Day By Day Cartoon

Monday, February 20, 2006

Forever new

This Defense Industry Daily post about the Army's Future Combat Sytem makes a really good point about the Army's move to a lighter, more mobile force.

Being light on your feet and increasing your response times is great, but not at the expense of troop protection or firepower. It makes little sense to rush troops into battle without giving them the firepower we need, something we learned the hard way in Somalia, and apparently need to learn again. Mixing in the best from other lands, like the hybrid power system and rubber tracks from Sweden's SEP or the modular fighting compartment from Europe's Boxer AFV are definitely something to look at, but not if it means the FCS can't bounce an RPG with impunity.

We're on the right track, though. With the addition of anti-RPG slat armor, the Stryker's turning into an excellent vehicle for urban combat. It's fast (50+ mph road speed), quiet (it makes no more noise than a diesel truck), and all it's lacking is a support weapon capable of blowing open an entry hole in a fortified location.

So how about adding an Mk19 Automatic Grenade Launcher alongside the .50 cal in the Stryker's Protected Weapon Station (PWS)?

Loaded with a few thermobaric rounds, it'd clear out a bunker, fast.


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