Monday, April 23, 2012

New or Old Stryker Concept?

Strategypage writes that the Chinese like our Stryker wheeled armored personnel carriers and are patterning new brigades after our Stryker brigades:

The ZBL 09 entered service in 2009, and some combat brigades are being equipped with it, to operate somewhat like the American Stryker brigades. China has been developing new wheeled armored vehicles for over a decade. Until recently these were all based on Russian designs. The ZBL 09, however, borrows more from the West. Still, some of the more recent (five years ago) Russian type designs were interesting and instructive.

Some versions have large caliber guns that could be used against main battle tanks as well as for infantry support.

If China is basing their wheeled brigades after our Stryker brigades, are the Chinese thinking of them as counter-insurgent forces as they have been used or as medium brigades that bridge the gap between leg infantry and heavy brigades?

Do the Chinese think of our old ideas about a brigade that can be airlifted in to fight? Good grief, I still remember alarms here that the Stryker couldn't fit in a C-130 without removing bits and pieces--as if a Stryker crew would need to fight their way off the plane while rolling down the ramp!

If the Chinese aim for Taipei with airborne drops, being able to airlift in medium mechanized forces would be very useful until heavier stuff can be shipped across the Taiwan Strait.

But I've long been suspicious about this type of unit despite Chinese claims that they have nothing to do with Taiwan.

So what version of our Stryker concept appeals to China?