On Wednesday, the U.S. Army announced it will divest all Stryker Mobile Gun Systems (Stryker MGS), an eight-wheeled armored vehicle with a 105mm tank gun, by the end of the 2022 fiscal year.
In a press release provided to American Military News, the Army cited costly maintenance and difficulty as part of the reason they divested from the armored vehicles. The Army also noted the vehicle has not been upgraded to withstand modern threats, like those posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and modern anti-tank mines.
“In the early 2000s when it was developed, the Stryker MGS was state-of-the-art technology and provided needed capabilities to our Soldiers,” the Army said. “For over 15 years, the Stryker MGS has enabled Stryker brigade combat teams to provide direct supporting fires to assault infantry by destroying or suppressing hardened enemy bunkers, machine guns and sniper positions in urban, restricted and open-rolling terrain.”
The Army noted the Stryker MGS was the first Army system to field an autoloader for its 105mm main gun. The Stryker MGS shares the same chassis as the rest of the Stryker fleet of wheeled armored vehicles but carries the same 105mm M68A1E4 rifled cannon seen on modern tanks like the U.S. M1 Abrams or the German Leopard.
“Over time it has become costly to maintain,” the Army said of the weapons system. “In addition, the lethality capabilities provided by the Stryker MGS were based on the flat-bottom chassis, and the system was never upgraded against more modern threats such as improvised explosive devices or anti-tank mines.
Announcing the decision, Army Lt. Gen. James F. Pasquarette, the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8 (Programs), said, “Decisions on when it is best to divest a system currently in the force are not taken lightly. The Army has done its due diligence to ensure lethality upgrades will remain intact to provide our Stryker formations the capabilities they need in the future.”
While choosing to discontinue its fleet of Stryker MGS, the Army said it will continue to invest in the rest of its Stryker fleet, including other armed Stryker variants.
“New and upgraded lethality efforts such as the Medium Caliber Weapons System, the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station–Javelin, Anti-Tank Guided Missile updates, and the 30 mm cannon provide a better distributed capability than the limited number of Stryker MGSs,” the press release states. “All of these enhancements have been developed and funded, and are ready to be fielded.”
The Army said the decision to drop the Stryker MGS “poses no impact to the industrial base as the system has been out of production for some time, and the majority of the sustainment supply chain for the MGS is included in other variants of the current Stryker fleet.”
The Army said it will phase in new lethality improvements on its other Stryker vehicles as it phases out the Stryker MGS.