The Stryker, an armored vehicle being built in Anniston by General Dynamics, was designed to be a medium-weight vehicle that could be sent anywhere in the world within 96 hours.
The original plan was to use the Air ForceÃ¢€™s several hundred C-130 aircraft to transport the eight-wheeled vehicles. But thousands of pounds of additional equipment have kept the Strykers heavier than the C-130 payload limits.
To get the Stryker down to an acceptable weight, General Dynamics is using lighter composite materials in some cases, and reducing heavy materials in other parts.
Ã¢€œWe continue to look at other enhancements that we can make on the vehicles, which would further remove weight so that the Army could add on additional equipment in the future,Ã¢€ said Peter Keating, a spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems in Detroit.
The Stryker is a $4 billion program, part of the militaryÃ¢€™s transformation to a lighter, more flexible force in the post-Cold War era. Given that mission, the weight concerns raised doubts about whether the vehicle was a good investment.
I didn’t realize the Stryker was built in Anniston, Alabama–just 20 miles from where my parents live. The Anniston Army Depot has traditionally been a place where vehicles were retrofitted, not built from scratch.