The Army remains on course to fielding the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany with new, up-gunned Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles by next year. Dubbed the ‘Infantry Carrier Vehicle – Dragoon’, or ICV-D, this new variant would place a 30mm cannon onto a standard Stryker vehicle.
This would add a tremendous amount of firepower to the typical Stryker infantry rifle platoon, while retaining the current Stryker ICV’s ability to carry an 11-man crew (nine members of the rifle squad, plus one driver and one vehicle commander).
But for many who have operated in a combat or field environment with a fully loaded infantry rifle squad inside a Stryker, questions remain over the feasibility of packing on an extra 30mm cannon, along with all the associated ammunition and equipment, while retaining the ability to move that nine-man rifle squad across the battlefield.
Beginning in March, 2015 with an operational needs statement from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment identifying the need to counter Russian capabilities in Europe, the process from design to functioning prototype was quick.
When the first 30mm model was unveiled at Fort Benning in 2015, some members of the Stryker community remained skeptical that they would be able to retain the primary purpose of the Stryker vehicle: to quickly move an infantry rifle squad to a position of advantage on the battlefield.
Specifically, they feared this new cannon would alter the understanding of the Stryker, and it would begin to be employed as a fighting vehicle, rather than a carrying vehicle.
As it stands, the Army is continuing with fielding the platform. Due to the relatively fast turnaround time on this concept, it remains to be seen how this will affect Stryker doctrine.
Besides the nine Stryker Brigade combat teams, the 75th Ranger Regiment has been known to utilize Strykers. However, due to their unique requirements and budgetary advantages, it is unlikely they will be forced to adopt any changes to their current Stryker doctrine.
Image courtesy of US Army