Friday, April 14, 2017

Please Tell Me You Aren't Saying a Less Capable Stryker is Better

I can't believe that there are opponents of up-gunning the Stryker to 30mm (from a mere heavy machinegun) because Army troops might confuse the vehicle with a heavily armored infantry fighting vehicle. The enemy will hit our Stryker brigades without regard to what we find an acceptable level of opposition.

Yes, light vehicles have limits that require trade offs between infantry that walks or has light vehicles and Abrams-centered armored units. Stryker units are a different capability rather than a way to achieve the latter's tactical ability with the former's strategic mobility.

Which is essentially what I argued here long ago (starting on page 28).

But arguments that up-gunning the Stryker is counter-productive are nonsense:

The 30-millimeter cannon lethality upgrade to the SBCT platform marks another step in the formation’s evolution from simply a C-130-transportable motorized unit to a more robust ground formation that bridges the capability gap between ABCTs and IBCTs. Critics suggest that the costly upgrade could lead to a dangerous misuse of the formation against armored threats. This criticism ignores the evolving operational environment, faulty assumptions in the SBCT’s initial fielding, unwillingness to trust tactical leaders’ training, and employment of the platform. Embracing the lethality upgrade and continued evolution of a robust SBCT concept points towards an Army better prepared for future conflict.

Hell, I want more firepower for anything we put in Europe.

I'd add a battalion task force of Abrams and Bradleys to the Stryker brigade and give it an organic helicopter unit to begin to recreate the armored cavalry regiments that we abandoned not long after the Cold War was won.

And by all means, train the brigade to operate like the old cavalry so it isn't misused.