In its transformation to a more responsive and mobile force, the Army plans to form 6 Stryker Brigade Combat teams equipped with a new family of armored vehicles known as Strykers. The Stryker--which provides transport for troops, weapons, and command and control--was required by the Army to weigh no more than 38,000 pounds and be transportable in theater by C-130 cargo aircraft arriving ready for immediate combat operations. The Army plans to equip its future force with a new generation of vehicles--Future Combat Systems--to also be transportable by C-130s. GAO was asked to assess (1) the current status of Stryker vehicle acquisition, including the most current Stryker vehicle program and operating cost estimates; (2) the status and results of Stryker vehicle tests; and (3) the ability of C-130 aircraft to transport Stryker vehicles within a theater of operations. This report also addresses the transportability of the Army's Future Combat Systems on C-130 aircraft.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should, in consultation with the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force, provide to Congress information that (1) clarifies the expected C-130 tactical intratheater deployment capabilities of Stryker brigades and Stryker vehicles and describes probable operational missions and scenarios using C-130 transport of Stryker vehicles that are achievable, including the size of a combat capable C-130 deployable Stryker force; (2) describes operational capability limitations of Stryker brigades given the limits of C-130 transport; and (3) identifies options for, and the feasibility of, alternative modes of transportation--such as C-17 aircraft-- for transporting Stryker brigades within an operational theater.|
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should, in consultation with the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force, provide the Congress similar clarification concerning the operational requirements and expected C-130 tactical airlift capabilities of Future Combat System vehicles, considering the limits of C-130 aircraft transportability.|