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US Army to retire Stryker MGS by 2022

MilEME09

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Citing rising maintenance costs and difficulty to maintain the vehicles as the main reason the US Army will divest all Strykers MGS's by the end of 2022.
 

FJAG

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We will probably buy them...
Luckily our flirting with buying the MGS and combining them with ADATS and TOW into Direct Fire System units fell apart early on this century when the IED threat in Afghanistan made it clear that flat-bottomed MGSs wouldn't measure up to real tanks, even our older Leo C1s.

Luckily for the money that was allocated for the MGS we were able to buy our present fleet of Leo2s. Man did we ever dodge a bullet on that one.

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daftandbarmy

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This guy sure liked them in Iraq:

"My platoon and I know the real deal, so let me tell you what your tax dollars bought," says Sgt. 1st Class Scott Collum, who has served in Army tanks for 19 years, including combat tours in Bosnia and Iraq during operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He is assigned to A Company, 1/38 of the 2nd ID, deployed in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. "Some commanders look at the MGS as a tank," he says. "I cannot stress enough that it is not a tank; it is a support vehicle with some tank-related features. This vehicle is fast, maneuverable, quiet and accurate. In my opinion, it is the most lethal ground vehicle for an urban environment in Iraq today."

If Collum sounds defensive, it may be because this vehicle's weapons and resiliency have saved his life and the lives of the soldiers his crew supports. While in an open field to "get eyes" on a small town, Collum's MGS was struck by an improvised explosive device that blew out all eight tires and one antenna mount. "I was still able to drive the vehicle approximately 2600 ft. to a secure area," he says. "After replacing the tires, a few caution messages were displayed on the computer. I powered down the MGS and powered it back up; all cautions were cleared and the vehicle was fully operational. I drove farther south and hit a second IED, and the same damage occurred. This time I identified the triggerman on the roof of a building 820 ft. away. He ran out of a door on the top floor. With no tires or [communications] and a few caution messages, we were still able to engage the spotter with 20 [7.62 machine gun] rounds while on the move to eliminate the threat."

 

FJAG

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The Stryker is a marginal vehicle but it's biggest problem is that it, like the Stryker infantry carrier, are being misused. Stryker BCT doctrine is that the Stryker battalion fights dismounted but travels mounted in lightly protected vehicles. Instead, Strykers are being taken too far into harms way because there is a perception that they are an armoured force - especially within rifle companies which used to have three rifle platoons, one MGS platoon and a section of mortars (in essence some treated this as their own little combat team). This is why the MGS, years ago, was taken away from the rifle company and about half of them placed into the SBCT Cavalry Squadron.

Here are some views against MGS employment.



And just as an aside, here's an article from UK Land Power that talks about the concept and segues into the Boxer MGS proposal.


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Colin Parkinson

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The MGS is likley the worst wheeled gun vehicle out there. the idea has merit, but must be designed properly and deployed properly. for Canada a Wheeled gun vehicle on a modified LAV hull with perhaps a Centauro turret which supplements and not replace tanks, which can provide DF support and some flank security would be nice. But i rather we got some wheeled SPG's first.
 

CBH99

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FJAG, I just read the first article so far of the 3 that you posted. Was quite a good read! Now I'm exploring the rest of that site - some really good articles. (y)
 

Kirkhill

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Step One

Remove the MGS from the RCAC and the RCIC.

Issue the MGS to the RCA or even the RCE (as an AVRE for busting fortifications)
 

Kirkhill

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Time to get the Red Pen out....


The Mobile Gun System is, in essence, a medium tank—albeit with wheels instead of tracks. (ERROR)


The Stryker MGS, like the whole Stryker concept, is a compromise between competing demands. All the Stryker vehicles—there are many variants—have their critics. The Israeli army evaluated the Stryker and declared it a “piece of junk.” But the MGS is easily the most controversial … and least-loved (except by the people being supported?)

The first gun-Strykers deployed to Iraq in 2008. Soldiers loved the vehicles’ ability to fire shotgun-like canister rounds, “shredding a path 75 meters wide out to 300 meters,” according to Army Times.

But the MGS design crams a lot of equipment into a small space, and as a result it’s crowded for its three-person crew. (reduce the crew to two, or even one - it is not a fighting vehicle) The hatches are too small for crew members to quickly escape in the event of a fire. And the overstuffed MGS lacks air conditioning. In Iraq, the 150-degree heat forced the Army to quickly outfit gun-Stryker operators with special cooling vests.

