(RightWing.org) – The US Army developed the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Program in 2017 to procure various new armored vehicles to replace existing ones and provide updated capabilities to combat units. Two years later, General Dynamics Land Systems received the contract for the program’s Mobile Protected Firepower (MFP) system. The Army started testing the weapon in early 2021 and initiated low-rate production the following year. Army officials recently unveiled the new combat vehicle.
On June 10, Army Chief of Staff General James C. McConville and Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston showcased the new armored vehicle at the Museum of the US Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as part of the special events celebrating the services branch’s upcoming 248th anniversary.
The Army recently redesignated the MFP system as the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle. The name honors two fallen Army soldiers.
- Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker: a Gulf War veteran who posthumously received the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism while engaging the enemy outside Baghdad International Airport during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He died due to injuries he sustained in April 2003.
- Pvt. Robert Booker: a World War II combatant posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor a year after he died in Tunisia in April 1943.
The M10 Booker is a formidable new weapon system designed to follow in the footsteps of the M551 Sheridan, a light tank widely used in Vietnam. However, Maj. Gen. Glenn Dean, the executive officer for the Army Ground Combat Systems program, told reporters the new armored vehicle isn’t a tank. “This is a combat vehicle,” he explained.
The M10 Booker is much lighter than the M1 Abrams main battle tank, weighing only 42 tons compared to the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams, which weighs nearly 74 tons. That means the C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft can carry two of the new combat vehicles to support light infantry combat teams. It comes equipped with a heavy 105mm direct-fire cannon, as opposed to the Abrams 120mm main gun.
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