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Iran Press TV

US Stryker carriers in Europe outgunned by Russian armored vehicles: Report

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:0PM

US armored carriers in Europe are outgunned by their Russian counterparts and need a fast-track upgrade in anticipation of a military conflict with Russia, US Army officials say.

The Stryker-equipped 2nd Cavalry Regiment, one of the most important US Army units in Europe, completed a major convoy operation earlier this year, maneuvering 120 military vehicles across Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and back to its base in Vilseck, Germany, Defense News reports.

The mission, dubbed Dragoon Ride, was part of a series of military exercises and operations meant to reassure US allies in the face of "Russian aggression."

'An infantry or armor brigade combat team could not have done Dragoon Ride,' said the unit's commander, Colonel John Meyer. 'We just reassured our allies by conducting a 2,200 km movement… and we could not have done that with a different type of formation.'

Meanwhile, the Army staff approved a request from Meyer to fit a 30mm cannon on 81 of the Stryker infantry carriers, currently equipped with a 12.7-mm gun.

The request was tucked in the Senate version of the military spending authorization bill, allocating $371 million for the Stryker lethality upgrade.

Col. Meyer said the upgrade is not meant to turn the Stryker into a tank, but rather to enable it to 'destroy like-type vehicles,' and clear the way for infantrymen to use shoulder-carried anti-tank missiles on enemy armored vehicles.

'I did intend for it to be urgent, and the time frame I looked at is the next two years,' he said of the request at a Pentagon news conference on Wednesday.

Meyer and other members of the unit were in Washington this week to meet with members of Congress and senior Army officials, according to Defense News.

Jim Hasik, a Brent Scowcroft Center resident senior fellow for defense, said the Stryker is outgunned by Russian armored carriers, which are equipped with 30mm auto-cannons.

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