STRYKER A STRIKEOUT?

MSNBC reports that the new Stryker fighting vehicle is vulnerable to machine-gun fire because of a substitution by a German subcontractor:

Unlike the massively thick steel that tanks are made from, the 19-ton Stryker has a light steel and aluminum structure. But this is clad in 130 ceramic tiles, supposedly tough enough stop heavy machine-gun fire and deflect the blast of incoming RPGs. More than 600 Strykers have been built by General Dynamics, which has a $4 billion contract to produce 2,100 in all. But the ceramic armor tiles are produced for GD by a German subcontractor. The problem arose when the German firm apparently changed the mix of ingredients in the tiles. (The firm could not be reached for comment.)

Bizarre. And why is it that we’re farming manufacturing out to the Germans, anyway? It’s not like they’re a cheap labor source. Maybe this is a NATO vehicle and they’re spreading the wealth a bit?

(Hat tip: John Cole)

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Matthew says:

    Well, that’s one strike against the Shinsekimobile; of course, Rumsfeld will be blamed by the usual suspects. I hope we take this “delay” to review whether the Stryker has a role in the current armed forces.

  2. JohnC says:

    I doubt this ceramic is something your average Joe can come up with. This takes really smart materials science types. Obviously, it’s not cheap either. Thus the incentive for the crime.

    But regardless of the crime committed by the subcontractor (may they fry in some uncomfortable place for a long time), the issue is one of our own Quality Assurance program in our own military in accepting this obviously flawed equipment. It’s kind of embarrassing to say bring it on and then roll out the latest super cool spy stuff and find it’s made of cheap pottery.

    I mean, what? These things are military vehicles, so shooting at them is something they’re expected to have happen to them. Open up on them in a field. How hard could that have been?

    Geesh.

    The Germans didn’t commit the only crime. Somebody on our side let this happen. Wonder where the money trails leads to?

  3. Paul says:

    John did you actually READ the article?????

    But regardless of the crime committed by the subcontractor

    Nowhere did it say a crime was committed. In fact it called the defect “errant.”

    the issue is one of our own Quality Assurance program in our own military in accepting this obviously flawed equipment.

    Ummm… If you read the article it say that our quality guys were the ones that found the problem. They have been working on a fix and none of the units have been deployed yet. And how was it “obviously” flawed as you called it? If you were there could you have looked at it and seen the flaw? Could Al Gore? Could anyone??? How was it obvious?

    Did we “accept” this equipment or did we tell the sub to fix the problem?????

    The Germans didn’t commit the only crime. Somebody on our side let this happen. Wonder where the money trails leads to?

    Nobody committed a crime. We don’t have any reason to suspect that yet. Right now we have a manufacturer defect that was caught before the unit was deployed. You think these things are so simple no errors can ever be made making them???

    Simply put John you went off on a “100% fact free” tirade about something you obviously know little or nothing about. Complex machines have complex problems. If the problems are fixed before the machines are deployed, then the system worked. You are so quick to bash business. Maybe you should go read the article and get a few facts before you embarrass yourself further.

    Paul