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The US Army is equipping some of its 8×8 STRYKER combat vehicles with unmanned 30-mm gun turrets. In a framework contract with Oshkosh Defense (who announced the news) as prime contractor, the US Army Contracting Command has agreed to integrate remotely operated 30-mm Samson gun turrets on STRYKER chassis Double V-Hull Infantry Carrier Vehicle for around €777.6M. The contract also provides for technical system support, logistic support by an intermediate supplier and integrated product support. With this, up to six STRYKER Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT) are to be equipped with 83 converted vehicles each. The first call-off now made, worth around €107M, is for 91 vehicles to be delivered by December 2023 with the entire programme to be completed by 2027.

Oshkosh is working with vehicle developer Pratt Miller – which was acquired by Oshkosh during the bidding phase – and weapons manufacturer Rafael to execute the contract. For the demonstrator, the Samson turret incorporated a Northrop Grumman XM813 gun, an evolution of the BUSHMASTER automatic cannon for use with programmable munitions. The medium-calibre weapon system is considered highly accurate and effective.

The new order to integrate a 30 mm turret into the STRYKER follows the positive experience with the STRYKER Dragoon, which has been used with the same weapon – albeit in a Kongsberg turret – by the SBCTs stationed in Germany since 2017. It is known from the Dragoon that the approximately two-tonne turret resulted in reinforced wheel suspensions and wider tyres in addition to interventions in the roof of the STRYKER.

Gerhard Heiming