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US unveils M10 Booker Combat Vehicle

The U.S. Army has recently unveiled its first new major combat vehicle in two decades: the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle. The M10 Booker is a light armoured vehicle that provides direct fire support for light infantry and airborne units, filling a gap between the heavy M1 Abrams tank and the wheeled M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle.

The M10 Booker is named after two fallen soldiers who served in different wars but shared a common valour: Pvt. Robert D. Booker and Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker. Pvt. Robert Booker was an infantryman who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Tunisia during World War II, where he sacrificed his life to destroy an enemy machine gun nest. Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker was a tank commander who received the Distinguished Service Cross for his courageous deeds in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, where he fought off enemy attacks until he was fatally wounded.

The M10 Booker is designed to be rapidly deployable, transportable by air, and capable of operating in urban and restricted terrain. It weighs about 38 tons and can fit two vehicles on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, compared to one M1 Abrams tank. It has a 105 mm main gun, a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, and an externally-mounted .50 calibre machine gun. It also has a diesel engine and a turret based on the M1 Abrams.

The M10 Booker is expected to enter operational testing in late 2024 or early 2025 and to equip the first unit by late 2025. The Army plans to buy 96 vehicles initially, with each costing about $12.9 million. The M10 Booker will enhance the Army’s ability to project power and support its light infantry and airborne forces with increased firepower and mobility.

M10 Booker Combat Vehicle

The M10 Booker Combat Vehicle is designed to provide superior mobility, firepower, protection and situational awareness for the troops on the battlefield.

The main features of the M10 Booker are:

  • A 30 mm Bushmaster II autocannon as the main armament, capable of firing high-explosive, armour-piercing and airburst rounds. The cannon has a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute and can engage targets up to 4 km away.
  • A coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun for secondary weapons. The roof-mounted machine gun can be remotely controlled from inside the vehicle or by a dismounted soldier using a wireless controller.
  • A two-man turret with an advanced fire control system that includes a day/night thermal sight, a laser rangefinder, a ballistic computer and a stabilized gun platform. The turret can traverse 360 degrees and elevate from -10 to +60 degrees.
  • A modular armour system that consists of a base layer of steel and composite armour, and an additional layer of reactive armour tiles that can be replaced or upgraded as needed. The armour provides protection against small arms fire, artillery fragments, anti-tank rockets and mines.
  • A hybrid electric drive system that combines a diesel engine and an electric motor to power the vehicle. The hybrid system reduces fuel consumption, noise and heat signature, and allows the vehicle to operate in silent mode for stealth missions.
  • A crew of three: a driver, a gunner and a commander. The crew compartment is spacious and comfortable, with air conditioning, heating, ventilation and NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection. The vehicle also has the capacity to carry six dismounted soldiers in the rear compartment.
  • A network-centric warfare capability that enables the vehicle to communicate and share data with other vehicles and units on the battlefield. The vehicle is equipped with a satellite navigation system, a radio system, a battle management system and a situational awareness system.

The M10 Booker Combat Vehicle is expected to enter service with the US Army in 2025 and will complement the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The M10 Booker is designed to operate in various terrains and climates, from urban areas to deserts, from mountains to jungles. The M10 Booker is a versatile and formidable combat vehicle that will enhance the combat effectiveness and survivability of the US Army in the future.

News Desk
News Desk
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