Moreover, the main gun fits inside a pod that rests atop the Stryker’s hull. To save weight, the pod is unarmored. “The gun pod can be easily disabled,” the military’s testing agency reported. No MGS can expect to last long in a sustained firefight against a determined foe (as silly as saying no Javelin gunner, or machine gunner, can last long in sustained firefight against a determined foe - unless they are well dug in or turret-down)

The Stryker MGS was never meant to be a tank like the M-1 (trudat)
—but it could find itself doing battle with enemy tanks (so could a guy with a C7 ) . “The primary weapon systems are designed to be effective against a range of threats up to T-62 tanks,” (Trudat - but its primary advantages for the supported infantry were its ability to launch canister (as noted above), HESH/HEP for punching holes in walls (including some stationary tin-plated ones) the test agency claimed. The Russian T-62 dates to the 1960s (Great. So it has some residual capacity against some geriatric AFVs Here's hoping it doesn't have to run up against some new Russian toy. On the other hand there are a whole bunch of ancient T57s and 62s out there and the 64s and 72s weren't much less susceptible to the L7 - and every MTLB/BMD/BMP/BTR and 30mm Stryker are still vulnerable).

Going up against more modern tanks—T-72s and later—the MGS would probably lose. (Modern T72s, 84s and 90s - agreed - so keep them away from those tanks and protect them just like you would protect a Javelin gunner) Like the Marine Corps’ failed Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the gun-Stryker occupies a middle ground between contradictory requirements—basically, weight versus firepower. (every system every where is a compromise between competing requirements). As a consequence, it’s not particularly good at anything. (Error - it is good at some things and should be used for those things (clearing streets and busting strong-points). Stop trying to hammer nails with a screwdriver)

Wheeled gun vehicle on a modified LAV hull with perhaps a Centauro turret which supplements and not replace tanks (The word tank should not be uttered while discussing assault guns which can provide DF support (DFS yes, absolutely Arty) and some flank security would be nice (No it wouldn't.. We have drones, helos and Jeeps (or ULCVs for that).

The chap writing about putting a 30mm on a Stryker has it right. The Stryker (and our LAV 6 and the Brits Boxer) are armoured taxis- They are tarted up MRAPs and Saxons and Pigs. They are suitable for moving light infantry from a protected FUP to a protected dismount point. They are also suitable for moving indirect fires like mortars and howitzers and.... with careful engineering and consideration of tactical employment, a limited number of large caliber Direct Fire Systems.

The infantry have been asking for a 4 mile per hour fire support vehicle to crawl along with them since 1915.

Prince Rupert's heirs have been demanding a 40 mile per hour herd that can go thundering off into the wild blue ever since they got their horses shot up.

At the NTC - the Strykers should not be moving across the plains in Battalion formations. They should be scattered and hopping from gully to gully and know clearly what their next position is and how to get there. And have lots of engineers gainfully employed.
 

Kirkhill

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I like the third article but the author allows himself to drift and conflate the Assault Gun with the Tank.

And the biggest issue is the inclusion of the manned turret in the specification. The Assault Gun should only have a Remote Weapons System. Period. Full Stop. Punkt. And it only needs one crew member (see my info on the FV4401 from the 1960s). Does it need a coax mg? Maybe? Or perhaps it just needs a secondary RWS with an MG for self-defence from people with pointy sticks and molotov cocktails.

I consider the Stryker MGS RWS turret a feature, not a bug.
 

medic5

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Kirkhill,

I love how we were just discussing the MGS in another thread like a week ago, and bam the US retires them. Is there a secret Pentagon lurker somewhere here?

The infantry have been asking for a 4 mile per hour fire support vehicle to crawl along with them since 1915.

Prince Rupert's heirs have been demanding a 40 mile per hour herd that can go thundering off into the wild blue ever since they got their horses shot up.
Isn't that exactly what pre-Centurion British tank types were? Infantry tanks to support the infantry, and Cruiser tanks to exploit gaps. Then again, the British didn't figure out that tanks needed infantry support until 1943.
 

Kirkhill

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Kirkhill,

I love how we were just discussing the MGS in another thread like a week ago, and bam the US retires them. Is there a secret Pentagon lurker somewhere here?


