The U.S. Army's Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle—Dragoon (ICVD) sports a 30mm cannon designed to shred the armor of light armored vehicles. The new gun is America's response to the threat of heavily armored Russian tanks and mechanized formations.
Now you can watch it in action. The new video below shows off the raw firepower of these Stryker units with their big cannon. Two other systems, the M1128 Mobile Gun System and the .50-caliber heavy machine gun, are also on display.
The video begins with an ICVD rolling up to the firing line. Technically, the ICVD is a M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier, a wheeled infantry carrier capable of transporting a nine-person infantry squad, outfitted with the new Dragoon turret installed on the roof.
The Stryker was originally conceived as a lightweight infantry carrier, armed only with a .50-caliber machine gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The vehicle could be rapidly deployed to hot spots around the globe. Strykers function as the middle tier between the U.S. Army’s heavy units—which use Abrams main battle tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles—and the service's light, foot-bound infantry.
The Dragoon turret was developed in response to Russia’s military annexation of the Crimea and Russian threats to NATO countries. In the event of war, the Strykers belonging to the Germany-based Second Cavalry Regiment could quickly caravan to Poland or the Baltic states, but they would have found themselves outgunned by Russian tanks and armored fighting vehicles. The U.S. and its allies needed new tech to compete with Russian tanks and their 125mm guns, as well as Russian infantry fighting vehicles armed with 25mm, 30mm, and 100mm guns.
The ICVD turret is unmanned and controlled by the Stryker crew sitting in the hull. The turret is equipped with a 30mm automatic cannon capable of firing high-explosive incendiary-tracer (HEI-T) for engaging enemy infantry, unarmored vehicles, and other “soft” targets, as well as armor-piercing rounds (officially called fin stabilized discarding sabot-tracer, or APFSDS-T) for engaging enemy armored vehicles. The turret also features a remote-control 7.62mm machine gun.
But even this new cannon can’t hope to stop Russian tanks, including the T-72B3, T-90M, and new T-14 Armata main battle tanks. To fight tanks, Stryker Dragoon units are equipped with Javelin anti-tank missiles. However, the new cannon should be effective against the BTR-82 wheeled armored personnel carrier, older BMP-2 and BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, and new Kurganets-25, Bumerang IFVs. Ideally, a Stryker unit under attack would use vehicles armed with Dragoon turrets to destroy enemy infantry units while Javelin missiles concentrated on destroying more heavily armored tanks.
About the two other weapons systems in the video: The M1128 mobile gun system, armed with a 105mm tank gun was designed to provide big gun support to Stryker units. The M1128 when first deployed in the mid-2000s, particularly with its computer systems and lack of air conditioning, although those seem to have been resolved.