On 27 October, the US Army Program Executive Office (PEO) for Ground Combat Systems and Project Manager for the STRYKER Brigade Combat Team, in conjunction with General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), presented the first of the up-gunned DRAGOON vehicles to the US Army. One of the most noticeable changes on the vehicle is the 30mm turret, known as PROTECTOR MCT-30 from Kongsberg.
The STRYKER Infantry Carrier Vehicle, produced by GDLS, is an "up-gunned" vehicle that will be used by the US 2nd Cavalry Regiment STRYKER Brigade, which is stationed in Europe. Up-gunning the STRYKER’s by integrating a 30mm cannon will, as stated by Maj. Gen. David G. Bassett, PEO Ground Combat Systems, not only increases firepower but also increases the survivability of the platform.
The selection of PROTECTOR MCT-30 for the STRYKER programme was announced in December last year, and the accelerated delivery of the first systems is a result of a close and effective cooperation between the two companies, and strong determination from both sides in order to deliver a world class capability to the US Army.
Kongsberg has, over the past eight years, developed the innovative PROTECTOR MCT-30 turret by leveraging Kongsberg`s extensive experience from remotely controlled weapon stations. The system design and selected sub systems introduce new technologies that increase both performance and reliability for medium calibre weapon systems. The system’s capabilities have been demonstrated and tested by the US authorities in several iterations over the last several years. This delivery and upcoming test initiatives will bring the system through the final milestones for operational use by the US Army.
"This cannon fires a much greater distance, with much more effective munitions, and that allows our soldiers to approach their objective more protected, with less return fire from the enemy," Col. Glenn Dean, the Army’s Project Manager for the STRYKER Brigade Combat Team, explained. "They're able to move more quickly at less risk, because they're supported by a much more effective weapons system."
Government testing of these vehicles is planned to start in January, 2017 with the initial fielding of the systems to occur in 2018.