Armoured personnel carrier
Overview
 
An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is an armoured fighting vehicle
Armoured fighting vehicle
An armoured fighting vehicle is a combat vehicle, protected by strong armour and armed with weapons. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked....

 designed to transport infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 to the battlefield.

APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

 although variants carry recoilless rifle
Recoilless rifle
A recoilless rifle or recoilless gun is a lightweight weapon that fires a heavier projectile than would be practical to fire from a recoiling weapon of comparable size. Technically, only devices that use a rifled barrel are recoilless rifles. Smoothbore variants are recoilless guns...

s, anti-tank guided missile
Anti-tank guided missile
An anti-tank missile , anti-tank guided missile , anti-tank guided weapon or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored military vehicles....

s (ATGMs), or mortars
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

. They are not usually designed to take part in a direct-fire battle, but to carry troops to the battlefield safe from shrapnel and ambush
Ambush
An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops...

. They may have wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

s or tracks
Caterpillar track
Continuous tracks or caterpillar tracks are a system of vehicle propulsion in which modular metal plates linked into a continuous band are driven by two or more wheels...

.

Examples include the American M113
M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 (tracked), the British FV 432 (tracked), the French VAB
Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé
The Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé or VAB is an armoured personnel carrier and support vehicle designed by the Euro Mobilité Division of GIAT Industries of France. It entered service in 1976; around 5,000 were produced.- Design :The VAB was designed as a wheeled troop transporter, complementing the...

 (wheeled), the Dutch/German GTK Boxer
Boxer MRAV
The Boxer is a German-Dutch multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. It is produced by the ARTEC GmbH industrial group, and the programme is being managed by OCCAR...

 (wheeled) and the Soviet BTR
Bronetransporter
A Bronyetransportyor or BTR , literally "armoured transporter" is any of a series of Soviet or post-Soviet military armoured personnel carriers, made for transporting Bronies....

 (wheeled).
Encyclopedia
An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is an armoured fighting vehicle
Armoured fighting vehicle
An armoured fighting vehicle is a combat vehicle, protected by strong armour and armed with weapons. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked....

 designed to transport infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 to the battlefield.

APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

 although variants carry recoilless rifle
Recoilless rifle
A recoilless rifle or recoilless gun is a lightweight weapon that fires a heavier projectile than would be practical to fire from a recoiling weapon of comparable size. Technically, only devices that use a rifled barrel are recoilless rifles. Smoothbore variants are recoilless guns...

s, anti-tank guided missile
Anti-tank guided missile
An anti-tank missile , anti-tank guided missile , anti-tank guided weapon or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored military vehicles....

s (ATGMs), or mortars
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

. They are not usually designed to take part in a direct-fire battle, but to carry troops to the battlefield safe from shrapnel and ambush
Ambush
An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops...

. They may have wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

s or tracks
Caterpillar track
Continuous tracks or caterpillar tracks are a system of vehicle propulsion in which modular metal plates linked into a continuous band are driven by two or more wheels...

.

Examples include the American M113
M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 (tracked), the British FV 432 (tracked), the French VAB
Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé
The Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé or VAB is an armoured personnel carrier and support vehicle designed by the Euro Mobilité Division of GIAT Industries of France. It entered service in 1976; around 5,000 were produced.- Design :The VAB was designed as a wheeled troop transporter, complementing the...

 (wheeled), the Dutch/German GTK Boxer
Boxer MRAV
The Boxer is a German-Dutch multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. It is produced by the ARTEC GmbH industrial group, and the programme is being managed by OCCAR...

 (wheeled) and the Soviet BTR
Bronetransporter
A Bronyetransportyor or BTR , literally "armoured transporter" is any of a series of Soviet or post-Soviet military armoured personnel carriers, made for transporting Bronies....

 (wheeled). Infantry fighting vehicle
Infantry fighting vehicle
An infantry fighting vehicle , also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle , is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide fire support for them...

s, by contrast, are more heavily armed and armoured and are designed for direct combat.

History

During World War I, when the tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

 was developed, the British Mark V* tank was designed with a small passenger compartment to carry troops. By some definitions this can be considered the first armoured personnel carrier. The first specialised APC was the Mark IX
Mark IX tank
The Mark IX tank was a British armoured fighting vehicle from the First World War, the world's first specialised Armoured Personnel Carrier .-Development:...

 of 1918.

During World War II, half-track
Half-track
A half-track is a civilian or military vehicle with regular wheels on the front for steering, and caterpillar tracks on the back to propel the vehicle and carry most of the load. The purpose of this combination is to produce a vehicle with the cross-country capabilities of a tank and the handling...

s such as the American M3
M3 Half-track
The Carrier, Personnel Half-track M3 was an armored vehicle used by the United States, the British Empire and the other Allies during World War II and the Cold War. Nearly 43,000 were produced, and supplied to the U.S...

 and the German SdKfz 251
SdKfz 251
The Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track was an armored fighting vehicle designed and first built by Hanomag company during World War II. The largest and best armored of the wartime half-tracks, the Sd.Kfz. 251 was designed to transport the panzergrenadiers of the German mechanized infantry corps into battle....

 played a role similar to the armoured personnel carriers that were developed later on. Another forerunner to the APC during this time was the British Universal Carrier
Universal Carrier
The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrong. Produced between 1934 and 1960, the vehicle was used widely by British Commonwealth forces during the Second World War...

