US military puts Stryker’s new 30mm gun to the test

WASHINGTON – The US military is working to refine the performance of its new medium caliber weapon system – a 30mm unmanned turret automatic cannon on a Stryker fighting vehicle – through risk management testing and an assessment of soldiers before production, according to Brig. General Glenn Dean, Program Manager for Ground Combat Systems.

The service awarded a contract to Oshkosh Defense in June to build the system on the Stryker. Oshkosh beat two other competitors: a General Dynamics Land Systems-Kongsberg Defense team and a Leonardo DRS-Moog team.

The first delivery note, valued at around $ 130 million, covers 91 vehicles. In August, the military ordered 83 more, under a contract worth $ 99 million, to equip another brigade combat team.

The first unit to receive the MCWS Strykers will be the I-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. The army plans to complete the commissioning of this unit by December 2023.

The service chose to equip three of its six brigades equipped with Double V-Hull A1 Strykers with 30mm guns, following an Army Requirements Oversight Board that reviewed the performance of a 30mm Stryker Dragoon system quickly set up to support the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Europe.

The military is performing risk management tests on the new system to speed up the competitive process, Dean told Defense News in a recent interview ahead of the Association of the US Army’s annual conference.

The tests “make it look like we have all kinds of problems,” Dean said, but “we run the gamut of performance testing: from weapon accuracy to system reliability to durability and performance. automotive performance. So we are in a normal course of functions in a sort of accelerated program here. “

The military generates numerous test cycles, which include thousands of shots fired and thousands of miles, Dean said.

“If we had done our normal number of test cycles, the competition would have taken us about 18 months,” he added.

During the competitive phase, the military tested the performance parameters. Now, he adds test cycles to “develop skills in [our] performance measurement and that also helps build things like reliability, ”Dean said.

Risk management testing includes evaluating changes in weapon accuracy and some control and graphical user interface refinements, Dean noted. “Nothing that I consider particularly worrying or risky,” he said.

The military’s MCWS capability outperforms the initial Dragoon system deployed in Europe, according to Dean, including in its targeting.

But, Dean said, “we always want to make more improvements.”

The military also gave soldiers the opportunity to thoroughly assess the system, he added.

“We had a group of soldiers who knew about the Stryker Dragoon that we had deployed in Germany,” he said. “We brought them over to the new platform to give us feedback and identify what’s better, what isn’t, what you want us to change. “

The soldiers also came up with ammo loading plans and suggested adjusting things like storage and interface controls to make them more user-friendly, according to Dean.

The feedback and data gathered from the risk management testing will inform the development of the final production setup in time for it to roll off the line “in a little over a year,” Dean said.

At AUSA, Oshkosh displays the MCWS on a Stryker. His team includes Pratt Miller, now owned by Oshkosh, and Israel Defense Company Rafael.

The effort marks Oshkosh’s first pursuit of combat vehicle space, John Bryant, president of Oshkosh Defense, recently told Defense News.

“Oshkosh succeeded in bending heavy metal, especially on the [Joint Light Tactical Vehicle] program for several years, Rafael just has a fantastic remote weapons station and Pratt Miller has designed a high performance turret, ”said Bryant. “We thought Oshkosh could offer a really high performing weapon system at a price that would be new and different to the US government.”

Jen Judson is the Ground War Reporter for Defense News. She covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a journalist for Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club’s Best Analytical Reporting Award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards’ Best Young Defense Journalist in 2018.

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