The Army Is Putting 30mm Autocannons on More Stryker Vehicles

Gunnery training with Infantry Carrier Vehicle "Dragoon" class Strykers.
The U.S. Army’s 1st Squadron 2nd Calvary Regiment conducts gunnery training with Infantry Carrier Vehicle "Dragoon" class Strykers at Grafenwoher Training Area, Germany on August 11, 2020 (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Stephen Dornbos, AFN Bavaria, Germany)

After years of testing 30mm autocannons on Strykers in Europe, the Army is fielding the Medium Caliber Weapon System, or MCWS, to more of its brigades.

On Thursday, the service announced it had awarded a six-year contract to Oshkosh Defense for the production and fielding of the weapon system for up to six Stryker brigades, at a total cost of $942 million. The first batch will be delivered to 91 vehicles, but no timeline was given for fielding.

The move comes after the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany was outfitted with 30mm cannons in 2018 in a show of strength intended to get Russia's attention.

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"The Oshkosh team brought together best-in-class capabilities for weapon system design, manufacturing, and integration to provide a highly capable solution that meets the Stryker MCWS program requirements today and offers the flexibility to upgrade tomorrow," Pat Williams, vice president of defense programs for Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement. "Our experienced team looks forward to supporting the Stryker program office to quickly field this capability to the warfighter."

The Army has nine Stryker brigades, including two National Guard elements. It's unclear which will get the new cannons. Most Strykers currently are equipped with an Mk 19 40mm grenade launcher, an M240B 7.62mm machine gun, or an M2 .50 cal machine gun.

To make room for the 30mm weapons, the Army will divest from the 105mm tank gun, which it considers obsolete, by the end of next year, according to the service.

The Army asked for $1 billion for Stryker upgrades in its 2022 budget request, down slightly from the $1.1 billion this year. However, the final number could change as Congress still must approve the request.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

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