M1128 Mobile Gun System

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M1128 Mobile Gun System
Exercise Allied Spirit I, Day 5 150117-A-EM105-337.jpg
A M1128 Mobile Gun System during a training exercise in 2015
Type Assault gun
Place of origin United States
Specifications
Weight 18.77 tonnes (20.69 short tons; 18.47 long tons)
Length 6.95 m (22.92 ft)
Width 2.72 m (8.97 ft)
Height >2.64 m (>8.72 ft)
Crew 3

Armor 7.62 mm resistant[1]
Main
armament
M68A2 105 mm cannon
Secondary
armament
M2 .50 caliber machine gun; M240C coaxial machine gun; 2, M6 smoke grenade launchers
Engine Caterpillar 3126 turbo diesel
260 kW (350 hp)
Power/weight 14hp/ton
Transmission Automatic 6 forward, 1 reverse
Suspension 8×8 wheeled
Ground clearance 15in
Fuel capacity 56gal
Operational
range
330 miles (528 km)
Speed 60mph (96 km/h)

The M1128 Mobile Gun System is an eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle of the Stryker combat vehicle family, mounting a 105 mm tank gun, based on the Canadian LAV III light-armored vehicle manufactured by General Dynamics Canada. It is in service with the United States[2] and was also being considered for adoption by several other countries, including Canada.

Design[edit]

Firepower[edit]

The MGS' remote weapon-station has a small silhouette, is stabilized and autoloading. The remote weapon-station mounts a 105 mm M68A2 rifled cannon. The vehicle is primarily outfitted to support infantry combat operations. While it could take on some of the roles of tanks, it is not designed to engage in combat with tanks. The MGS can store 18 rounds of main gun ammunition in the turret. It has a rate of fire of six rounds per minute.[3]

The MGS' 105 mm cannon can fire four types of ammunition: the M900 kinetic energy penetrator to destroy light armored vehicles; the M456A2 high explosive anti-tank round to destroy thin-skinned vehicles and provide anti-personnel fragmentation; the M393A3 high explosive plastic round to destroy bunkers, machine gun and sniper positions, and create openings in walls for infantry to access; and M1040 canister shot for use against dismounted infantry in the open.[4][5]

Crew amenities[edit]

Because the vehicle was designed without air conditioning, crews are given individual cooling vests that circulate cooled water from outside the vehicle to the garment. Vehicle computers still overheat regularly.[3] All MGS Stryker platforms have been recently upgraded with AC units.[citation needed]

The large remote weapon station and relatively smaller hatch can make emergency exits difficult.[3] Because the MGS is fitted with a remote weapon-station into the MGS instead of a true turret it is very possible for the crew of a MGS to encounter an auto-loader stoppage in the heat of battle and not be able to repair it without disembarking from the vehicle and standing atop it to access the auto-loader.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Following the end of the Cold War some theorists believed that the existing suite of U.S. armored vehicles, designed largely to fight Soviet mechanized forces in Europe, were not well suited to the lower-intensity missions U.S. armed forces would be tasked with. This led to the development of a new armored fighting vehicle designed for lower-intensity combat, rather than large-scale battle. However, vehicles derived from the LAV III and its predecessor the MOWAG Piranha have been found to be vulnerable to weapons such as the RPG-7, requiring the improvisation of slat armor to defeat anti-tank rockets, while main battle tanks have proven to be invulnerable to all but one rare type of RPG-7 rockets.[which?]

Canada had liquidated about half of its fleet of Leopard 1s in the early 2000s, with the intention of replacing them with the airmobile Mobile Gun System. The decision was reversed. In fall of 2006 a squadron of Leopards were sent to Afghanistan, and in 2007, the Canadian Army acquired 100 surplus Leopard 2 main battle tanks from the Netherlands for quick deployment.[6][irrelevant citation]

Full-rate production has been indefinitely deferred as of 2012.[7]

The U.S. Army allocated nine Mobile Gun Systems to a battalion.[3] There were 27 Mobile Gun Systems per Stryker Brigade in 2013, but the Army is cutting the number per brigade to 10.[8] The Army bought 142 Mobile Gun Systems in total;[9] three were lost in combat. A three-vehicle MGS platoon operates organic to a Stryker infantry company, with one MGS in support of a Stryker infantry platoon.[10]

Mobile protected firepower[edit]

A Mobile Gun System and other Strykers shortly before being flown into Afghanistan in 2008

In late 2013, the Army revisted its earlier interest by using the Stryker MGS as an airdroppable mobile airborne protected firepower platform for forced-entry style missions. During operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, air assault forces like the 82nd Airborne Division relied on fire support from strike fighters, which risked civilian casualties and was not effective at destroying concealed or covered positions. The plan is to provide the XVIII Airborne Corps with a light tank which can be flown by C-130 cargo planes and airdropped into a combat zone. The vehicle must have a base armor package capable of defending against 14.5 mm ammunition, be able to bolt on additional armor packages after follow-on forces arrive, and be able to drive off road. After a vehicle is selected, they will buy some for testing and give them to the XVIII Airborne Corps for trials. The Airborne Corps is to be equipped with a flotilla of vehicles in a distribution plan called 4-14-44: 4 per platoon; 14 per company; 44 per battalion. Unlike the previous Future Combat Systems program, which sought to create light transportable vehicles for the entire service and was cancelled in 2009 from cost overruns and other factors, the mobile protected firepower effort is meant specifically to support the airborne mission with armored capabilities. General Dynamics claims it can modify the MGS with additional blast protection and new suspension for more effective off-road mobility to meet the requirement.[11][12]

Searching for an MPF is part of an Army effort to develop three lightweight, highly mobile ground vehicles for a light infantry brigade; the other parts include the Ultra Light Combat Vehicle and a light reconnaissance vehicle (LRV). The MPF would target bunkers, armored vehicles, and targets behind walls using modern fire control systems. Its base armor is to protect against shrapnel from 152 mm artillery shells, should be able to add underbelly blast protection in a one-hour conversion to full combat mode, and carry enough fuel and ammunition to operate for 24 hours before being resupplied. An initial capabilities document is scheduled for consideration in October 2014, with the MPF to enter service by 2024.[13]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Army Fact File – Stryker". Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  2. ^ Soldiers train on Stryker gun system
  3. ^ a b c d Matthew Cox (4 February 2008). "Mobile Gun System brings the heat in Iraq". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 28 August 2011. (subscription required)
  4. ^ M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System - Globalsecurity.org
  5. ^ http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2013armament/Hill.pdf
  6. ^ Capt Brian Corbett (19 September 2007). "Canada’s new main battle tank – Leopard 2". The Maple Leaf. Retrieved 10 December 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ Brannen, Kate. "AUSA: U.S. Army Plans Post-War Management of Stryker Fleet." Defense News. February 23, 2012.
  8. ^ Army Looks to Mount 30mm Cannons on Strykers - Military.com, 20 September 2013
  9. ^ Uparmored Bradley Could Be Tough Enough For AMPV: Testers - Breakingdefense.com, 29 January 2014
  10. ^ Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS) - Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation. 2013
  11. ^ Matthew Cox (20 September 2013). "Army Looks to Mount 30mm Cannons on Strykers". Military.com. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  12. ^ U.S. Army in the Market for ‘Light’ Tanks - Nationaldefensemagazine.org, 7 October 2013
  13. ^ US Army considers three new light vehicles designs - Armyrecognition.com, 17 September 2014

External links[edit]