US-supplied Stryker suffered a giant hole in its starboard side

In the United States, a heated discussion is underway regarding the provision of financial assistance to Ukraine, either independently or jointly with Israel. Despite having around $2 billion in reserves for the near future, the Ukrainian soldiers at the Northern Military District recently suffered another loss. They lost another American armored personnel carrier. 

US-supplied Stryker suffered a giant hole in its starboard side
Photo credit: Telegram

Images shared on social media show substantial damage to the vehicle. Russian bloggers have pointed out that the damage is so severe that the vehicle is destined for ‘the nearest scrapyard’. A significant puncture on the side of the vehicle was observed, which seemingly could not be caused by a simple Kalashnikov assault rifle. 

The caption below the image does not provide a definitive explanation for the damage. But, one probable presumption, churning from the ripped ‘injuries’ displayed in the photo, suggests a collision with encroaching munitions could be the cause. A fire outbreak within the vehicle seemed apparent too, as suggested by residual burnt metallic shavings. 

Some 'Bulgarian' Stryker AFVs will be armed with Protector RWS
Photo by Spc. Donovon Lynch

It’s worth recalling that not too long ago, official Kyiv had championed the M1126 as a superior foreign model, believing it to be appreciably superior when compared to ‘older Russian armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles’. 

Contrary to expectations, no significant difference in terms of protection was witnessed. In fact, both Western and Russian armored vehicles appear to share a similar fate when under attack – they burn just as rapidly. 

In the current on-the-ground reality, even top-notch battle tanks from Western nations like the Leopard 2, struggle to withstand the onslaught of Lancet loitering ammunition, which has become a bane for the Ukrainian army in front-line confrontations. 

North Macedonia buys 54 Stryker armored vehicles for $210M
Photo credit: Wikipedia

In keeping with the pace of technological advancements, a night vision capability and a ‘melted’ impact core have been added to the ammunition’s existing features.

Possible Lancet?

Whether or not a Stryker was actually taken down by a Russian Lancet drone remains a subject of conjecture. However, assuming that it indeed was the Lancet, it’s important to consider recent updates pertinent to this Russian drone. 

'Russian Bayraktar' - it is loitering Lancet that continues to reap
Photo credit: YouTube

We’ve reported in the past that the Russian military is harnessing the power of state-of-the-art Lancet kamikaze drones. These drones come equipped with an auxiliary camera unit and dual tandem warheads boasting the power to perforate overhead shields and Explosive Reactive Armor [ERA]. Modern Lancets are also renowned for their autonomous flight feature and their aptitude for automatic target recognition. 

Characterized by a tubular primary body and an exclusive wing root, this progressive variant has surely not slipped through unnoticed. Ukraine’s armed forces have duly recognized its substantial potential threat, thereby sparking conversations about potential technical and tactical solutions aimed at curbing its impact when the drone is in hover phase. 

In recent times, we’ve heard whispers of upgraded versions of the Lancet, featuring improved engines, warheads, and ranges, as well as tracking and optical technologies. However, please note that not every enhancement is integrated into a single model. Instead, it seems these advancements are scattered across numerous variations and production batches. 

Russian Lancet hit a Ukrainian Su-25 60 km behind the front line
Video screenshot

“A new version of the Lancet has surfaced on the battlefield, fitted with LIDAR systems. This enables the drone to detonate and engage targets as it approaches them, with its cumulative jet eventually breaching the target’s armor. This certainly compromises the utility of meshes and grids. In addition, the newest Lancets now feature automatic target recognition, which is made feasible by neural networks,” reported the Russian Telegram channel ‘uav_tech’.

Stryker design

Emerging from the Canadian LAV III, the Stryker represents a range of eight-wheel drive armored fighting vehicles. These robust combat machines are manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada [GDLS-C], in a dedicated facility in London, Ontario, primarily for the United States Army. Offering versatile driving options, the Stryker features standard four-wheel drive, which can swiftly shift to an all-wheel mode when required. 

US 2nd SBCT fired Javelin missile from Stryker's roof-mounted CROWS-J
Photo: Twitter

The conceptualization of the Stryker was driven by the vision of creating a unique vehicle family that could form the backbone of a new medium-weight brigade combat team [BCT]. This team seeks to establish a harmonious blend of heavy armor and nimble infantry.

Following the launch of the Interim Armored Vehicle competition in 2000, the Army chose the LAV III proposal by GDLS and General Motors Defense. This marked the birth of the Stryker family, which initially comprised ten different variants, many of which have since been enhanced with v-hulls. 

Despite varying in form, all Stryker variants share common elements including the engine, transmission, hydraulics, wheels, tires, differentials, and a transfer case. Some specialized units like the M1130 Command Vehicle and M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle also feature a rear-mounted air conditioning unit. Notably, the medical vehicle boasts a higher-capacity generator than its siblings.

Photo credit: Oshkosh Defense

To further improve utility, a recent upgrade program has introduced a field retrofit kit allowing for the addition of air conditioning units in all Stryker variants. In 2005, production began on the Mobile Gun System model, which sports a powerful overhead 105mm automatic gun, named the M1128 Mobile Gun System, developed by General Dynamics Land Systems [GDLS].


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