US Army M10 Booker armored fighting vehicle with modern Horstman InArm suspension

US Army M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle Equipped with Horstman InArm Suspension
US Army M10 Booker Armored Fighting Vehicle Equipped with Horstman InArm Suspension

The Horstman Group, a RENK Group company, is pleased to announce that their InArm® external suspension system has been selected by General Dynamics Land Systems for low rate initial production 2 (LRIP 2) on the M10 Booker vehicle. The Horstman InArm® offers superior mobility and ride quality while at the same time providing a stable platform. Developed by Horstman in the mid-1990s initially for the UK MODs Future Scout Cavalry System (FSCS) Tracer and US Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) programs, InArm® is designed to eliminate the need for torsion bars and to minimize or eliminate road arm penetration of the vehicle hull.

This allows the vehicle designer to overcome the internal packaging constraints, minimize the external packaging constraints, and overcome vulnerability to mine blast and crew exposure to the fragmentation that results from torsion bars. The hydro-pneumatic suspension uses high-pressure nitrogen gas and an integral oil damper that are all contained within the road arm. This reduces weight and space compared to other hydro products, HSU or coil solutions. Designed as the most efficient packaging space solution, InArm® provides a growth path to advanced variable damping, lock-out and ride height management systems.

Horstman’s InArm® suspension unit is a self-contained spring and damper system that is completely external to the vehicle hull
Horstman’s InArm® suspension unit is a self-contained spring and damper system that is completely external to the vehicle hull. (Photo by Horstman Group)

“This program award represents another significant milestone for Horstman Inc. Our Michigan-based facility has successfully met the production delivery demands of LRIP 1, expanding our global delivery footprint to include US production of InArm® products. This InArm® production capability positions Horstman to better support our customers in their pursuit of US Army programs,” said Ian Pain FIMechE, CEO of the Horstman Group.

The M10 Booker is an armored fighting vehicle under development by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) for the United States Army, developed from the GDLS Griffin II armored fighting vehicle as the winner of its Mobile Protected Firepower program in June 2022. The initial contract is for 96 low rate initial production (LRIP) vehicles, with first delivery by the end of 2023.The vehicle is called a light tank by some military officers and defense media due to its design and appearance, though Army officials related to the MPF program consider this incorrect. It is to weigh about 42 tons and will according to description essentially serve the role of an assault gun.

Horstman’s InArm® has the lowest weight and space claim of all armoured vehicle suspension systems. (Photo by Horstman Group)

Horstman – a company of the RENK Group – has been headquartered in Bath since 1913, with business units in the US, the UK and Canada. Horstmann suspension, also known as Horstman, Vickers-Horstman and rarely Slow Motion, is a type of tracked suspension devised by British tank designer John Carden and worked into a production design by engineer Sidney Horstmann. First used on the A6E3 Medium Tank prototype in 1935, it proved far superior to previous suspensions from Vickers. Horstman Defence Systems remains a tank suspension specialist to this day and makes a range of systems based mostly on torsion systems with hydrodynamic damping. They are also referred to as “Horstman suspensions” although they have no details in common with their earlier designs.

The Renk GmbH (stylized as RENK Group) is a German global manufacturer of transmissions, engines, hybrid drive systems, vehicle suspension systems, plain bearings, couplings, and testing systems. The company builds special gearboxes for tanks, frigates, icebreakers, and industry and is a leading supplier of running gear and damping systems for tracked and wheeled military vehicles. Renk is headquartered in Augsburg and in addition to its headquarters, also manufactures in Rheine, Hanover, Winterthur, Bath, and Sterling Heights. Renk is headquartered in Augsburg and in addition to its headquarters, also manufactures in Rheine, Hanover, Winterthur, Bath, and Sterling Heights. With over 3,000 employees, RENK Group generates annual revenues of over EUR 800 million.

U.S. Army GDLS M10 Booker armored fighting vehicle. (Photo by General Dynamics Land Systems)
U.S. Army GDLS M10 Booker armored fighting vehicle. (Photo by General Dynamics Land Systems)

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