TechStrykers Elevate Ukraine’s Arsenal Against Russia: A Closer Look

Strykers Elevate Ukraine’s Arsenal Against Russia: A Closer Look

Ukrainian crew of an American Stryker during the shelling of Russians.
Ukrainian crew of an American Stryker during the shelling of Russians.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | OSINT (Uri)
9:46 PM EDT, March 28, 2024

Ukrainians have received various armored vehicles, with the American Stryker armored personnel carriers being among the newest additions. This article explores their performance and usage in the conflict with Russia.

A video from near the town of Robotyne, a key location during the unsuccessful Ukrainian summer counteroffensive, captures a Ukrainian Stryker crew targeting Russians concealed in a tree line's remnants using a Browning M2 heavy machine gun.

The footage showcases the Kongsberg Protector RWS, a remote-controlled weapon station with a fully stabilized turret. The system's camera (equipped for both day and thermal imaging) simplifies target identification under challenging conditions with its clear crosshair and user-friendly interface.

Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers: The backbone of American quick reaction brigades

Introduced to Ukraine in 2023, the Stryker armored personnel carriers have been a staple in the American military since 2002. The most commonly used versions are for basic transport and reconnaissance. However, there are also specialized models equipped for 120 mm mortars or TOW-2B anti-tank missile launchers, and since 2021, anti-aircraft A1 IM-SHORAD variants have been deployed. Moreover, Strykers serve as testbeds for developing mobile tactical energy weapons, using laser or microwave technology.

These eight-wheeled vehicles, stemming from the Canadian LAV III transports which are themselves derived from Swiss Piranha III vehicles, feature steel armor with an internal layer for shrapnel protection, safeguarding against small arms fire, such as from 7.62x54 mm R PKM machine guns. The front can withstand 14.5 mm caliber bullets, with the option to add external ceramic armor for enhanced protection or rod armor against shaped-charge projectiles.

The Stryker is manned by a driver and a commander, who operates a remotely controlled weapon station, typically armed with a heavy Browning M2 machine gun or a 40 mm Mk19 grenade launcher. It can carry up to nine infantry soldiers in the transport compartment.

Browning M2: A NATO staple for over 90 years

The Browning M2 is capable of effective fire up to 1.24 miles, defeating light fortifications, building walls, and lightly armored vehicles. A standard round from the M2 can penetrate 0.90 inches of hardened armor plate from 600 feet away, delivering an exit energy of approximately 16-17 thousand joules. With the newer MM173 ammunition, which includes an improved tungsten penetrator, it can breach up to 0.86 inches of armored steel at 766 yards. Additionally, the APDS ammunition offers superior performance, allowing for penetration of 0.74 inches of armored steel at distances up to 1,500 yards.

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