The U.S. Army’s Stryker vehicles, originally envisioned as lightly armed infantry fighting vehicles, are getting a much-needed firepower upgrade. The Strykers will be equipped with new rapid-fire cannons and anti-tank guided missiles that will allow them to fight Russian tank and mechanized forces.
The Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle came around in the days before 9/11 as a rapidly deployable fighting vehicle carrying a squad of nine infantrymen. Riding on wheels rather than tracks, it was lighter than most Army combat vehicles and easier for transports like the C-17 to carry.
The Stryker emphasized mobility above all else, including firepower and defense. Although the lightly armored vehicle had plating capable of stopping machine gun rounds, artillery fragments, and light cannon fire, tank guns and anti-tank missiles would easily destroy a Stryker. As for firepower ,the baseline Stryker carries only a .50-caliber machine gun. While useful against insurgents in Iraq, it’s a peashooter against Russian tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, unable to penetrate the thick hides of either.