The Army project manager for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team received the green light from the Army Acquisition Executive to procure a fourth brigade of Stryker Double V-Hull (DVH) vehicles.

The family of Stryker vehicles is produced by General Dynamics [GD].

Stryker. Photo: U.S. Army
Stryker. Photo: U.S. Army

The program will not have more than 360 vehicles, and the land service expects to execute the entire procurement during 2016-2018–depending on funding, the project office said in a statement Monday.

“Delivery of the 4th  brigade vehicles is expected to begin in fiscal year 2017, immediately following final delivery of the 3rd brigade to maintain a steady output of vehicles and avoid costs associated with a break in production,” said David Dopp, the Army’s project manager for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT).

The 4th DVH brigade production will maintain and extend the Stryker Exchange Program initiated by PM SBCT in 2012, in partnership with Anniston Army Depot and General Dynamics in response to an Army requirement for additional DVH vehicles at a reduced cost.

“The exchange program will increase the quantity of DVH Strykers, without increasing the overall Stryker inventory,” Dopp said. “The DVH design is a significant improvement over the flat bottom hull in terms of survivability, and the DVH exchange vehicle is 30 percent less expensive than manufacturing a brand new DVH vehicle.”

This offers faster production and cost savings to the service.

“Utilizing this process enables the Army to help sustain both the organic and commercial industrial bases for Stryker into fiscal year 2019, at which time the currently fielded DVH vehicles will return to the depot for (engineering change proposal) ECP upgrades,” said Brig. Gen. David Bassett, Army program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems. “Sustaining the industrial base supports future readiness and protects Army buying power.

To maximize fiscal resources with respect to schedule, one-for-one exchanges will be made with the 4th brigade to replace the existing flat bottom hull Stryker variants with the improved, more survivable design.”

This work holds to the Army’s requirement to modernize the fleet at reduced cost, Bassett said. The process includes using “like” parts from the flat bottom hulls, refurbishing them, and using them in the new DVH structure alongside DVH unique components.

Dopp said, “We’ve also accelerated the Stryker Engineering Change Proposal program, a modernization effort to address current space, weight and power-cooling (SWaP-C) deficiencies within the platform and lay the foundation for the success of future improvements, for integration into the fourth brigade.”

The production line will be adapted to incorporate the ECP at the same time so the service doesn’t have to bring the vehicles back to Anniston Army Depot for upgrades after the DVH exchange process. This will allow the Army to save nearly $232 million in cost avoidance.

“Integrating the Stryker ECP program into the 4th brigade, coupled with an already proven production line, will put a safer, upgraded vehicle into use faster, at a cost savings to the taxpayer, without compromising readiness levels,” Bassett said.

The DVH is more than a re-designed, V-shaped hull. It includes improved mine-resistant blast seating; improved fire suppression features; a suspension system for a smoother ride; reduced shock and vibration; and improved force protection.

The Army has nine Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. Six have the traditional flat bottom hull, and three brigades have been outfitted with the DVH models.