- Classification: Medium Tank
- Place of Origin: Coalition of Western Republics
- Armor: 18.5 inch tungsten/titanium-ceramic mesh
- Weight: 75 tons
- Crew: 5 (Commander, gunner, co-gunner, loader, driver)
- Primary Armament: 175mm sonnecoil
- Secondary Armament: Varies; default, 2 M42 volley guns
The M4 Schuster was a Coalition medium tank and serves as a replacement for the M515 Shiloh tank.
The lackluster Shiloh tank prompted nearly endless complaints from planetside commanders demanding a replacement. Some units had gone far enough to trade their new Shilohs with mercenaries for older, more reliable models. Responding to this disaster, the Coalition government held a contest to see which tank could best replace the Shiloh. Columbia Munitions (the company behind the Shiloh) went into overdrive designing a new model, hoping to save the company name. Competing with Washington Heavy Industries, Columbia Munitions' main rival, they eventually produced the M4 Schuster (Washington Heavy Industries developed the M3 Templar, which would eventually become the Marines' Mk. 33 Paladin).
The Schuster was designed to take advantage of the Coalition's industrial advantage over its rivals. While it was somewhat fast and more heavily armored than its counterparts, the Schuster's greatest advantage is its modular construction. Unlike the Templar, the Schuster's parts can be manufactured in small factories and put together afterwards. Replacement parts can be mass produced and the tank could be easily taken apart in the battlefield for repairs. Lastly, Columbia Munitions designed the Schuster to be easily customizable, so soldiers on the field could utilize captured or immobilized weapons. The Schuster was not without its flaws, however: its modular construction means a well-aimed shot could blow a Schuster to pieces. Although the design was simple for manufacturers, battlefield mechanics sometimes had problems knowing which part goes where. However, with the Shiloh's most glaring flaws taken care of, the Schuster was quickly accepted by the Army. Schusters have seen a great many uses during the later gusano campaigns and the Galactic War, including assault, fortress-clearing and convoy guarding.
- M434 Multiple Launch Rocket Artillery - The M434 is an elongated (and lightly armored) Schuster hull with a mounted M34 rocket launch system designed to be mounted on most weapons platforms. The M434 is effective in low-tech conflicts where EMSEL batteries are less common but is typically useless when confronting actual superpower militaries.