Army plans 2018 Europe deployment for new Stryker prototype
STUTTGART, Germany — The Army will begin fielding a more lethal version of the Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle to Europe in 2018, roughly three years after U.S. Army Europe issued an urgent request for more firepower for the Vilseck, Germany-based 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
A prototype of the new Stryker, outfitted with a 30mm cannon, was delivered to the Army last month. The upgraded combat vehicles will arrive in Germany around May 2018, the Army said.
The development of the upgunned “Dragoon” Styker, named after the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, was completed in “near-record time from concept to delivery,” Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn said in October.
The push to add firepower in Europe came after Russia’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine and in connection with concerns that the Army’s fighting vehicles on the Continent needed to close a capabilities gap with their Russian counterparts.
“The Russians, it turns out, had upgraded and fielded significant capabilities while we were engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Allyn, as quoted by the Army’s official press service. The Stryker’s existing weaponry placed U.S. forces at “unacceptable risk.”
In 2015, the Army “validated the high-priority need” for a 30mm weapons system, which would give more direct-fire support for dismounted infantrymen “when engaging like units,” USAREUR said in a statement at the time.
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