Armoured Fighting Vehicle M1220 Stryker

Armoured Fighting Vehicle M1220 Stryker

Stryker is a family of eight-wheel-drive combat vehicles built for the US Army by General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada and the General Dynamics Land Systems Division, USA.

Stryker is based on the GDLS Canada LAV III 8×8 light armoured vehicle, in service since early 2001. The LAV III is itself a version of the Piranha III built by Mowag of Switzerland, now part of GDLS – Europe.

The eight-wheeled Stryker armoured combat vehicle is the first new military vehicle to enter service into the US Army since the Abrams tank in the 1980s.

Fabrication and final assembly of the vehicles were shared among plants at Anniston, Alabama, Lima, Ohio and London, Ontario.

Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT)

The Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) combines the capacity for rapid deployment with survivability and tactical mobility. The Stryker armoured combat vehicle enables the team to manoeuvre in close and urban terrain, provide protection in open terrain and transport infantry quickly to critical battlefield positions.

The contract for the US Army’s interim armoured vehicle (IAV) was awarded in November 2000. The vehicles form the basis of six brigade combat teams. The contract requirement covers the supply of 2,131 vehicles.

Stryker infantry carrier development

Deliveries of Stryker infantry carriers began in April 2002. A seventh SBCT has subsequently been planned and the requirement raised to 2,691.

Initial operational tests and evaluation began in May 2003 with the Arrowhead Lightning II exercise. Since 2003, the vehicles have undergone more than six million miles in service through two Operational Iraqi Freedom rotations, demonstrating a combined fleet operational readiness rate of 96%.

In November 2003, the Stryker armoured combat vehicle entered operational service with the US Army, with the first Stryker SBCT, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, following its deployment to Iraq. The second SBCT, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, was deployed to Iraq in September 2004. The third SBCT, the 172nd, deployed in July 2005.

International orders and deliveries of Stryker armoured combat vehicle

Contracts for 328 vehicles to form the 4th Brigade were placed in March / June 2004 for delivery during 2005 and 2006, plus 423 vehicles for the 5th Brigade in February 2005 with deliveries in 2006-07.

A total of 306 Strykers were ordered in April 2006, 103 in July 2006 and 109 in October 2006, while 615 Stryker vehicles were ordered in August 2008 for delivery by 2011. The Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the only National Guard SBCT, deployed to Iraq in February 2009. The 5th Stryker Brigade was deployed to Afghanistan in mid-2009, the first SBCT to do so.

The first US Air Force Stryker unit made its first deployment in Iraq in August 2005.
In December 2008, the Iraqi Government requested the foreign military sale (FMS) of 400 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles.

In March 2009, a contract worth $4.8m to produce 805 Stryker driver enhancement kits was awarded to JWF Defense Systems by General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada. The deliveries were completed between April and June 2009.

Stryker medical evacuation vehicle (MEV)

During March 2009, the Stryker medical evacuation vehicle (MEV), the new ambulance variant, was deployed by the US Army. According to an army transformation strategy, 30 MEVs were delivered to the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team to be deployed in the Middle East. The vehicle was on display at the Garfield Circle, Washington DC, on March 23-24, 2009.

In July 2009, the US Army TACOM awarded a contract worth $55.2m to General Dynamics Land Systems to reset 330 Stryker infantry combat vehicles.

Under this contract, the Stryker vehicles returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom will be serviced, repaired and modified, returning them to a like-new condition before further deployment.

In October 2009, the US Army TACOM signed a contract worth $647m with General Dynamics Land Systems for the supply of 352 Stryker vehicles. US Army TACOM ordered 450 DVH (double-V hull) Stryker vehicles in July 2010. More than 300 vehicles were delivered by October 2011.

In October 2011, General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a $243m contract by US Army TACOM to supply 115 DVH Stryker vehicles by September 2012. Additional 177 DVH Stryker vehicles were also ordered under a $367m contract placed in the same month of 2011.

Stryker eight-wheel-drive combat vehicle variation models

Stryker variants include the M1126 infantry carrier vehicle (ICV) and the M1128 mobile gun system (MGS).

