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Russia Destroys First US M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle in Ukraine

On August 21, 2023, according to a tweet from Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a Ukrainian M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle was reported to have been destroyed by Russian forces. The incident took place near Robotyne, located in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast region. Interestingly, we had just reported the appearance of the Stryker in combat on August 22, 2023, on Army Recognition.
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M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle (Picture source: Twitter account of Ukraine Weapons Tracker )

This incident marks the first confirmed loss of this type of vehicle for the Ukrainian forces. The destruction of such a specialized vehicle not only represents a material loss but could also hinder the engineering capabilities of the Ukrainian army in the region. The current conflict in Ukraine, characterized by positional warfare and fortifications, demands good engineering equipment, making the loss of any such equipment significant. However, Ukraine has received 189 Strykers from the United States, of which 20 are Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicles. it is important to note, that 20 vehicles are not enough to cover the entire front.

The M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle (ESV) is a specialized model within the broader Stryker family, a series of armored combat vehicles employed by the U.S. Army. With its 8-wheel configuration, the Stryker is designed to offer adaptability across various missions, with the M1132 ESV specifically tailored for combat engineering operations.

The Stryker provides protection to its occupants from threats such as small arms fire, artillery shell fragments, and landmines. Its base armor, made of steel, can be enhanced with additional armor modules. A uniquely designed V-shaped hull channels explosive forces from mines and IEDs away from the crew compartment. The vehicle also boasts defensive enhancements like smoke grenade dispensers and a remotely operated weapon system.

Mobility is a hallmark of the Stryker, with its 8-wheel setup ensuring agility and swift movement. It thrives on various terrains and can maintain high speeds on main roads, powered by a Caterpillar C7 diesel engine. This engine allows it to reach speeds close to 60 mph (97 km/h) and cover distances up to 300 miles (483 km). The vehicle features a suspension system with independent double-wishbone springs.

The primary mission of the M1132 ESV is to enhance the engineering capabilities of the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs). Its responsibilities span a spectrum, from clearing barriers and detecting mines to reconnaissance and demolition assistance, as well as direct combat support.

For barrier removal, the M1132 ESV can be equipped with tools like a mine-clearing blade or a hydraulic arm. Mine detection tools can be integrated, enabling the vehicle to locate and disarm mines and IEDs in combat zones. In reconnaissance roles, the ESV excels in identifying and marking safe routes for other vehicles and soldiers.

Moreover, the vehicle can transport and detonate demolition explosives, either to dismantle enemy defenses or to establish barriers against them. Concluding its multifaceted roles, the M1132 ESV can be armed with a remote weapon system, positioning it to provide direct fire support to infantry divisions.

Given the number of mines that the Russians have deployed in Ukraine, mine-clearing vehicles are thus a crucial asset. The loss of one is never good news for either side, but Ukraine still retains 19 M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicles.

Russia Destroys First US M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle in Ukraine 925 002M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle (Picture source: United States DoD )


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