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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Glowing Stryker report from Mosul

DID has quotes from various sources about Stryker combat performance in northern Iraq (Stryker is a lighter more heavily armoured version of the LAV-III used by our Army):
"We were hit by 115 RPGs hit Strykers over the year we had here, not one penetrated a Stryker, not one. Not any -- no machine gun fire penetrated a Stryker inside. We did have a soldier that was killed in a hatch by an RPG -- standing up in a hatch, and they fired from a building on top, but not one RPG penetrated a Stryker; 115 hits, it's a fantastic vehicle. ...Does it need improvements? I don't know of any vehicle that doesn't. I'd put a laser range-finder on it. I'd stabilize the gun, maybe put a larger gun on it. The Army's working all that. Is it a fantastic vehicle? Yes."
I'm surprised as I've read reports suggesting otherwise. But if that's the numbers, that's the numbers.

Michael Yon has been covering one of the Styker units, though most of his reports are about dismount missions.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 10/11/2005 09:48:00 pm


Blogger Psycho Milt said...

The Major I was talking to a couple of weeks back was from a Stryker unit, and he also thought they were great. A couple of caveats for NZ though:
1. The ones the Americans are using in Iraq have additional "slat" armour mounted about a foot out from the side of the vehicle (weird - looks like a great big luggage rack), specifically to stop RPGs. NZ presumably wouldn't have that equipped on ours.
2. He said they were absolutely brilliant in an urban context (eg, they can go up to 70 mph and tear around corners and down alleys that tracked vehicles wouldn't even try, and will still drive OK with the tyres shot to bits), but had caused no end of trouble when used off-road in wet conditions. Apparently the off-road capability, especially in mud, isn't up to tracked vehicle standards. That was partly due to the extra weight of the slat armour, but it could be a problem for the NZ Army.

10/11/2005 10:22:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/11/2005 10:33:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Pyscho - there's an interesting NATO study available on the web comparing the mobility of wheeled versus tracked vehicles across a variety of terrains. Wheeled came out on top in urban and stable dry conditions, tracked came out better overall. They took it a step further and classified the entirety of Western Europe into broad landscape types, and decided wheeled vehicles could at best access only ~20% or so of the countryside and cities (thats from memory - hope I'm not way off). Probably why European countries tend to go for the M113 upgrades over new wheeled vehicles.

10/11/2005 10:56:00 pm  
Blogger JamesP said...

Yes, it'll be because of the spaced armour that is used to defeat HEAT munitions like those used on RPGs. Detonating the charge away from the main armour prevents the plasma jet from penetrating the body of the vehicle. I'm a little surprised they have reported no bullet penetrations. The armour is a maximum of half an inch thick so there should be places where larger calibre AP bullets would penetrate if fired from close range and with a low angle of incidence (though the spaced armour will help here to). Perhaps they aren't letting the terrorists get that close? :)

10/11/2005 11:16:00 pm  
Blogger fm said...

In a perfect world, an Army would have multiple transport and armour options, but the sad fact is NZ can only really afford one armour option and that's ended up being the LAV III. Australia, for example, can afford a couple more options. Such is life.

I don't think the LAV will perform too badly. With respect to mobility, it's worth considering just how much of the population in the region actually lives beyond the access provided by primary and secondary roads. Sure there are some that don't, but it would be a long way short of a majority and the numbers would presumably decrease in the future. Semirural and urban combat is probably now more likely than not in the region. For the places that don't fit this criteria, the guys in the back of the LAV can still walk or use choppers. It's a fair compromise I think.

10/12/2005 03:12:00 pm  

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