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Operational testing for M10 Booker planned for July

M10 Booker Combat Vehicle (pictured) will be put through its paces at Fort Liberty in boreal summer 2024. (US Army photo by Bernardo Fuller)

One company in the 82nd Airborne Division will be the first unit to perform operational testing on the new M10 Booker combat vehicle in boreal summer 2024 and will then become the first unit equipped if the testing is successful, army leaders announced on 18 April.

Testing at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, will focus on making sure the platform is baseline operational, Major General Glenn Dean, programme executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, told reporters on the sidelines of an army live-fire and commemoration event. Training for soldiers will focus on logistics and new maintenance after the unit receives the vehicles in July, Captain Rachel Ledbetter, company commander of the M10 Booker test detachment, 82nd Airborne Division, told Janes on 18 April.

While the Abrams M1A2 main battle tank (MBT) and M10 Booker share many commonalities, such as the Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV) and machine guns, the logistics tail is different. This means that the test detachment, which come from armoured backgrounds, will have to practice, Capt Ledbetter said.

For example, the 105 mm gun on the M10 Booker has a different fires protocol than the 120 mm used on the Abrams. The projectile casing needs to be removed from the inside of the turret before the next round is loaded, adding time to the firing process.

“[The turret] is going to be very translatable, so I think the focus will be actually shooting another gunnery, getting into it, and doing the [operator new equipment training],” Capt Ledbetter said.

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