The Army's upgunned Strykers have some serious firepower — and one critical weakness

news

The Army may have festooned its Stryker fighting vehicles with a slew of new armaments as part of the Pentagon's relentless pursuit of lethality, but the upgunned infantry carriers are apparently hobbled by a major deficiency that makes them especially vulnerable in a fight against Russia or China.


The Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle - Dragoons that are currently flexing their muscles with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in eastern Europe remain vulnerable to cyber attacks, so far that "adversaries demonstrated the ability to degrade select capabilities of the ICV-D when operating in contested cyber environment," according to the Pentagon's operational testing and evaluation report released last month.

Even worse, the report notes that "the exploited vulnerabilities predate the integration of the lethality upgrades," suggesting that the the Army spent too much time slapping new weapons systems like Stryker ICV-D's 30mm autocannon onto the new vehicles and not enough time fixing a major design flaw.

"Cyber attacks against computer networks supporting any of the Stryker Dragoon's onboard systems could have had a second-order effect on the vehicle's ability to use those capabilities," The War Zone reports. "There have been a string of reports from U.S. government watchdogs warning about serious cyber vulnerabilities across the U.S. military."


he Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle - Dragoon (ICVD) with a new 30mm chaingun is showcased at a static display in Stara Boleslav, Czechia, May 30, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Timothy Hamlin)

Who exactly those craft "adversaries" are remains unclear. As The War Zone notes, they could simply be "opposing force" units tasked with testing the Stryker's capabilities, and a spokesman for the Army's 7th Army Training Command declined to elaborate on the foe mentioned in the Pentagon report.

But given that upgunned Strykers were fielded to in eastern Europe in late December 2017 as part of a response to Russia's 2015 annexation of Crimea, chances are that it's Russian cyberattacks the Pentagon is worried about.

In recent years, NATO countries and regional allies like Norway have reportedly experienced alleged Russian cyberattacks in the form of jammed GPS signals and hacked cell phones, tactics the U.S. Special Operations Command chief Gen. Raymond Thomas indicated last year that Russian military has refined in Syria.

"Right now in Syria we are operating in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet from our adversaries," Thomas stated at the GEOINT Symposium in April 2018. "They are testing us every day, knocking our communications down, disabling our EC-130s, etcetera."

While the Pentagon assessment recommends the Army "correct or mitigate cyber vulnerabilities," the exploitation of the Stryker systems detailed in the report, if actually carried out by Russia, would constitute a "significant escalation" in cyber warfare in eastern Europe, as The War Zone put it. And with concerns over cyber attacks on the rise around the world, that threat probably won't go away anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: A Handful Of Lucky Soldiers Are Already Rocking The Army's Newest Laser Weapon Downrange

WATCH NEXT: A Stryker Fires Off Some Stinger Missiles

President Dwight D. Eisenhower poses with Hospital Corpsman Third Class William R. Charette, U.S. Navy, honored for his actions in Korea on 17 March 1953. (U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command)

A Medal of Honor recipient from Michigan will have a guided-missile destroyer named after him, the United States Navy announced on Monday.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump has ramped up airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia. (Associated Press/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

The U.S. military could be guilty of war crimes in Somalia, according to a new report that challenges what the government says about civilian casualties from its bombing campaign against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate, in the African nation.

The investigation, conducted by Amnesty International, found that US airstrikes from both drones and manned aircraft killed at least 14 civilians and injured seven more people in just five of more than 100 strikes in the past two years.

"The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes," the Amnesty report said.

Read More Show Less
Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers board an aircraft to begin the first leg of their deployment in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. (Georgia National Guard/Maj. William Carraway)

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A new bill would give troops with infertility related to their military service greater access to advanced reproductive treatments, including up to three completed cycles of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and cryopreservation of eggs and sperm for those heading to a combat zone.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, speaks to Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during a visit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Marines and Sailors with the 11th MEU are conducting routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)

The Marine Corps' top general on the west coast is readying his Marines for the next big war against a near peer competitor, and one of his main concerns is figuring out how to alter the mindset of troops that have been fighting insurgencies since 9/11.

"If anything my problem is getting people out of the mindset of [counterterrorism] and making sure they're thinking about near peer adversaries in their training programs," Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California, told Task & Purpose in an interview on Friday.

Read More Show Less
A Ruger AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, center, the same model, though in gray rather than black, used by the shooter in a Texas church massacre two days earlier, sits on display with other rifles on a wall in a gun shop Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Lynnwood, Wash. (Associated Press/Elaine Thompson)

A new bill introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives would require a significant number of state residents own "at least one" AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with the help of a hefty tax break — except it won't ever get off the ground.

Read More Show Less