, originally designed to tow artillery but later used in a variety of infantry support roles, including transport. Often, APCs were simply armoured cars with the capacity for carrying troops, but they evolved into purpose-built vehicles to suit the demands of motorised warfare from World War II.

In 1944, the commander of II Canadian Corps
II Canadian Corps
II Canadian Corps was a corps-level formation that, along with I Corps and I Canadian Corps , comprised the First Canadian Army in Northwest Europe during World War II.Authorization for the formation of the Corps headquarters became effective in England on...

, General Guy Simonds
Guy Simonds
Lieutenant General Guy Granville Simonds, CC, CB, CBE, DSO, CD was a Canadian Army officer who commanded the II Canadian Corps during World War II. He served as acting commander of the First Canadian Army, leading the Allied forces to victory in the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944...

, ordered the conversion of 72 United States-produced M7 Priest
M7 Priest
The 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M7 was an American self-propelled artillery vehicle produced during World War II. It was given the official service name 105 mm Self Propelled Gun, Priest by the British Army, due to the pulpit-like machine gun ring, and following on from the Bishop and...

 self-propelled howitzer
Howitzer
A howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent...

s to personnel carriers. They were, at the time, being replaced by the British Ordnance QF 25 pounder
Ordnance QF 25 pounder
The Ordnance QF 25 pounder, or more simply, 25-pounder or 25-pdr, was introduced into service just before World War II, during which it served as the major British field gun/howitzer. It was considered by many to be the best field artillery piece of the war, combining high rates of fire with a...

, and no future plans had been drawn up for them.

The howitzer was removed, and the resulting hole was plugged with whatever steel was available. The vehicle was called Kangaroo
Kangaroo (armoured personnel carrier)
A Kangaroo was a World War II Commonwealth or British armoured personnel carrier , created by conversion of a tank chassis. Created as an expedient measure by the Canadian Army, the Kangaroos were so successful that they were soon being used by British forces as well...

, after the codename of the workshop which did the conversion. Later in the war Canadian-built Ram tank
Ram tank
The Tank Cruiser, Ram was a cruiser tank designed and built by Canada in the Second World War, based on the U.S. M3 Medium tank. Due to the entrance of the United States into the war and the superior design of the American Sherman, it was used exclusively for training purposes and was never used in...

s were used as a basis for the majority of conversions, as they were replaced by US Sherman tanks, and the original Kangaroos were converted back to self-propelled howitzers and returned to American forces.

After the war, different specialised APCs were developed. The United States developed a series of tracked vehicles, culminating in the M113
M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 "box on tracks", of which 80,000 were made. The Soviet Union developed the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 BTR-40
BTR-40
The BTR-40 is a Soviet non-amphibious, wheeled armoured personnel carrier and reconnaissance vehicle. It is often referred to as the Sorokovka in Soviet service. It is also the first mass-produced Soviet APC...

, BTR-152
BTR-152
The BTR-152 was a non-amphibious Soviet wheeled armored personnel carrier that entered Soviet service in 1950. By the early 1970s it had been replaced in the infantry vehicle role by the BTR-60...

, BTR-60
BTR-60
The BTR-60 is the first vehicle in a series of Soviet eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers. It was developed in the late 1950s as a replacement for the BTR-152 and was seen first time in public in 1961...

, BTR-70
BTR-70
The BTR-70 is an eight-wheeled armored personnel carrier , originally developed during the late 1960s under the industrial designator GAZ-4905. On August 21, 1972, it was accepted into service and would later be exported to the Warsaw Pact and other allies...

, BTR-80
BTR-80
BTR-80 is an 8x8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier designed in the Soviet Union. Production started in 1986 and replaced the previous versions, BTR-60 and BTR-70 in the Soviet army. -Description:The Soviets based the BTR-80 on the BTR-70 APC...

 and BTR-90
BTR-90
BTR-90 is an 8×8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier developed in Russia, designed in 1993 and first shown publicly in 1994. It is a larger version of the BTR-80 vehicle, fitted with a BMP-2 turret...

 into a series of 8-wheeled APC.