There are eight configurations of the ICV, including the M1135 nuclear, biological, chemical reconnaissance vehicle (NBC RV), M1134 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), M1133 medical evacuation vehicle (MEV), M1129 mortar carrier (MC), M1132 engineer squad vehicle (ESV), M1130 command vehicle (CV), M1131 fire support vehicle (FSV) and the M1127 reconnaissance vehicle (RV).

The reconnaissance vehicle is fitted with the Raytheon long-range advanced scout surveillance system (LRAS3). The system includes a second-generation horizontal technology initiative (HTI) thermal imager, day TV and eyesafe laser rangefinder. The US Army is to enhance the system by lengthening the sensor mast to 10m, increasing the range to 10km.

The mortar carrier (MCV-B) entered service in August 2005. The MCV-B’s 120mm mortar is mounted inside the vehicle and fires through doors that swing open at the top of the vehicle. As well as the mounted mortar, the vehicle carries a second mortar which has to be unloaded before firing. The vehicle has a digital fire control system and a crew of five.

The first of 17 LRIP nuclear, biological, chemical reconnaissance vehicle (NBC RV) variants was delivered in December 2005. The system can collect and automatically integrate contamination information with vehicle navigation and meteorological sensor data and then transmit digital warning messages to other forces.

The US Army placed a contract for 33 medical evacuation vehicles (MEV) in September 2007. The MEV can accommodate up to six patients and a medical team.

Stryker infantry carrier vehicle details

The Stryker is a full-time four-wheel drive, selectively eight-wheel drive, armoured vehicle weighing approximately 19t. The vehicle can attain speeds of 62mph on metalled roads and has a maximum range of 312 miles.

The basic infantry carrier vehicle (ICV) provides armoured protection for the two-man crew and a squad of nine infantry soldiers. The basic hard steel armour is augmented by applique panels of lightweight ceramic/composite armour produced by a team led by IBD / Deisenroth Engineering of Germany.

The armour provides integral all-round 14.5mm protection against machine gun rounds, mortar and artillery fragments. In Iraq, in January 2004, Stryker vehicles were outfitted with a ‘cage’ of slat armour, which encircles the vehicle about 18in from the main body, as protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

Stryker armour upgrades

In March 2005, United Defense (now BAE Systems Land and Armaments) was awarded a contract to provide 289 full-vehicle add-on reactive armour kits for the Stryker.
The US Army awarded a $30m contract in July 2010 to General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) for the production of a dual V-shaped hull for the Stryker infantry combat vehicle to be completed by February 2012.

In June 2018, the US Army awarded a contract modification worth $258m to GDLS to conduct the upgrade of 116 Stryker vehicles to the A1 configuration, . The company won a $383m contract modification to upgrade 173 additional vehicles.

Stryker armoured combat vehicle weapons and self-protection

The ICV has a protector remote weapon station, from Kongsberg Protech of Norway, with a universal soft mount cradle, which can mount either a 0.50-calibre M2 machine gun, MK19 40mm grenade launcher or MK240 7.62mm machine gun. It is also armed with four M6 smoke grenade launchers.

In August 2005, Kongsberg awarded BAE Systems a contract to supply the TIM1500 640×480 uncooled thermal imaging camera for the remote weapon station.

The vehicle’s commander has an FBCB2 (force XXI battle command brigade and below) digital communications system that allows communication between vehicles through text messaging and a map network, as well as with the battalion.

The map shows the position of all vehicles on the battlefield and the commander can mark the position of enemy forces on the map which can then be seen by other commanders. FBCB2, ‘the tactical internet’, includes the Raytheon AN/TSQ-158 enhanced position location reporting system (EPLRS).

The Stryker driver has three M-17 periscopes and a DRS Technologies AN/VAS-5 driver’s vision enhancer (DVE). The vehicle commander has seven M45 periscopes and a thermal imager display with video camera.

In February 2009, BAE Systems was awarded a production contract for the Check-6 thermal imaging driver’s rear-view camera (DRVC) system for the Stryker ICV. The system is fitted to the vehicle’s taillight housing. Deliveries began in April 2009.

Stryker mobile gun system

Eight pre-production Stryker mobile gun systems were delivered to the US Army between July 2002 and March 2003. Low-rate initial production (LRIP) of 72 additional mobile gun variants went underway at General Dynamics Anniston facility. The first was delivered in December 2005.

