U.S. Army demonstrates enhanced Stryker variant M1256A1 ICVVA1-J at APG Live Demonstration Day

The U.S. Army demonstrated its new M1256A1 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle during a live firing event at the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) Demonstration Day held in May 2023. The M1256A1 is an improved version of the M1126 Stryker ICV, featuring a Double-V Hull A1 (DVH-A1) design and advanced weaponry.
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US Army soldiers conduct a live firing demonstration with the new M1256A1 ICVVA1-J Stryker 8x8 armored vehicle during the APG Demonstration Day, in May 2023. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

In an effort to address the vehicle's vulnerability against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the U.S. Army has started manufacturing and retrofitting the Stryker with a more robust double v-hull design. Seven different variants of the Stryker are receiving this enhancement, including the M1256A1 ICVVA1-J that was showcased at the event.

Notably, the M1256A1 comes equipped with an M153A4 CROWS-J carrying a .50 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) and a Javelin anti-tank guided missile system. The vehicle's enhanced survivability and firepower are expected to offer crucial tactical advantages on the battlefield.

The DVH-A1 upgrade brings several vital improvements. Notably, the vehicle's 350-horsepower Caterpillar C7 engine has been replaced with a 450-horsepower Caterpillar C9, accompanied by improved power pack thermal management and additional environmental conditioning. The upgrade also replaces a 570 amp alternator with a 910 amp one, capable of supporting future network upgrades and providing 20% power growth.

To accommodate the power upgrades, Stryker's Power Distribution Panel (PDP) and Power Distribution Panel 2 (PDP2) have been replaced with the Enhanced Power Distribution Unit (EPDU). The new model also raises the vehicle's payload capacity from 25,000 kg (55,000 pounds) to a substantial 28,600 kg (63,000 pounds), and optimizes the driveline to match the mechanical power upgrade.

The upgrades are not just about power and durability; they also encompass networking capabilities. The enhanced Stryker establishes a framework for future embedded Army Network integrations that are VICTORY compliant, allowing for data sharing across the vehicle's common crew stations. Additionally, the vehicle now boasts gigabit Ethernet capability.

However, not all Stryker variants are receiving these upgrades. The M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle, the M1128 Mobile Gun System, and the M1135 NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle will retain their current flat-bottom hull configuration.

This significant leap in military technology highlights the U.S. Army's ongoing commitment to providing its soldiers with the best equipment available, enhancing their safety and effectiveness during combat operations.