Although the M113
M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 was designed as an APC, it was among the first to be used in battle in the early 1960s when South Vietnam ARVN troops fought while mounted against infantry which sometimes lacked effective antitank weapons. After the Battle of Ap Bac
Battle of Ap Bac
The Battle of Ap Bac was a major battle fought on January 3, 1963, during the Vietnam War. It was fought in Dinh Tuong Province , South Vietnam. On December 28, 1962, U.S...

 showed that the exposed machine gun was vulnerable to enemy fire, they were fitted with the ACAV armour kit which protected the main machine gun and added shields for two additional gunners. The M113 served in Vietnam as one of the most effective and widely used armoured vehicles of that war, and remains in service today as a lighter and less expensive alternative to purpose-built IFVs.

The infantry fighting vehicle
Infantry fighting vehicle
An infantry fighting vehicle , also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle , is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide fire support for them...

 is a development of the armoured personnel carrier concept.

Design

Most armored personnel carriers use a diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

 comparable to that used in a large truck
Truck
A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, with the smallest being mechanically similar to an automobile...

 or in a typical city bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 (APCs are often known to troops as 'Battle Taxis' or 'Battle Buses'). The M113 for instance used the same engine as the standard General Motors urban bus.

Many APCs are amphibious
Amphibious vehicle
An amphibious vehicle , is a vehicle or craft, that is a means of transport, viable on land as well as on water – just like an amphibian....

. Usually tracked APCs are powered by their tracks in the water, and wheeled APCs have propellors or water jet
Water jet
Water jet has several meanings including :* Water jet cutter, a tool for cutting virtually any material* Water jet cleaning and surface preparation, a tool for cleaning and surface preparation using ultra-high pressure waterjet...

s. Preparations for amphibious operations usually comprises checking the integrity of the hull and folding down a trim vane in front. Swimming required fairly still waters, and good entry and exit points. Speed in water is typically 3–6 km/h.

Armour on APCs are usually composed of simple steel
Pot metal
Pot metal, also known as monkey metal, white metal or die-cast zinc, is a slang term that refers to alloys that consist of inexpensive, low-melting point metals used to make fast, inexpensive castings....

 or aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

, sufficient for protection against small fire arms and most shell fragments. Just about any type of anti-tank weapon can defeat the armour of an APC. Some APCs also come with NBC protection, which would protect its crew from radioactive fallout or the like.

The usual armament for an APC can vary from a 12.7 (.50") or 14.5 mm heavy machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

 to a 30 mm Automatic cannon (though an autocannon is usually enough to make it an IFV). This is mounted on top of the vehicle, either on a simple pintle mount, sometimes with a gun shield, or a small turret or Remote Weapon System (as on the Stryker
Stryker
The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

). Sometimes an automatic grenade launcher
Grenade launcher
A grenade launcher or grenade discharger is a weapon that launches a grenade with more accuracy, higher velocity, and to greater distances than a soldier could throw it by hand....

 is used instead. APCs such as the BTR-90
BTR-90
BTR-90 is an 8×8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier developed in Russia, designed in 1993 and first shown publicly in 1994. It is a larger version of the BTR-80 vehicle, fitted with a BMP-2 turret...

 also have the capability to launch ATGM
Anti-tank guided missile
An anti-tank missile , anti-tank guided missile , anti-tank guided weapon or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored military vehicles....

, which gives it an Anti-tank capability.

The design of armored personnel carriers has changed dramatically over the years. The Matador
Matador (Mine Protected Vehicle)
The Matador is an armoured personnel carrier and mine-protected vehicle that is produced by Paramount Group in South Africa. The vehicle was displayed for the first time in 2007, during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi...

, an armored personnel carrier produced by Paramount Group
Paramount Group
The Paramount Group is a group of internationally based companies offering programs and manufacturing products with a focus on defense, internal security and correctional services. The Executive Chairman of the Group is Ivor Ichikowitz, a South African industrialist of Lithuanian...

 in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, is fitted with a double-skin monocoque hull, which protects occupants against blasts up to STANAG 4569 Level III, the highest level of protection available.

The design of the V-shaped hull enables the Matador
Matador (Mine Protected Vehicle)
The Matador is an armoured personnel carrier and mine-protected vehicle that is produced by Paramount Group in South Africa. The vehicle was displayed for the first time in 2007, during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi...

 to withstand blasts of a double anti-tank mine (14 kg of TNT) at any point beneath the hull. The vehicle can also withstand a triple anti tank mine (21 kg of TNT) under any wheel.

See also

  • Half-track
    Half-track
    A half-track is a civilian or military vehicle with regular wheels on the front for steering, and caterpillar tracks on the back to propel the vehicle and carry most of the load. The purpose of this combination is to produce a vehicle with the cross-country capabilities of a tank and the handling...

  • Infantry fighting vehicle
    Infantry fighting vehicle
    An infantry fighting vehicle , also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle , is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide fire support for them...

  • List of modern armoured fighting vehicles
  • Armoured car (military)
  • Civilian armored vehicles in Canada
    INKAS
    INKAS Group of Companies is a privately-held, Canadian company specializing in security and protection services headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Founded in 1995, INKAS acted initially as an armed messenger service...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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