M1126 Stryker is part of the Stryker series. It serves as an armed armored personnel carrier that can transport infantry and supplies to the front
Since its introduction in 2002, the Stryker project has continuously evolved, responding to the need for a powerful and easy-to-deploy war machine. Project Stryker wheeled armored vehicle, deployed in the US Army as a solution is supposed to fill the tactical gap between heavy armored brigades with tanks M1 Abrams and BMP M2 Bradley and light infantry units. The former was difficult to deploy due to limited air transport, while the latter could deploy quickly, but did not have mobile secure means upon arrival.
The Stryker is a modular multi-purpose platform that can be modified to be used for missions ranging from reconnaissance to troop transport. M1126 Stryker has a length of 6.95m, a width of 2.72m, and a height of 2.64m. It weighs about 16.47 tons, is operated by a crew of 2: driver and gunner, along with a passenger compartment enough for 9 soldiers with full equipment. The infantry entered and exited the vehicle through a large ramp at the rear of the hull.
The Stryker is built on an 8×8 wheeled platform with a suspension that can be adjusted during travel, allowing the vehicle to operate efficiently on either flat or off-road terrain. Armored surfaces are angled at the front to increase protection for the crew and critical systems inside. The Stryker is better protected than many other armored personnel carriers, including Russian and Chinese designs. Front arc withstands hits from 14.5 mm heavy machine gun rounds. All-round protection is against 7.62 mm NATO ball rounds. A ceramic add-on armor can be fitted to give all-round protection against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. Interior of the vehicle is lined with to protect crew and passengers from spalling. An undercarriage was strengthened to survive mine-blasts.
This armored personnel carrier has an automatic fire suppression and NBC protection systems. Strykers employed in combat zones are fitted with steel cages, called slat armor, providing protection against anti-tank rockets and missiles. Recently an explosive reactive armor kit was designed for this vehicle. It is intended to replace the slat armor in combat areas.
Multiple hatches atop the hull allow for crewmembers to achieve a stance position from within the Stryker body, though at the risk of exposing themselves to enemy fire. The driver is afforded a dedicated hatch complete with vision blocks at the front left of the vehicle. This vehicle is equipped with fire control equipment, anti-interference, air purification, NBC protection, and infrared observation devices, night vision, and automatic cameras, etc.
The Stryker is armed with an M2 12.7 mm heavy machine gun or Mk.19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, mounted in remotely-controlled weapon station. This armored personnel carrier takes advantage of high-tech information technologies. It is fitted with a battlefield information management system. It links up with other similarly equipped vehicles and command posts. Position information is available through GPS receiver.
Mobility is key to Stryker’s success. It is powered by a 350 hp Caterpillar-3126 diesel engine. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 100 km/h, a maximum range of 530 km. Engine and transmission can be removed and reinstalled in less than an hour. Driving wheels can switch between 8×4 configuration on roads and 8×8 configuration on rough terrain. Stryker is transportable by the C-130, C-141, C-5 and C-17 military transport aircraft.
During the 2003 Iraq War, Strykers were the frontline American combat force in both desert and urban combat. The M1126 Stryker eight-wheeled armored vehicle is considered a “world-class” weapon, has participated in many battlefields, and will remain in service with the US military until 2030. In May 2019, the Royal Thai Army reached an agreement to purchase 37 refurbished Stryker armored vehicles, valued at $80 million from the United States. Under the contract, the US Army will give 23 more Strykers to the Thai army for free, bringing the number to 60 in total.