The Army Is Ditching All of Its Stryker Mobile Gun Systems

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Stryker equipped with a mobile gun system fires a round of high explosive ammunition
A Stryker equipped with a mobile gun system fires a round of high explosive ammunition July 26, 2011 at Yakima Training Center, Wash. (Mark Miranda/U.S. Army)

The Army announced Wednesday that it is planning to divest all of its Stryker Mobile Gun Systems by the end of fiscal 2022.

The service said in a news release it had decided the time has come to retire the M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System after a study showed it is obsolete, and its out-of-date cannon and automatic loader have systemic issues.

"Decisions on when it is best to divest a system currently in the force are not taken lightly," Lt. Gen. James Pasquarette, the Army's deputy chief of staff for programs, said in the release. "The Army has done its due diligence to ensure lethality upgrades will remain intact to provide our Stryker formations the capabilities they need in the future."

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This Stryker model is an eight-wheeled infantry support vehicle with a 105mm tank gun, based on Canada's LAV III armored vehicle. The Army developed it in the early 2000s.

"For over 15 years, the Stryker MGS has enabled Stryker brigade combat teams to provide direct supporting fires to assault infantry by destroying or suppressing hardened enemy bunkers, machine guns and sniper positions in urban, restricted and open-rolling terrain," the release states.

According to the release, the Stryker Mobile Gun System was the first Army system fielded with an autoloader, which was state-of-the-art at the time. But over the years, the service adds, the autoloader has become expensive to maintain.

This Stryker model was developed with a flat-bottom chassis, the Army said, and was never upgraded to deal with improvised explosive devices or anti-tank mines.

Army officials reviewed the system's vulnerabilities and decided the service's money would be better spent on modernizing other components of the Stryker fleet, such as the Medium Caliber Weapons System, the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station-Javelin, the Anti-Tank Guided Missile Updates, and the 30mm cannon.

The service said it will keep supporting and fielding other Stryker variants, such as the Double V-Hull and vehicles with lethality upgrades, until the M1128 is completely retired.

Divesting this Stryker will not affect the industrial base, since it has been out of production for some time, the Army said. Most of the items needed to sustain the M1128 Stryker are also needed to support other variants in the Stryker fleet, it added.

-- Stephen Losey can be reached at stephen.losey@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StephenLosey.

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