By Kris Osborn, ASA(ALT)May 9, 2011
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 9, 2011) -- By this summer, Soldiers in Afghanistan will be riding in new Stryker armored combat vehicles that have an improved hull design to protect them from improvised explosive devices and roadside mines.
In the coming weeks, Soldiers in Afghanistan will begin to see 150 new Strykers with a double-V hull, or DVH, design that deflects blasts away from the vehicle and the Soldiers inside. The Stryker DVH, with enhanced armor, wider tires and blast-attenuating seats, went from conception to production in less than one year.
The double-V hull design on the new Styker is a proven technology similar to that found on mine-resistant, ambush-protected, or MRAP, vehicles currently being used in Afghanistan.
"The rapid turnaround of the DVH is responsiveness at its best," Col. Robert Schumitz, Stryker Brigade Combat Team Project Management Office, project manager, said. "Soldier survivability is the Army's number-one priority. Once we determined that the DVH effort was an achievable and acceptable risk, we swiftly engaged in executing the robust program."
Engineers at General Dynamics Land Systems conceived of the double-V-hull design and tested it at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
"We wanted to take advantage of the V shape and get the center of the vehicle farther away from the ground to aid survivability," said Mike Cannon, senior vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems.
Vehicles went through live-fire, developmental and operational testing that concentrated on force protection, safety, performance, reliability and durability.
There are 140 Stryker DVH's already in the Army supply chain, and plans are to field a total of 450 vehicles.
"The Stryker program has been continually responsive to evolutionary threats," Schumitz said. "The Stryker DVH is a robust program that has enjoyed the Army's full support to increase Soldier survivability in Operation Enduring Freedom."