WARREN, Mich. – The U.S. Army is moving toward full-rate production of the nation's newest light tank -- the M10 Booker, formerly known as the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) system.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., announced a $13.2 million order Thursday to General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., for low-rate initial production support of the M10 booker -- a scaled-down version of the venerable Army M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 main battle tank.
The M10 Booker armored combat vehicle is designed primarily to support infantry brigade combat teams on the battlefield, and is not intended to fight alongside the larger M1 Abrams main battle tanks in combined arms battalions. The Army renamed the MPF as the M10 Booker last year.
The air-transportable M10 Booker is a viable option for U.S. and allied rapid-deployment forces, as the light tank can be flown to global hot spots in a matter of hours, rather than taking days or weeks aboard ocean-going transport vessels.
Low rate initial production (LRIP) describes small-quantity production of a new weapon system before large orders begin. M10 Booker LRIP seeks to produce a minimum number of the light tanks for live-fire and field testing, and increases its production rate toward full-rate production.
The M10 Booker has a 105-millimeter cannon, a 7.62 millimeter coaxial machine gun, externally mounted .50 caliber machine gun, and a 12.7 millimeter heavy machine gun. It also has an enhanced thermal viewer from Safran Optics 1 in Bedford, N.H.
The light tank's vetronics will include the Safran PASEO commander’s independent tactical viewer to provide long-range panoramic targeting and enhanced situational awareness.
The light tank has a lightweight hull and turret, and a modern diesel engine, transmission, and suspension system. It is smaller and lighter than the Abrams main battle tank, and is easier to transport by aircraft.
The M10 Booker has a four-person crew, and will target and destroy fortifications, bunkers, buildings, and light-to-medium armored vehicles. The lighter weight of the combat vehicle makes it more transportable and maneuverable than the full-size M1 Abrams tank.
The vehicle has a range of 190 miles and can operate for 24 hours off the ramp or on arrival at drop zone. It can move over steep hills, valleys, cities, and ford rivers.
Army leaders say they plan to create an M10 Booker battalion at the division level, from which M10 Booker companies will be allocated to infantry brigade combat teams; each infantry brigade combat team will have 14 M10 Bookers.
General Dynamics won a won a $1.14 billion contract in 2022 to build as many as 96 M10 Booker combat vehicles. Ultimately the Army is expected to buy more than 504 M10 Booker combat vehicles through 2035.
On this order General Dynamics will do the work in Sterling Heights, Mich.; Anniston, Ala.; and Lima, Ohio, and should be finished by June 2025. For more information contact General Dynamics Land Systems online at www.gdls.com, or the Army Contracting Command Detroit Arsenal at https://home.army.mil/detroit/index.php/units-tenants/acc-dta.