The Army has found enough friends on Capitol Hill to fund a fourth brigade of double V-hull (DVH) eight-wheeled Stryker vehicles, service officials said. Without that order, most work on the vehicle would come to a halt in 2017, according to Army officials.
Now all they need is for Congress to pass the budget so they can schedule the work, since money for the fourth brigade was not included in the original fiscal 2015 Army budget request.
The last of the vehicles that make up the third DVH Stryker brigade are slated for delivery in 2017, which will bring to a close much of the currently planned work on the platform. If the line goes cold, further upgrades will be more difficult and costly.
Full Coverage From our AUSA Digital Show Daily
But the procurement of the fourth brigade would allow the Army to continue work on its Stryker Exchange Program at Anniston Army Depot, Alabama, along with industry partner General Dynamics Land Systems, with work continuing thorough 2018.
The ongoing exchange program strips older flat-bottomed Strykers of all of their usable parts, and incorporates them into new General Dynamics-made DVH chassis at Anniston, in effect giving the service brand-new vehicles without increasing the overall Stryker inventory.
“When we built the DVH Stryker, we found a way to keep soldiers alive and protect them. But we did that at a small cost,” said Lt. Col. Jason Toepfer, the program manager for Stryker development.
“We gave up mobility, we added more weight to that vehicle. We also had an additional power burden,” Toepfer said. “In moving that amount of weight, plus the Army technologies that have been added on since then, we put a significant tax on the power and on the network that is on the current vehicle. So we needed to find a way to mitigate that, and buy some of that back.”
The converted Strykers will get a chassis upgrade, more powerful engine and higher-amp generator to meet the increasing needs for in-vehicle power.