The MGS entered service with the US Army in May 2007, with the first operational deployment to Iraq with the 4th brigade, 2nd Division.

By November 2007, three Stryker brigades had received the MGS. A production contract for 62 vehicles was placed in August 2008.

Stryker MGS was selected by the Canadian Army, which planned to acquire 66 systems to replace Leopard 1 tanks. However, it was decided to acquire surplus Leopard 2 tanks instead.

The Stryker mobile gun system variant consists of the basic vehicle with a General Dynamics Land Systems fully stabilised shoot-on-the-move low-profile turret.

The turret is armed with a M68A1E4 105mm cannon with muzzle brake and an M2 0.50-calibre commander’s machine gun.

The Stryker mobile gun system can fire 18 rounds of 105mm main gun ammunition, 400 rounds of 0.50-calibre ammunition and 3,400 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.

Curtiss-Wright Corp’s Vista Controls supplies the fully automated ammunition loading and replenishing system. Two M6 smoke grenade launchers are also fitted.

The mobile gun system has the same C4ISR communications and driver’s vision equipment as the ICV, but the gunner has three periscopes and a compact modular sight with dual field of view day and thermal channels.

The MGS also has detectors for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

An advantage to the brigade combat teams in having the mobile gun vehicle of the same Stryker family of vehicles is the commonality across the entire capability and the reduced logistics requirement.

The Stryker mobile gun does not require a track-vehicle mechanic as would be required for example for the deployment of an M-8 mobile armoured gun system.


Stryker can be transported on the ground using trucks or by air on C-17, C-5 and C-130 aircraft. The C-5 and C-17 aircraft can carry seven and four Strykers respectively.

The C-130H can fly safely carrying a maximum 38,000lb load for up to 1,000nm. The Stryker’s weight, 36,240lb and size are within the payload limit of the C-130H. The C-130 can operate from smaller airfields in more remote locations. All configurations of the Stryker can disembark from the C-130 in combat-ready status.


