by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
The Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle (IAV) is a 19-ton, eight-wheeled armored vehicle that provides the Army a family of ten different vehicles on a common chassis. The Stryker combat vehicle is the US Armys Stryker Brigade Combat Team primary combat and combat support platform and the focal point of ongoing phase of Army Transformation. Significantly lighter and more transportable than existing tanks and armored vehicles, the Stryker fulfills an immediate requirement to provide Combatant Commanders with a strategically deployable and operationally deployable brigade capable of rapid movement anywhere on the globe in a combat ready configuration.
Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP) is a small publishing company producing photo reference books for modelers. WWP's range is broad, covering everything from military tracked and wheeled vehicles, artillery, airplanes, helicopters, to individual weapons. After publishing three books on Stryker vehicle family, WWP decided it was time for another volume, this one dealing with vehicle modernization programs from 2008 to 2014: Stryker Family Upgrades in Detail. Here are the basic facts:
Title: Stryker Family Upgrades in Detail (2008 - 2014 Stryker Modernizations)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Ralph Zwilling
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $33 (27)
Since the first WWP book on Stryker was published in 2006, this family of vehicles has undergone numerous upgrades as a result of lessons learned from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This book covers Stryker family modernizations, and consists of 120 pages displaying 210 color photos of vehicles photographed during several Mission Rehearsal Exercises. Ralph Zwilling, the author of the book, is a professional military photographer well known for his outstanding knowledge about the Stryker IAV.
The book is organized in 17 chapters, color coded on the page edges for easy navigation:
Upgrade Details (008-015)
M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (016-019)
M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle (020-031)
M1128 Mobile Gun System (032-035)
M1129A1 Mortar Carrier (036-039)
M1130 Command Vehicle (040-053)
M1131 Fire Support Vehicle (054-061)
M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicle (062-075)
M200A1 MICLIC Trailer (076-081)
M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle (082-091)
M1134 Anti-Tank Guided Missile (092-097)
M1135 Nuclear Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (098-103)
Stowed Gear (104-109)
Wheels in the Mud (110-113)
Tree Branch Camouflage (114-117)
Stryker Crew (118-120)
The first chapter, introduction, gives a short history of the Stryker family development and overview of numerous upgrades and modernizations the vehicle received during its service in the US Army. All the following chapters deal with upgrade details like Double-V Hull, wire cutter in front of the driver's hatch, headlight clusters, Driver's Vision Enhancer (DVE), BFT-2 antenna and Remote Weapon Station (RWS). The upgrades specific for the particular Stryker vehicle variant are shown each in different chapter... for instance, the new blast attenuation seats and 4-point seatbelts are depicted in the M1126 ICV chapter, Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3) in M1127 RV chapter, various antennas and comms systems in M1130 CV chapter, Fire Support Sensor System (FS3) in M1131 FSV chapter, Lightweight Mine Roller and Surface Mine Plow in M1132 ESV chapter, etc. The final chapters show the personal gear like rucksacks, sleeping bags and tools stored outside on the hull sides or hull top, tree branch camouflage and camouflage screens deployed to blend the vehicle with the environment, and Stryker crew.
This volume comes as a sequel to previously released Stryker books from WWP, thus providing more of an overview of Stryker family modernizations rather than dealing with a specific Stryker variant. The photos are large and clear, showing walkarounds of 10 Stryker vehicle variants, with detailed images of various upgrades seen on these vehicles. Although primarily a photo reference book, the information provided in the text is very interesting. The introduction gives details on the origins and modernization programs of the vehicle, while the brief captions explain various details presented in the photos. All together, this book is a very enjoyable symbiosis of high-quality large photos depicting the Stryker modernization upgrades, and concise but interesting info on the vehicle.
Stryker Family Upgrades in Detail (G042) is an exceptional photo book for anyone interested in Stryker IAV. The book provides enormous wealth of photographs covering various modernizations to the Stryker vehicle family, each covered in a separate chapter. A great bonus are several chapters with photos depicting stowed gear, camouflage and Stryker crew. Finally, the book gives short and concise information on the vehicle which is a very interesting read.