Welcome to the suggestion for the M1296 Stryker Dragoon. This is an upgraded variant of the M1126 Stryker ICV, removing the .50 caliber remote weapon system in favor of a 30mm Remote Weapon Station. For reference, a similar gun can be found in-game on the CV9030FIN, VBCI-2 (MCT30), VCC-80/30, and Vilkas. As such, it can fire both APFSDS and HE ammunition. Should you find anything incorrect, feel free to leave a comment, and thank you for reading.
The M1126 Stryker underwent numerous upgrades through its service life, but never received armament more powerful than the standard .50 caliber machine gun. The team behind the Stryker evaluated up-arming the Stryker with a larger weapon, with either one per Company or upgrading every Stryker to this standard. The Army planned testing for early 2014 with a few different 30mm cannons on the Stryker platform, including the Norwegian Kongsberg company’s Medium Caliber Remote Weapon Station, also known as Protector, armed with a 30mm Bushmaster II. Kongsberg was notably responsible for the design of the M1126’s M151 RWS, making them a key candidate.
Test firing was conducted with the Protector in February of 2014 at Fort Benning, the results of which showed that not only was the 30mm more effective at range, but it was also more accurate. At a range of 600 to 1,550 meters in a five-round burst, the four rounds hit their targets. In March of 2015, a Operational Needs Statement by the 2nd Cavalry Regiment was made for the upgrade. In April, the U.S. Army approved the upgrading of 81 of 2CR’s Strykers, with more to follow pending evaluation. Later that year, in December, the Protector turret was officially approved, to be combined with Orbital ATK’s XM813 cannon, a modified variant of the Bushmaster II.
The new vehicle, designated XM1296, adds around 2 tons of weight, and requires the hull’s roof to be modified. Due to this, the vehicle received an upgraded suspension and wider tires. The XM813 cannon is fed by two magazines on either side, each containing 78 rounds, for a total of 156. An extra 264 are stored in the hull if necessary. The primary ammunition used by the vehicle outside of training are the MK238 HEI-T and MK258 APFSDS-T rounds. Also included is a 7.62mm M240C machine gun mounted coaxially, as well as smoke grenade launchers. Armor protection remains the same, with the vehicle rated to protect against 14.5mm with ceramic add-on armor, and an internal Kevlar spall liner. A key advantage of the weapon station is that it does not extend into the crew compartment, allowing for more room inside the vehicle. A majority of M1126s are upgraded with the DVH (Double V-Hull) A1 upgrade, which replaces the original 350 hp Caterpillar C7 engine with a 450 hp Caterpillar C9 engine.
The first XM1296 was delivered for testing in October of 2016, with the first designated M1296 to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in late 2017 at their barracks in Grafenwöhr, Germany. By this point, the M1296 became known as the “Dragoon”, a name based on the 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s other name, the 2nd Dragoons. As such, the M1296 has quickly become known as the Stryker Dragoon. However, this was not a Program of Record, and was merely an urgent upgrade to increase firepower. In order to fulfill further upgrades, the U.S. Army began a competition involving several teams, one of which included Kongsberg and General Dynamics Land Systems. In June of 2021, Oshkosh Defense was chosen in an up to $942 million to further upgrade 91, later 174, vehicles with its Medium Caliber Weapon System, a similar system to the Protector system initially fitted by Kongsberg. The first delivery of these was made in August of the following year, and since then, Oshkosh has received 269 orders for upgraded Strykers. The U.S. Army ultimately decided to outfit three of it its six brigades with the Dragoon, and since then, it has been entering service in increasing numbers.
- Weight: 18.5 t
- Length: 7.65 m
- Width: 2.77 m
- Height: 2.77 m
- Armament: 30mm XM813 (156 rounds + 264 in hull) & 7.62mm M240C machine gun (400 rounds + extra in hull)
- Engine: Caterpillar C9 450 hp diesel engine
- Maximum speed: ~100 km/h
- ODIN - OE Data Integration Network
- Future Fighting Vehicle [FFV]
- M1296 Dragoon Armored Personnel Carrier | MilitaryToday.com
- Army receives first Stryker upgraded with 30mm cannon