Isn't that exactly what pre-Centurion British tank types were? Infantry tanks to support the infantry, and Cruiser tanks to exploit gaps. Then again, the British didn't figure out that tanks needed infantry support until 1943.
You're right.

The Germans went with the STUG. The Brits went with the Matilda.
The Germans went with the Panzer. The Brits went with the Covenanter.

The Allies ultimately went with the all-singing, all-dancing Sherman - with or without turrets and with or without armour.
 

Kirkhill

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As I let myself and my silliness run free

M1128 MGS mods

1 Remove the 50 Cal machine gun
2 Remove two out of three crew members
3 Refit the driver's position so that he is also the gunner
4 Eliminate fire on the move
5 Limit arcs to the forward arc and the reverse arc (portee mode)

Organize in 4 gun Troops.
4 Gun vehicles
4 Driver/Operators
1 MRT vehicle with 4 EO/IR/Wpns/Sigs Techs
1 Ammo vehicle with 1 ammo tech and an assistant
1 Command vehicle with TC, TSM and 2x driver sigs.

14 All Ranks
7 Vehicles
4 Guns

Edit - Oh! And don't issue any HEAT or AP rounds. Canister, HE, HESH, Smoke, Illumination only.
 
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Loachman

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The Germans went with the Panzer.
"Panzer" just means "armoured", and is colloquially used as an abbreviation for "Panzerkampfwagen", or Armoured Battle Wagon/Vehicle", or "tank".

There were several different types of Panzers, with different sizes, weights, armament, protection, mobility, and other characteristics.
 

Kirkhill

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Vielen dank. Es ist mir leid. Vieleichisten Panzer III E-G? Anything earlier than that only had tin plate and light guns and qualified more as tracked armoured cars.
 

FJAG

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The key issue with the early development of the SturmgeschĂĽtz was that by abandoning the turret and placing the gun directly into the hull with a limited traverse, a significantly more powerful gun could be put on the same chassis as the panzer (and also a few more rounds).

While the first Pz III had a 37mm L45 and then a 50mm L42 and then L60, the StuG III came out with a short barreled 75mm L24 (basically lobbing HE shells) and then with the longer barreled high velocity L43 and L48 guns.

The same formula applied to the Pz/StuG IV which was not as successful as Panzer IVs were able to mount fairly powerful 75 mm guns in their turrets. The concept however also worked well with the Jagdpanzer series of vehicles (Jagdpanzer IV; Jagdpanther; Jagdtiger and Jagdpanzer 38) all of which operated with a more powerful gun than their turreted equals and were designed not as an assault gun but as self-propelled anti-tank guns which were particulalry useful when used as a blocking force through which their retreating Panzer units could pull back through. The post-war German Bundeswehr developed the Kannonenjagdpanzer 90 equipped with a 90 mm L40 which it kept in service until T64s and T72s became impervious to the 90mm round and anti-tank missiles became the norm.

And therein lies the big problem. With a turreted light vehicle there is a limit as to how large a gun it can carry (and for that matter ammo - 18rds for the MGS) which limits its utility when faced with a proper armoured threat. It doesn't work well as an anti-tank vehicle like the Jagdpanzer series of vehicles, nor does it have the armour protection or cross-country maneuverability to accompany infantry in the assault like a StuG or tank could do. That leaves it a relatively minor direct fire support role where the enemy does not have significant anti-armour weapons.

Incidentally anyone who is interested in reading a very interesting account of a Stryker Battalion (including its MGSs) in Afghanistan in 2009 in the Arghandab (with the Canadians) should take a look at "Strykers in Afghanistan" which can be downloaded here.


As an aside, the 1-17th Inf, which this story relates to, was part of the first Stryker Brigade to be deployed with their vehicles to Afghanistan as part of the 5th SBCT/ 2nd Inf Div from Joint Base Lewis McChord which had serious leadership issues and another battalion of which had some serious war crimes issues. (which formed the basis of a small sub plot for my book "The Coast") For the real life issues see here:

and here:


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Colin Parkinson

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Even the Germans in WWII learned that the not having an MG on assault guns/support tanks was a bad idea. The Stug and Hetzer was their first vehicles fitted with a RWS.

I am kind of amazed that the MGS got through the US procurement process which has effectively stopped the light tank program from giving birth. There are better versions of the idea out there. If we had extra funds left over after buying SPG's, new artillery, new ATGM's, etc, it would be nice to have a squadron of these at a training camp that armoured reservist could cycle through.

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