Report: New Stryker protects troops better

Aug. 16, 2011 at 1:09 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The latest model of Stryker combat vehicles used by the U.S. Army in Afghanistan protects troops better than older versions, military analysts say.

The new design, with a V-shaped hull, reached army brigades in the spring, USA Today reported.

A total of 37 soldiers have died and 239 have been wounded from insurgent bombs due to the design of the previous model of Stryker, the report said.

The V-shaped hull, designed after the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle's hull, deflects the force of bomb blasts, while older Strykers have flat hulls, which absorb force from explosions.

When one of the new Stryker vehicles was hit by an insurgent bomb July 8 all soldiers onboard survived the attack and returned to duty.

"This is a case study in how to deal with a rapidly changing insurgency," said Loren Thompson, a military analyst and defense industry consultant. "You can't go through normal process. You must quickly turn around relatively low-cost solutions if you want to win the war."

The army would like to see 150 new Strykers, each costing $2.3 million, in service by the end of the summer, the report said.

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