It won’t help Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s three Stryker brigades deployed overseas now, but the Army is considering
outfitting the Stryker vehicle with a V-shaped hull that would help deflect blasts. It would provide similar protection to the Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected Vehicles, which have been credited with saving plenty of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From the Army Times story:
The changes were already planned as part the Stryker modernization program and are scheduled to be cut into the production line in 2015 and 2016. After several Strykers were damaged in Afghanistan, vehicle maker General Dynamics began thinking about accelerating the change. It proposed the acceleration to the Army in January, one source said.
The V-shaped hull distributes the blast and moves the bottom of the vehicle higher off the ground.
The Army plans to reduce production to 20 Strykers per month by next January, which would delay the improvements, the source said.
But if production is held steady, the company could deliver 130 vehicles in the infantry carrier configuration in time for the next Stryker brigade’s deployment to Afghanistan in July 2011. A full Stryker brigade has 332 vehicles in 10 variants, two of which are not yet in full-rate production.
The question does need to be asked: What, if anything, would this do for the mobility of the Stryker? That’s always been one of the vehicle’s strong points (and a drawback of the MRAP).