone. The onboard .40 caliber machine-gun and automatic 40mm grenade launcher could not be fired while the vehicle was moving, contributing to 13 of 14 Strykers to be destroyed in several simulated battles. While the wheeled Stryker was somewhat faster than tracked vehicles, sixteen Strykers had to replace ten percent of their tires for various reasons during the four day exercise. The troops inside the Stryker found themselves very cramped, with some reporting that there wasn't even enough room to take a drink from a canteen. But when the Stryker went (their "up time" was 98 percent), they were fast and the troops appreciated that. But the troops also noted that the Stryker was also basically a thinly armored truck, not a wonder weapon.

 


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