Stryker drivers yearn for color

There’s probably not a soldier in the Army today who grew up watching a black-and-white TV set, but crews of the Stryker armored vehicle have to rely on black-and-white displays connected to their remote weapons stations, according to an internal Army study.

In a recent report by the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) on the Iraqi operations of Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry, analysts found that crew members of the Stryker vehicles built by General Dynamics were frustrated by the black-and-white remote weapons station screens.

“It is difficult in urban environments to communicate colors of vehicles without color” screens, the report states.

Other display systems in the Stryker suffer from poor design, the CALL report states. The sensor for the Stryker’s Driver Vision Enhancer (DVE) is mounted in the center of the vehicle, even though the driver sits on the left. This requires a period of time for drivers to adjust to the centered view presented and makes it more difficult to drive the wheeled combat vehicle, CALL analysts concluded.

Also, the driver’s DVE screen is too small and poorly located behind the steering wheel, making sharp turns difficult, and the wheel sometimes obscures parts of the screen, the CALL report states.

A heads-up display provided to the vehicle commander also suffered from design problems, the report states. Break-away pressure for the helmet-mounted display was too high “and could cause neck injury if it gets caught on something and does not pull off,” according to the CALL report. It also states that the display was not useful in an urban environment because it caused a blind spot to the vehicle commander’s vision.

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