The delivery of this first tranche of M10 Booker combat vehicles will begin to fill an enduring gap in supporting small units with mobile fires.

In their efforts to reinvigorate and reform its force structure after two decades of counter-insurgency warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, where it was uncommon for a sub-unit to come across a sizeable adversary in the field, the US Army has begun to support its soldiers on the tactical level with a greater level of firepower.

As the GlobalData Defence Analyst Tristan Sauer noted recently, the M10 procurement decision seemed to have “[come] out of nowhere amidst the war in Ukraine.” It is in the Eastern European conflict that the US Army are learning lessons about the return of near-peer fighting and high intensity warfare, where the likelihood of close combat operations against a sizeable unit is more common, and more bloody.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces have already proven the utility of mobile, armoured fires in their war against invading Russian forces. This is indicated by the US Department of Defense donating more than 300 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, as of 10 May 2024.

For that reason, Booker will be assigned to the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. The vehicle moves rapidly in a variety of terrain conditions to engage and destroy enemy combatants, bunkers, machine gun positions, fortifications and other Armoured combat vehicles.

There is no doubt that this mobile fires vehicle will prove useful in a more conventional conflict reminiscent to the First World War, in which the concept of a tracked, armoured combat vehicle – the tank – entered service for the first time.

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As part of low-rate initial production, multiple Booker vehicles have been delivered to the Army to support government testing and logistics efforts. However, the original equipment manufacturer, General Dynamics Land Systems, did not immediately respond when asked the number of vehicles to be delivered in this first tranche.

Nonetheless, the Army anticipates the first unit to be equipped by Q4 2025, consisting of a battalion of 42 M10s. Although, overall, the Army intends to procure 504 systems; a figure that the service says may vary.

The Booker employs a four-person crew and features an enhanced thermal viewer, a large-calibre cannon, a lightweight hull and turret, and a modern diesel engine, transmission and suspension system. It has been designed from the start for capability upgrades, based on future operational needs.