call it Anything But a “light tank” or “Infantry Assault Vehicle” or “mGS” or…
Updated 23 June 2023
As the world turns to modern warfare, the United States Army is on the forefront of technological advances With increasing threats from adversaries, the Army looks for new ways to strengthen their infantry units. This month the Army unveiled the answer to their search: the M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle or M10 Booker Combat Vehicle (we are still awaiting final word and will use them interchangeably). Side note, some are calling the M10 an “infantry assault vehicle” and we hope to hear a final verdict on the nomenclature before 2030 (Atherton 2023). This new vehicle, based on the Mobile Protected Firepower Platform and designed by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) is a high-end mobile gun system (MGS) that offers a number of features and capabilities, all designed to enhance the infantry’s ability to fight in modern conflicts.
- The Need for Modern Military Vehicles
- What Is the M10 Booker Armored Combat Vehicle?
- Why is the M10 Book Armored Fighting Vehicle Needed?
- What is the Official Mission of the M10 AFV?
- The M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle Specs and Features
- How the M10 Booker Will Transform Infantry Tactics?
- What Challenges Will the M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle Face?
With the recent unveiling of the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle or M10 Booker Armored Vehicle (AFV), the United States Army is on the cusp of something historic – a groundbreaking shift in infantry tactics and capabilities. On June 10, 2023, the Army revealed the M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle to the world, positioned to revolutionize how infantry units operate. Just four years in the making, the M10 Booker is a vehicle that genuinely crosses boundaries. It is part BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle, part Abrams tank, and something entirely new. The Army ensured to equip the M10 AFV with cutting edge technologies and enhanced armor; it is an intimidating sight. It can also deliver superior firepower and mobility while providing excellent protection for its crew.
The M10 will support a variety of infantry missions, from reconnaissance to supporting direct assaults on enemy positions. But the M10 Booker isn’t only about power and protection. It is a symbol of the future of the infantry. It signifies the Army’s evolution – from a traditional force bogged down by outdated equipment and tactics to a modern force using the latest technology to fight smarter. The M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle will provide a critical edge on the battlefield, allowing infantry forces to move faster, fight harder, and survive longer.
The Need for Modern Military Vehicles
Infantry maneuverability is crucial in modern warfare. The war in Ukraine has emphasized this need for light infantry support with modern armored vehicles. The Army wants to bridge the capability gap between heavily armored main battle tanks and other vehicles; some militaries have already developed “light tanks.” These vehicles, designed for greater speed and flexibility, have become increasingly relevant in modern combat scenarios.
In the 21st century, the face of warfare is changing – and so are the tools of the trade. As conflicts become more complex and technology continues to advance, the military must adapt to stay ahead of its adversaries. This means introducing new weapons, better tactics, and more modern military vehicles. The M10 Booker armored fighting vehicle is the latest offering from the United States Army. The M10 is an advanced and versatile vehicle designed to meet the needs of the modern battlefield. It is fast, maneuverable, and equipped with the latest technology – making it an ideal choice for today’s light infantry. The M10 Booker meets the demands of the ever-evolving battlefield. It is equipped with enhanced armor and cutting-edge technologies, making it capable of withstanding various threats while offering superior firepower and mobility. Equipped with advanced fire control systems and sensors, the M10 will enable infantry forces to move faster, fight harder, and survive longer – a critical advantage on the modern battlefield.
What Is the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle?
In short, the M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle is a ‘light tank‘ that is not a light tank; a modern take on the Sheridan. The M10 AFV is also a revolutionary new vehicle from the United States Army. It meets the demands of the modern battlefield, with enhanced armor and other technologies. The M10 Booker can deliver superior firepower and mobility while providing excellent protection for its crew and passengers. The M10 Booker features an advanced fire control system and a variety of sensors, allowing the vehicle to detect and respond to threats quickly and accurately.
General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) equipped it with an advanced electronic architecture to integrate with other systems and platforms. This will enable the vehicle to communicate with infantry forces and support assets on the battlefield, allowing for increased coordination and improved situational awareness. In addition, the M10 Booker is lightweight and highly deployable.
Why is the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle Needed?
The need for the M10 AFV arises because of a gap between the Abrams main battle tanks (MBT) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFV). This shift has resulted in a lack of maneuverability under challenging environments such as mountains, woodlands, and urban settings. Light infantry units require enough firepower to deal with bunkers, machine-gun nests, and lightly armored vehicles. While main battle tanks like the M1 Abrams may have adequate firepower, their size and need to watch for enemy tanks make them unreliable in specific environments. Infantry fighting vehicles like the M2 Bradley or wheeled vehicles like the Stryker may not be sufficiently armed or armored and may struggle with rough terrain. The M10 AFV aims to bridge this gap by providing maneuverability and firepower. Japan’s Type-16, introduced in 2018, is an excellent example of such a vehicle. With a tank-like turret and wheels instead of tracks, it weighs 26 tons, has a crew of four, and fitted with a rifled 105 mm gun. The M-Book armored fighting vehicle is a crucial weapon that can effectively support infantry in difficult environments and deal with various threats, including those posed by near-peer adversaries. Its development and deployment will be essential for modern militaries to maintain a competitive edge in future conflicts.
What is the Official Mission of the M10 AFV?
Under the former name, Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF), the CRS states that “BCTs will employ the MPF across a range of military operations, including forced and early entry operations in high Anti-Access/Area Denial (AA/AD)environments, in direct support of infantry squads, platoons, and companies. The purpose of MPF is to engage and neutralize enemy personnel, bunkers, machine gun positions, fortifications, and strongpoints, as well as defeat light armored threats (The Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation 2022).”
