The US Army Has A New Tank

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The M10 Booker Combat Vehicle proudly displays its namesake on the gun tube during the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army, June 10, 2023. The M10 Booker Combat Vehicle is named after two American service members: Pvt. Robert D. Booker, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for actions in World War II, and Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, who posthumously received the Distinguished Service Cross for actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their stories and actions articulate the Army’s need for the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle, an infantry assault vehicle that will provide protection and lethality to destroy threats like the ones that took the lives of these two Soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Bernardo Fuller)

The US Army unveiled its new Mobile Assault Gun, the M10 Booker Popular Mechanics reports. The weapon system was named after two veterans sporting the same last name, involved in World War II and the Iraq War.

General Dynamics Land Systems designed and built the M10. It’s a tracked, 42-ton vehicle with an Allison transmission, 800-horsepower MTU diesel engine, and a hydropneumatic suspension system. It has a top speed of 40 miles per hour, and uses the same tracks as the M2 Bradley and Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles.

The M10’s primary armament is the 105-millimeter M35 gun. It also features a M2 .50-caliber machine gun at the commander’s station and a 7.62-millimeter machine gun mounted coaxially to the main gun. The vehicle’s fire control system is essentially the same one on the M1 Abrams SEPv3 main battle tank. The M10 also includes a commander’s independent thermal viewer, an armored sensor turret that allows the tank commander to separately search for targets on the battlefield and then hand them off to the gunner for destruction.

The Booker is well armored for its size, designed to survive hits from other armored vehicles as well as top-attack weapons such as anti-tank missiles and loitering drones. It also features underbody protection against improvised explosive device attacks, such as aircraft bombs and other explosive devices buried alongside roads.

The Booker will be deployed with light infantry brigades, specifically the airborne and mountain troops of XVIII Airborne Corps. These crisis troops, such as those of the 82nd Airborne, have been at the center of rapid response around the globe. The last troops out of Afghanistan were from that unit.

The Booker is the spiritual successor of the M551 Sheridan light tank, a weapon system with mixed results. Being able to rely on mobile heavy weaponry for light units is a critical gap that the Army has now fulfilled. In a combat scenario, the Booker would function as fire support for the infantry, not as the main thrust that characterized the M1 Abrams of heavy mechanized brigades.

The “M10” in the mobile assault gun’s name could be an homage to World War II’s Wolverine Tank Destroyer. The Tank Destroyer was a lightly armored vehicle that was capable of destroying German panzers, but had to constantly maneuver to avoid destruction.

With Special Operations Forces increasingly tasked with intelligence and covert missions, the Army has been forced to rely on its elite regulars more often. The Booker shows that the US Army is still capable of developing new systems to support frontline troops that both look to past lessons and anticipated threats.


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