Wednesday, June 13

Preview: 1/35th scale M1296 Stryker Dragoon from Panda Hobby

Panda Hobby is not just making brand new Russian AFV's - they are bringing out the latest and greatest US vehicles to face them  - with the new M1296 Stryker Dragoon on the way in 35th scale... 

New from Panda Hobby in August:

M1296 Stryker Dragoon 
Kit No #PH35045 
Due for release in Agust
Panda Hobby is promising the latest in upgraded American armour, the  M1296 Stryker Dragoon in 1/35thscale. We thought we might give you a look at the real thing and follow on with the CADs from Panda to show you the model features that it brings.

The M1296 Stryker 'Dragoon'
The M1126 and M1127 Strykers have provided good service to the Army in the wars since 9/11, where they provided an excellent balance of mobility, protection, and firepower for troops. However, when you're potentially facing a fight with Russia, you need a bigger gun. They now have one. The United States Army has rolled out the "Dragoon" in response to feedback from the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, currently based in Europe, and likely to be on the front lines if the Russian hordes come. 
According to an Army release, the Dragoon is officially the XM1296 Infantry Combat Vehicle, and features a Mk 44 Bushmaster II, a 30mm version of the M242 25mm chain gun used on the M2/M3 Bradley, the LAV-25, and a number of United States Navy and Coast Guard vessels.

Close on Stryker Dragoon turret, showing sight, breech, & (empty) mount for coaxial M240 mg
The US Army accepted a prototype version of the Stryker 8x8 wheeled vehicle fitted with a Kongsberg Protector MCT-30 turret, which is armed with a fully stabilized 30 mm XM 813 chain gun, based on the Mk 44 Bushmaster II from Aliant Techsystems (ATK), as urgent operational requirement for the Germany-based 2nd Cavalry Regiment (aka the 2nd Dragoons). This variant of the Stryker is known as the Stryker ICV Dragoon or simply Dragoon, the official designation is XM1296. The vehicle is expected to enter service in May 2018.
Aside of the 30 mm cannon, the unmanned MCT-30 turret can be fitted with an optional coaxial machine gun, that is externally mounted above the gun shield, but apparently, the US Army hasn't opted for it. Another option not taken on the Dragoon is the inclusion of a separate sight for the commander, which would have enabled the vehicle to be used in hunter-killer operations. The gunner is provided with an optronic unit including a thermal imager, a daysight camera and a laser rangefinder.
The MCT-30 turret stores only 150 rounds of 30 x 173 mm ammunition (two types, of each 75 rounds), however unlike other unmanned turrets it can be reloaded from the interior if the space below the resupply hatch is not occupied. It offers only limited ballistic protection, reaching only STANAG 4569 level 1 in the base configuration. With applique armour the protection can be boosted up to level 4 (resisting 14.5 mm AP ammunition fired from 200 metres distance); the Dragoon's turret is fitted with bolt-on armour, however, the exact protection level has yet to be revealed.
The new Stryker variant is not without its detractors. With only 81 old Stryker ICVs being converted to the Dragoon variant, is it a rather scarce and thus relatively expensive. Spare parts might be limited and supplied only to repair depots in Germany, making operations outside of Europe questionable. The 30 x 173 mm calibre is uncommon in the US Army but used by the Airforce and Navy, but with ammunition types not necessarily suited for the Dragoon.

A US Army Overview of the Stryker Dragoon.

The new kit from Panda Hobby:

M1296 Stryker Dragoon 
Kit No #PH35045 
Due for release in Agust

Some drawings of the AFV from Panda Hobby, first in colour in profile...
Then in a side on view showing a little more of the shape of this, the newest in upgraded AFVs for the US Army.
 A pair of CAD drawings showing a little more of the features and parts of the kit. We do not have too much on the kit yet, but we do know that it's 1/35th scale, it has Vnyil tyres, opening and closing hatches and the kit will use photo-etch parts to replicate the thinnest details of the kit.
 This new "Dragoon" is slated to be arriving in August, we will know and show you more as we have it - so keep tuned to TMN.