Warren, Mich. (May 20, 2013) -- The Stryker program received approval to proceed with phase two of its Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) from the Army Systems Acquisition Requirements Council (ASARC) in April.

The goal of the Stryker ECP program is to address current space, weight and power-cooling (SWaP-C) deficiencies and lay the foundation for the success of future improvements to the platform. Specifically the ECP program will allow the platform to accept the Army's communications network and provide the flexibility to accept unknown future upgrades.

"The Stryker ECP program is designed to give us the best of both worlds -- the improved survivability and mobility that came with the DVH design, while buying back some of the lost automotive performance due to increased weight and electrical demand on the alternator," said David Dopp, project manager for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

The Army currently fields Strykers with two different hull structures, the traditional Flat Bottom Hull (FBH) and the improved Double V Hull (DVH). That means that the ECP program has to account for two types of vehicles that look very different under the hood.

All Stryker variants, both FBH and DVH, will receive the in-vehicle network and electrical power upgrades as part of the ECP program. Electrical power demand on the Stryker platform has climbed each year since it was fielded as new systems have been developed and installed.

"This trend will continue well into the future as the Army's network program begins to see full scale implementation," said Dopp.

To combat the ever growing electrical needs within combat vehicles the Stryker ECP program will upgrade the alternator on all variants to 910 amps. The upgraded alternator is robust enough to cover all current requirements, yet leaves an additional twenty percent growth potential for future programs of record.

The in-vehicle network improvements will extend the vehicle data network to both the driver and commander stations. It will also establish a common digital infrastructure for future Army network systems as well as allow for information sharing for current and future Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. The ECP program also calls for the addition of the common VICTORY digital architecture which will allow for potential future SWAP-C neutral digital improvements.

Due to the differences between the FBH and DVH variants there are a number of upgrades that can only be applied to the DVH. In addition to the new alternator and in-vehicle network improvements, DVH Strykers will receive a new engine, and suspension.

The power train upgrade for the DVH variants will remove the current Caterpillar power pack and replace it with a 450-horsepower Caterpillar C9 power pack. This new engine will allow the Stryker platform to buy back significant power and mobility, and will mitigate the mechanical power gap associated with weight and parasitic electrical load growth experienced over time.

The DVH suspension upgrade will replace the current 5.5/ 55,000 pound rated chassis with a 6.0/ 63,000 pound rated chassis. The new chassis and tires are optimized to match the new C9 power pack and also allow for a significant increase to the vehicles mobility.

The Stryker ECP program is currently in phase two of a three phase program. During phase two, designs will be finalized and prototypes will be built and tested. In phase three, which is slated for final decision in 2017, production and installation will occur.

The Army currently fields 17 variants of the Stryker platform -- 10 Flat Bottom Hull variants and seven DVH variants -- all of which will see some sort of improvement with the ECP program. The Stryker ECP program is managed by the Army's project manager, Stryker Brigade Combat Team which falls under the leadership of the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems.