About the US M1126 Stryker ICV (Infantry Carrier Vehicle)
Moving into the 21st century, the backbone of the armored forces of US Army is M1A1 MBT, which provides mobile firepower and superior defense capability. Although it is able to surpass most of the opposing armored fighting vehicles, nevertheless, its 60-ton weigh also limits itself in overseas deployment. In some cases, the crew find limitation in urban combat due to its bulky shape.
Mowag Motorwagenfabriken of Switzerland started to develop the Piranha series armored wheeled vehicles since 1972, the vehicles are available in many different variants. The Piranha was introduced in 1996, it is able to accommodate a selection of weapons, from 7.65mm machine guns to 105mm guns, in the meantime it can keep total weight under 20 tons, make it transportable in a C-130 aircraft. The US Army appreciate such potential, therefore select the Piranha III platform for next generation Army armored wheeled vehicles.
Unlike previous cases, this new armored wheeled vehicle system is not named after Generals, but named as Stryker, who sacrificed himself to save his fellow soldiers in Vietnam War. The first batch of Strykers were delivered to the US Army in 2002. With them, the US Army fulfilled the demand from DoD – to reply to Korea within 96 hours. The introduction of Stryker represents changing of Army fighting modes: from traditional heavy armored tactics weapon systems to strategically mobile rapid reaction weapon systems. The latter will be the backbone of future US Army.
M1126 is the basic variant of the Stryker family. Designed as a personnel carrier, the M1126 is able to accommodate 9 heavily armed soldiers in additional its two crews. Equipped with a 12.7mm machine gun, the M1126 is able to take punishment from up to 14.5mm guns, and would be able to resist RPG attacks with additional protective armoured plates.