By Nick DukeFebruary 26, 2014
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Feb. 26, 2014) -- The Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate's Mounted Requirements Division demonstrated the potential for increased lethality on the Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle Feb. 19 during a live demonstration at Coolidge Range.
The increased lethality was provided by a medium caliber 30 mm weapon system, which was demonstrated side by side with a Stryker firing a .50-caliber weapon. The demonstration vehicle was equipped with a Kongsberg medium caliber remote weapon station, which was fired by Kongsberg contractors.
During the live fire, the 30 mm system demonstrated an ability to hit targets with precision from 800 meters to 1,525 meters.
"(This) maintains a lethal overmatch that we want to make sure our forces have," Lt. Col. Scott DeBolt, chief of MRD's Heavy Systems Branch, said. "It has lethality, mobility and protection and survivability. When we have a firefight, we don't want it to last 40 minutes. It'd be nice if it lasted 40 seconds. This vehicle provides that 40-second fight."
DeBolt said the demonstration went well, with the 30 mm consistently hitting targets with four of five rounds.
"It proved exactly what we wanted to," he said. "This showed a precision engagement on targets ranging from 600 to 1550 meters where on a five-round burst, four out of five rounds were hitting a hard target. That's great."
Numerous Army leaders were in attendance for the demonstration, and DeBolt said the 30 mm system impressed them.
"They're very impressed and want to know how we can move this forward, put it on a vehicle and actually put it in formations," he said. "That's exactly what we're trying to figure that out right now."
Capt. Peter Friend, one of the MRD Soldiers who helped organize the demonstration, said having Army leadership in attendance was key.
"There's nothing like seeing these rounds down range," he said. "Having the leadership here to see this was huge. They can see slides and videos all day long, but there's nothing like seeing it live."
Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Jones of MRD said that there are numerous advantages to having the 30 mm mounted on the Stryker.
"The major pro is that it's instantaneous feedback," he said. "When you have a 30 mm round bursting on impact as opposed to a .50-caliber round, it's apples and oranges. We're talking about increased lethality just based on caliber alone. What this system also does is provide a more accurate sighting system. So, we're talking about target acquisition and lethality -- all the things that help Infantrymen close with the enemy and overwhelm then with superior firepower."
The 30 mm system can strike with precision more than 2,000 meters away, and can use ammunition from several different military sources, including Apache helicopters.
The .50-caliber, meanwhile, is less accurate, Jones said.
"A side-by-side comparison like this pretty much demonstrates the need," Jones said. "With the current variant versus the upgunned variant, the difference is lightyears."
Staff Sgt. Harley Moses, a Soldier from 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, was one of the Soldiers who helped to fire the .50-caliber during the demonstration. After seeing the 30 mm in action, however, he said it could provide an intimidating presence on the battlefield.
"If you've ever heard the expression 'don't bring a knife to a gun fight,' this system kind of embodies that," he said. "When you roll up to a battle… and you bring a 30mm, it's over. The enemy sees that and they know you're going to destroy anything you shoot at."