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23 Oct 02. The U.S. Army continues to demonstrate its support for fielding six brigades of the new Stryker family of combat vehicles. Recent Army efforts have included a media roundtable and a vehicle-mobility demonstration, transcripts of which have been posted to the U.S. Army’s public affairs website.

Also, in a speech to the Association of the U.S. Army yesterday, Gen. Eric Shinseki, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, said that the Army must have its full allotment of six Stryker brigades.

“We must see the Stryker fielded to provide soldiers the capabilities they’ve needed for the last 12 years,” Shinseki said. “It’s time and the right number is six.”

The roundtable, hosted by the Army on Tuesday, October 15, discussed the operating characteristics and recent performance of the Army’s new Stryker combat vehicles. The transcript of that event is now available on the Army public affairs website, at the following URL:

Photos and the public-address narrative of a Stryker mobility demonstration that was conducted at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, on Wednesday, Oct. 16, are also available on the web, at http://www.army.mil/features/strykerDemo/default.htm. During that demonstration, four Stryker vehicles and infantry troops were flown to Andrews AFB aboard a C-130 cargo plane and a C-17, and within 8 minutes had deployed in a ‘combat ready’ mode. Witnesses at the event included Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White; Dr. Stephen A. Cambone, principal deputy under secretary of defense for Policy; Gen. Shinseki; and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich.

Stryker combat vehicles are manufactured for the Army by the GM GDLS Defense Group, a joint venture of General Motors Corporation and General Dynamics Land Systems, under a $4bn contract awarded to the companies in November 2000. The Army has said it intends to deploy six brigades of Strykers, or 2,133 vehicles, as part of its transformation to a lighter, more mobile, more lethal fighting force.

Comment: Some observers at AUSA suggested that the Boeing FCS programme was eating into existing legacy programmes, Stryker in particular. As a spokesman told BATTLESPACE, “You go to war in legacy systems, not future systems.” Other programmes cut include the M1A2 SEP programme cut from 966 vehicles to 588 and the M3 Bradley rebuild. The Army has also been forced by Congress to conduct a Stryker Vs M113 performance competition which may demonstrate the results of the wheels Vs tracks scenario modeled by Sika International for TRACER/FSCS which demonstrated that light tracked vehicles could traverse 95% of known terrain against 82% fro wheeled vehicles. As Stryker is an interim vehicle for the IBCT logic may suggest that two to three Brigades are enough for an evaluation process into FCS which will include such vehicles as the GD 8×8 hybrid drive and the United Defense family both shown at AUSA.

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