  • M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV): The basic armored personnel carrier version, which provides protected transport for 2 crew and a 9-man infantry squad, and can support dismounted infantry. It weighs 19 tons; communications include text and a map network between vehicles. It can be armed with 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun, 40 mm Mk 19 grenade launcher or 7.62 mm M240 machine gun.
    • M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle DVH-Scout (ICVV-S): A reconnaissance version of the ICV fitted with an internally mounted Long Range Advance Scout (LRAS) surveillance system and the double v-hull.
  • M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle (RV): A version used by RSTA Squadrons and battalion scouts, moving throughout the battlefield to gather and transmit real time intelligence/surveillance for situational awareness. The RV’s purpose is to anticipate and avert threats, improving the brigade’s decisiveness and freedom of maneuver.
  • M1128 Mobile Gun System (MGS): A version armed with an 105 mm M68A1 rifled cannon (M68A1E4) (a lightweight version of the gun system used on the original M1 Abrams main battle tanks and the M60 Patton main battle tank), a 7.62 mm M240 machine gun mounted coaxially, a 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 commander’s machine gun and two M6 smoke grenade launchers. The M68A1E4 also features a muzzle brake to assist with recoil and an autoloader, a rare feature on US tank guns. The main gun provides direct fire in support of infantry, engaging stationary and mobile enemy targets, such as bunkers to create a combined arms effect of overmatched firepower that improves survivability of the combat team. It has a rate of fire of six rounds per minute, and carries 400 rounds of 0.5 in (12.7 mm) caliber and 3,400 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the same C4ISR communications and driver’s vision as the ICV. The MGS vehicle is a strengthened variant of the LAV III compared to the standard variant other Stryker vehicles are based on, but retains commonality across all vehicles in the family.
  • M1129 Mortar Carrier (MC): armed with Soltam 120 mm Recoil Mortar System (RMS), this version provides indirect fire support to fellow infantry with screening obscurants, suppressive forces and on-call supporting fires (HE, illumination, IR illumination, smoke, precision guided, and DPICM cluster bombs). Precision Guided Mortar Munition (PGMM) can be used to attack point targets at extended ranges with GPS guidance. Vehicles at battalion level also carry the 81 mm mortar for dismounted use, while company mortar vehicles carry the 60mm mortar.[117]
  • M1130 Commander’s Vehicle (CV): This vehicle provides commanders with communication, data, and control functions to analyze and prepare information for combat missions; it can also link to aircraft antenna/power for planning missions while en route aboard aircraft. They are deployed as 3 vehicles per brigade HQ, 2 per battalion HQ and 2 per infantry company.
  • M1131 Fire Support Vehicle (FSV): This version is organic to maneuver companies and provides surveillance and communications (4 secure combat radio nets), with target acquisition/identification/tracking/designation being transmitted automatically to the shooting units.
  • M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicle (ESV): This vehicle provides mobility and limited counter mobility support. Integrated into the ESV are obstacle neutralization and lane marking systems and mine detection devices. The ESV with its attachments provides a partial solution to the obstacle clearance role, primarily for clearance of hastily emplaced mines on hard surfaces and rubble, plus will enable the Engineer squad to control future robotic based systems.
  • M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle (MEV): This is used as the en route care platform for brigade units, part of the battalion aid station, providing treatment for serious injury and advanced trauma as an integrated part of the internetted combat forward formation. attendant’s seat that will allow the attendant to change position and visually monitor all patients while the vehicle is in motion. Medical personnel must be seated for safety while the vehicle is in motion, but able to visually monitor patients. Geneva Convention markings can be masked/removed as required.
  • M1134 Anti-Tank Guided Missile Vehicle (ATGM): It is a missile vehicle armed with the TOW missile to reinforce the brigade’s infantry and reconnaissance, providing long-range anti-tank fires against armor beyond tank gun effective range. The separate anti-tank company can also be used to shape the battlefield, reinforce the infantry battalions and reconnaissance squadron (e.g. counter-reconnaissance), serve as a reserve, and of course may counterattack. Vehicle commanders independently locate secondary targets while the gunner is engaging the primary. After ready rounds are fired, crewman will need to rearm the launcher. A vehicle commander, gunner, loader, and driver operate the ATGM in a tactical environment and to carry equipment if the missile launcher is used in a dismounted mode.
  • M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBC RV): This vehicle automatically integrates contamination information from detectors with input from navigation and meteorological systems and transmits digital NBC warning messages to warn follow-on forces. The core of the NBC RV is its on-board integrated NBC sensor suite and integrated meteorological system. An NBC positive overpressure system that minimizes cross-contamination of samples and detection instruments, provides crew protection, and allows extended operations at MOPP 0.


Mass ICV: 18.16 short tons (16.47 t)
MGS: 20.69 short tons (18.77 t)
Length 22 ft 10 in (6.95 m)
Width 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
Height 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
Crew Varies, usually 2
Passengers Up to 9

Armor 14.5 mm resistant
0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun, 40 mm Mk 19 grenade launcher mounted in a Protector remote weapon station, or 30 mm Mk44 Bushmaster II gun (on Stryker Dragoons)
105 mm M68A2 gun (on M1128 Mobile Gun System)
0.50 in caliber M2 and 7.62 mm M240 machine guns (on M1128 Mobile Gun System)
Engine Caterpillar C7
350 hp (260 kW)
Power/weight ICV: 19.3 hp/sh ton (15.8 kW/tonne)
Suspension 8×8 wheeled


  • United States Army –  4,351. Seven Stryker Brigades were initially formed. 2,988 vehicles were delivered as of 2009, 4,187 vehicles were in service as of August 2012, and 4,293 were delivered as of November 2012. Production ended at 4,466 vehicles in 2014. In 2009, it was announced that two Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (equipped with M1 Abrams and M2 Bradleys) will be converted to Stryker Brigade Combat Teams by 2013. This will bring the total number of Stryker Brigades to nine. In June 2013, the Army announced that the 4th Stryker Brigade would be deactivated.
  •  Royal Thai Army – ordered 37 refurbished M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles from U.S. Army and will also receive 23 more M1126 vehicles. Around 60 Strykers were delivered to Bangkok via C-17s with an option to include 30 more Strykers free of charge while Thai military personnel will be trained in the US to learn about operating the vehicles.
Armoured Fighting Vehicle M1220 Stryker
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