The M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle Specs and Features
The M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle boasts a variety of impressive specs and features:
- Manufacturer: General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS)
- Cost: ~13mn each
- Crew: 1 × driver; 1 × gunner, 1 × tank commander (but not a tank)
- Weight: ~40 tons, 47% lighter than the M1 Abrams
- Powerhouse: 800hp diesel engine
- Cruising Speed: TBP
- Top Speed: TBP
- Range: TBP
- Main weapon system: XM35 105mm cannon
- Secondary weapon system: 1 × 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
- Alternate weapon system: 1 × 7.62mm M240B machine gun
General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) equipped it with advanced armor that can withstand a variety of threats, including anti-tank weapons and small arms fire. They also equipped the M10 Booker with a variety of sensors and a fire control system that enables the crew to detect and respond to threats. The use of advanced electronic architecture, allows US forces to integrate with other systems and platforms. This will enable the vehicle to communicate with infantry forces and support assets on the battlefield, allowing for increased coordination and improved situational awareness. In addition, the M10 Booker is equipped with a variety of weapons, including a main gun, a coaxial machine gun, and anti-tank missile launchers. This will enable the vehicle to engage a variety of targets, from infantry units to armored vehicles. The M10 Booker can also carry up to eight infantry personnel, allowing it to transport troops quickly and efficiently to areas of need.
How the M10 Booker Will Transform Infantry Tactics?
The M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle is a revolutionary new weapon for the infantry. Per a West Point article, the vehicle meets some recommendations, including:
- Smaller platform: “As the US military looks to build new armored combat platforms, it must consider achieving decisive lethality while maximizing ease of production, maintenance, and mobility. And, having the tank commander serve as the gunner and backup loader keeps the crew size manageable. A smaller platform reduces the maintenance requirements, fuel consumption, and overall target signature. Secondly, a drastic cut in overall weight increases the platform’s mobility, allows for the possibility of amphibious crossings, increases bridge-crossing capability, and facilitates movement by rail (Morgan 2019).”
- Larger combat formations: “smaller crews would allow US forces to experiment with new formations. Increasing the size of the tank platoon (e.g., to six or eight platforms) or adding a fourth organic platoon to the tank company formation becomes an option. Regardless of the correct answer, the crew size decrease must be accompanied by units conducting internal training experiments to determine proper task organization for maximum battlefield lethality (Morgan 2019).”
The M10 AFV is fast, maneuverable, and designed to be deployable. It is lightweight and compact, allowing a C-17 Globemaster to transport two and deploy to a variety of environments. This feature will enable infantry forces to move to areas of need, bringing their firepower. Additionally, the M10 Booker is equipped with advanced sensors and a fire control system that will enable it to detect and respond to threats quickly and accurately. These features will help infantry forces stay one step ahead of their adversaries, allowing them to identify and eliminate threats before they appear.
Last, the Congressional Research Service (CSR) published that the Army is forming a Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) battalion at the division level. Divisions need to employ at least 64 armor crew members, and 24 maintenance soldiers are to keep the new M10 units. Given the current and anticipated recruiting difficulties the Army faces, this could present a challenge (Congressional Research Service 2023). Therefore, senior leaders must allocate MPF companies to the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs).
What Challenges Will the M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle Face?
Though the M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle has the potential to revolutionize infantry tactics, a few challenges must be overcome. One challenge is cost. The M10 Booker is expensive military hardware, and acquiring enough for multiple divisions may be slow, and manning them will be difficult. Another challenge is maintenance. The M10 Booker is a complex and advanced piece of equipment and maintaining it will require a great deal of time and resources. Finally, there is the challenge of training. The M10 Booker is a complex piece of equipment, and its operators must be trained in its operation and maintenance. The M10 requires a significant amount of time and resources and a dedicated team of instructors to deploy across the Army successfully.
Another constraint the Army has is the number of “serviceable 105 mm ammunition for MPF training and
operational use.” Additionally, “the provision of existing 105 mm ammunition to Ukraine as part of current and future Security Force Assistance efforts might also have an impact on 105 mm ammunition availability for MPF systems.” Maintenance and parts remains a high budget line item in most mechanized units. The addition of more armored vehicles only increases requirements and cost.
Adding an MPF unit at the division level will require additional training and the ability for Armor soldiers to understand how to support Infantry units. To ensure success, the Army needs to provide enough money and resources to properly fund, add personnel, develop new equipment training (NET) to the MPF battalion and the supported unit.
Conclusion: Redefining the Possibilities of the Infantry
The M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle is a revolutionary new weapon for the infantry. It is fast, maneuverable, and equipped with the latest technology – making it an ideal choice for the modern infantry. The M10 Booker will enable infantry units to move faster, fight harder, and survive longer – a critical advantage on the modern battlefield. The M10 Booker is a symbol of the future of the infantry. It signifies the Army’s evolution – from a traditional force bogged down by outdated equipment and tactics to a modern Army using the latest technology to fight smarter. The M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle will provide a critical edge on the battlefield, allowing infantry forces to redefine the possibilities of modern warfare.
- Atherton, Kelsey D. 2023. The Army’s new 42-ton assault vehicle has a compelling backstory. June 16. https://www.popsci.com/technology/army-combat-vehicle-m10-booker/.
- Congressional Research Service. 2023. “The Army’s M -10 Booker (formerly known as Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF)) System.” Congressional Research Service Reports. June 22. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11859.
- Morgan, Brandon. 2019. Modern War Institute. January 3. https://mwi.usma.edu/light-mobile-many-rethinking-future-armor/.
- The Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation. 2022. “Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF).” The Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation. https://www.dote.osd.mil/Portals/97/pub/reports/FY2022/army/2022mpf.pdf?ver=k2DyK1SiAmVdye4uvrVGlg%3D%3D.