US army in Europe: test fires with 30mm Stryker ICVs

The 2nd Cavalry Regiment, also known as the 2nd Dragoons, active Stryker infantry and cavalry regiment of the US Army, conducts a live ammunition test fire with the 30mm Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle – Dragoon (ICV-D) at the Grafenwöhr Training Area, Germany.

US army in Europe test fires with 30mm Stryker ICVs
30mm Stryker during live fire test in the Grafenwöhr training area (Picture source: US Army/1st Lt. Ellen Brabo)

The new 30mm Stryker ICV-D’s, named for the 2CR Dragoons, are currently undergoing test fires for the first time in the European Theater. These upgraded 8x8 infantry combat vehicles have a remotely-operated 30mm cannon weapon system, unmanned turret, a new, fully-integrated commander’s station; and upgraded driveline component and hull modifications, according to information from Program Executive Office-Ground Combat Systems.

The regiment had requested more firepower for its 81 Stryker ICVs, due to the recent military operations of Russia, which has shown a somewhat aggressive posture in parts of Eastern Europe. The limited number of American forces stationed in Europe also led to the request. Back in the Cold War, there were roughly 300,000 U.S. soldiers in Europe; now, there are only about 30,000.

The acquisition of the 30mm cannon-equipped Strykers, which began in the fall of 2015, was a relatively quick process. It took about 15 months from the receipt of funds to the delivery of ICV-D prototypes, said Maj.Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for the Army's ground combat systems.

The Dragoon vehicles also incorporate equipment from other Stryker variants, such as a mature turret that didn't require much software development and a mature 8x8 chassis with a suspension that was already proven by the Stryker double-v hull program.