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US Army Stryker armoured vehicle fiited with MRAP protection V hull for net Stryker brigade Iraq.


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If the U.S. Army approves funding to keep the production line steady, industry can deliver 130 Stryker vehicles with "MRAP-like" protection in time for the next Stryker brigade's deployment, sources said. U.S. soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team patrol in Baqubah, Iraq. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE) The Army is nearing a decision on whether to give the flat-bottomed Stryker a double V-shaped hull, which would provide protection equivalent to that of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, sources said. The changes were already planned as part the Stryker modernization program and are scheduled to be cut into the production line in 2015 and 2016. After several Strykers were damaged in Afghanistan, vehicle maker General Dynamics began thinking about accelerating the change. It proposed the acceleration to the Army in January, one source said. The V-shaped hull distributes the blast and moves the bottom of the vehicle higher off the ground. The Army plans to reduce production to 20 Strykers per month by next January, which would delay the improvements, the source said. But if production is held steady, the company could deliver 130 vehicles in the infantry carrier configuration in time for the next Stryker brigade's deployment to Afghanistan in July 2011. A full Stryker brigade has 332 vehicles in 10 variants, two of which are not yet in full-rate production. The company will follow with seven more variants by the end of December 2011. To do this, the rate of production has to be kept at roughly 35 per month. Funding is also needed for government testing, the source said. The company has done some testing, including blast testing and analysis with partial vehicles, but a full vehicle prototype has not been tested yet, the source said. Part of the Army's decision is to decide how much government testing they want to fund before fielding. There is $299.5 million in the president's budget, including base and supplemental dollars, to purchase 83 Stryker vehicles. There is an additional $591.3 million for Stryker modifications, and $136.3 million in research and development funds for Stryker survivability efforts.If the U.S. Army approves funding to keep the production line steady, industry can deliver 130 Stryker vehicles with "MRAP-like" protection in time for the next Stryker brigade's deployment, sources said. U.S. soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team patrol in Baqubah, Iraq.

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