Armor: June 5, 2002


The army's new Stryker LAV (wheeled Light Armored Vehicle) is having problems meeting the agreed upon (between the army and the builder) degree of protection of enemy firepower. The contract calls for the Stryker to protect its passengers from 7.62 mm infantry machine-guns, 12.7 mm heavy machine-guns and 14.5 mm Russian heavy machine-gun fire. The armor on the first vehicles delivered failed to provide protections against some of the larger caliber machine-guns. So the manufacturer installing new protection in the form of dense ceramic armor. But this armor is heavier, increasing the weight of the Stryker by another 235 pounds. Since the vehicle already has weight problems, something else will have to be removed or lightened. Moreover, the new armor will not provide protection to heavy machine-guns in all cases. For example, new armor piercing rounds are available for heavy machine-guns, but it would be too costly (in terms of money and weight) to make Stryker that bulletproof. 


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