U.S. Army to field more ‘double‑V hull’ Strykers

WASHINGTON — The Army expects final deliv­ery of addi­tion­al Stryk­er double‑V hull vehi­cles, the Stryk­er DVH, by year’s end and expects to then have a total of about 760.

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The double‑V hull on new Stryk­ers is sav­ing lives in Afghanistan, acqui­si­tion offi­cials say, adding that over 400 more of them will be field­ed this year.
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The vehi­cle has been effec­tive in the­ater, Army acqui­si­tion offi­cials said at a media round­table Fri­day.

“To hear from the field, back from Sol­diers and com­man­ders about the val­ue of the double‑V hull, it is tru­ly remark­able,” said Lt. Gen. Bill Phillips, prin­ci­pal mil­i­tary deputy to the assis­tant sec­re­tary of the Army for Acqui­si­tion, Logis­tics and Tech­nol­o­gy.

To date, Phillips said, there have been about 40 inci­dents where the double‑V hull has encoun­tered an impro­vised explo­sive device, known as an IED, and with the excep­tion of two inci­dents, all of the Sol­diers walked away with just minor injuries.

“That vehi­cle has per­formed beyond our expec­ta­tions in coun­ter­ing IEDs,” Phillips said. “And we will con­tin­ue to field them.”

The Army already has about 300 of the Stryk­er DVH vehi­cles in the­ater. The addi­tion­al vehi­cles will allow the Army to build two brigades with the Stryk­er DVH.

Still in the­ater are Stryk­ers with­out the spe­cial hull design, or “flat bot­tom” vehi­cles. Includ­ed among those are the nuclear, bio­log­i­cal, chem­i­cal, recon­nais­sance vehi­cle, or Stryk­er NBC RV ver­sion, and the mobile gun sys­tem ver­sion, or Stryk­er MGS.

Maj. Gen. Tony A. Cuco­lo III, direc­tor, force devel­op­ment, Army G‑8, said that across a range of threats, the Stryk­er flat-bot­tom could be applied in some areas. He also said that there is a “very capa­ble” under­body kit for the flat-bot­tom Stryk­er to pro­vide extra pro­tec­tion.

PELVIC PROTECTION

Anoth­er suc­cess in the­ater, Phillips said, includes the Tier I and Tier II Pelvic Pro­tec­tion Sys­tem.

The Army want­ed to do some­thing to offer pro­tec­tion to Sol­diers. Tak­ing a cue from British forces that had already found a mate­r­i­al solu­tion to the prob­lem, the Army devel­oped the Pelvic Pro­tec­tion Sys­tem. The sys­tem includes two lay­ers of pro­tec­tion for Sol­diers, includ­ing the Tier I pro­tec­tive under-gar­ment, called the “PUG,” and the Tier II pro­tec­tive out­er-gar­ment, called the “POG.”

Both com­po­nents of the sys­tem are worn like shorts. The PUG is worn under a Soldier’s ACU pants and has a breath­able, mois­ture-wick­ing mate­r­i­al on the out­er thighs. Along the inner thighs is knit­ted Kevlar to pro­tect the fleshy inner parts of the thighs and the femoral artery. Over the groin, more knit­ted or woven Kevlar. The out­er gar­ment, the POG, pro­vides even more pro­tec­tion for Sol­diers, and per­forms sim­i­lar to the soft por­tions of the improved out­er tac­ti­cal vest.

The Army has field­ed just more than 15,000 Tier II gar­ments and more than 52,000 Tier I gar­ments.

Three Sol­diers who encoun­tered IEDs while on patrol in Region­al Com­mand South in Afghanistan had been wear­ing the Pelvic Pro­tec­tive Sys­tem. Two lost part of one or both legs — but their groin area, Phillips said, sur­vived, as did their pelvic area. The third Sol­dier lost both legs and suf­fered severe dam­age to his pelvic region — but his groin area was intact.

“As soon as that was under­stood by Sol­diers through­out the for­ma­tions, that went through the com­mand like wild fire,” Phillips said. “And Sol­diers are now wear­ing under­gar­ment pro­tec­tion, pelvic pro­tec­tion.”

ACQUISITON REFORM AND JLTV

In July, the Army released the “Deck­er-Wag­n­er” review of its acqui­si­tion process­es. The pan­el that pro­duced the report was chaired by Gilbert Deck­er, a for­mer Army acqui­si­tion chief, as well as Gen. Lou Wag­n­er, the now-retired for­mer chief of the Army Materiel Com­mand.

Phillips said the Army has already imple­ment­ed 29 of the 76 rec­om­men­da­tions in the report, and will imple­ment a total of 63 of those rec­om­men­da­tions total — with the major­i­ty com­plete by the sum­mer.

As a result of the study, Phillips said, the Army has revised the way it looks at require­ments. Now, he said, the ser­vice is look­ing at what capa­bil­i­ties a require­ment pro­vides, is it fea­si­ble in terms of exe­cu­tion on the time­line, and is it afford­able.

One ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the Army’s new acqui­si­tion process­es is the Joint Light Tac­ti­cal Vehi­cle. Phillips said the JLTV might have cost the Army close to $500,000 per vehi­cle if the Army had gone for­ward with the strat­e­gy it had dur­ing the tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment phase of the vehi­cle. Today, he said, as a result of how the Army changed the way it does require­ments “we are con­fi­dent we can bring this vehi­cle in for less than $250,000.”

Phillips also chid­ed “naysay­ers” of Army acqui­si­tion — those who say Army acqui­si­tion can’t deliv­er.

Phillips cit­ed the mine-resis­tant, ambush-pro­tect­ed vehi­cle, known as an MRAP, the MRAP All-Ter­rain Vehi­cle, the 60-plus upgrades to the M4 car­bine, the M240L light machine gun, and the pro­lif­er­a­tion of unmanned aer­i­al vehi­cles as exam­ples of how the Army is deliv­er­ing to the force what Sol­diers need to com­plete the mis­sion.

“The myth is Army acqui­si­tion can’t deliv­er,” Phillips said. “The truth is, we have deliv­ered for our Sol­diers.”

Source:
U.S. Army

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