Infantry fighting vehicle
Overview
 
An infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle (MICV), is a type of 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....

 used to carry 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...

 into battle and provide fire support for them. IFVs have a greater role in combat operations than even the main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s they serve alongside.

IFVs are similar to armoured personnel carrier
Armoured personnel carrier
An armoured personnel carrier is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles , or mortars...

s (APCs), designed to transport a section or squad of infantry (generally between five and ten men) and their equipment.
Encyclopedia
An infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle (MICV), is a type of 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....

 used to carry 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...

 into battle and provide fire support for them. IFVs have a greater role in combat operations than even the main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s they serve alongside.

IFVs are similar to armoured personnel carrier
Armoured personnel carrier
An armoured personnel carrier is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles , or mortars...

s (APCs), designed to transport a section or squad of infantry (generally between five and ten men) and their equipment. They are differentiated from APCs - which are purely transport vehicles, armed only for self defence - because they are designed to give direct
Direct fire
Direct fire refers to the launching of a projectile directly at a target on a relatively flat trajectory. The firing weapon must have a sighting device and an unobstructed line of sight to the target, which means no objects or friendly units can be between it and the target...

 fire support
Fire support
Fire support is long-range firepower provided to a front-line military unit. Typically, fire support is provided by artillery or close air support , and is used to shape the battlefield or, more optimistically, define the battle...

 to the dismounted infantry and so usually have significantly enhanced armament. IFVs also often have improved armour
Vehicle armour
Military vehicles are commonly armoured to withstand the impact of shrapnel, bullets, missiles, or shells, protecting the personnel inside from enemy fire. Such vehicles include tanks, aircraft, and ships....

 and firing ports (allowing the infantry to fire personal weapons while mounted).

They are typically armed with an autocannon
Autocannon
An autocannon or automatic cannon is a rapid-fire projectile weapon firing a shell as opposed to the bullet fired by a machine gun. Autocannons often have a larger caliber than a machine gun . Usually, autocannons are smaller than a field gun or other artillery, and are mechanically loaded for a...

 of 20 to 40mm caliber, 7.62mm machine guns and possibly with anti-tank missiles (ATGMs) and/or surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

s. IFVs are usually tracked
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...

, but some wheeled vehicles fall into this category, too. IFVs are generally much less heavily armed and armoured than main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s, but they sometimes carry missiles, such as the NATO TOW
BGM-71 TOW
The BGM-71 TOW is an anti-tank missile. "BGM" is a weapon classification that stands for "Multiple Environment , Surface-Attack , Missile ". "TOW" is an acronym that stands for "Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link, guided missile"...

 missile and Soviet Bastion
9M117 Bastion
The 9M117 Bastion is a Russian laser beam-riding anti-tank missile. It is used in a number of separate weapon systems including the 9K116-1 Bastion missile system , 9K118 Sheksna , Kastet and the 3UBK12 fired from the BMP-3...

 which offer a significant threat to tanks.

History

Western powers were surprised when the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 paraded the first purpose-designed IFV
BMP Development
The BMP series of infantry fighting vehicles were the first production line IFVs. Included in the series are the mainline BMPs, the airborne variant BMDs, and licensed modified and reverse engineered versions . BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty , meaning "fighting vehicle of infantry")...

, the BMP-1
BMP-1
The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty 1 , meaning "infantry fighting vehicle". The BMP-1 was the world's first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle...

, in 1967. The BMP possessed a very low profile and was armed with both a 73mm smoothbore gun and an AT-3 Sagger
AT-3 Sagger
The 9K11 Malyutka is a Manual Command to Line-of-Sight wire-guided anti-tank guided missile developed in the Soviet Union. It was the first man-portable anti-tank guided missile of the Soviet Union and is probably the most widely produced ATGM of all time—with Soviet production peaking at...

 ATGM. Its steeply-sloped front armour offered full protection against NATO's standard .50 calibre machine gun and partial protection against 20 millimetre Oerlikon cannon both in a 60 degree frontal arc, while its 73 mm gun
2A28 Grom
The 2A28 Grom is the main armament of the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle. It is a 73 mm low pressure smoothbore semi-automatic gun with wedge breechblock.-Description:...

 and ATGM were a threat to NATO APCs and even MBTs.

The first mass produced IFV was the West German Schützenpanzer 12-3
Schützenpanzer Lang HS.30
The Schützenpanzer Lang HS.30 was a German infantry fighting vehicle developed during the 1950s. It was a Swiss Hispano-Suiza design, with a Rolls-Royce engine. After some early mechanical problems only some 2000 were built of the 10,000 planned...

 which served in the Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 from 1958 until the early 1980s. The SPz 12-3 mounted a 20 mm autocannon in a small turret and carried a half-squad of five armored infantrymen.

Since then, all major military powers have developed or adopted IFVs. Examples include the German Marder
Marder (IFV)
The Marder is a German infantry fighting vehicle operated by the German Army as the main weapon of the Panzergrenadiere from the 1970s through the present day. Developed as part of the rebuilding of Germany's armoured fighting vehicle industry, the Marder has proven to be a successful and solid...

 and Puma
Puma (IFV)
The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle, the mass production has started on the 6th July 2009. It will replace the aging Marder IFVs, from 2010 through 2020. Governing company is PSM Projekt System Management, a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The Puma is...

, the Chinese ZBD-97
ZBD-97
The ZBD-97 or Type 97 is a Chinese Infantry fighting vehicle. It mounts a turret similar in design to that of the Russian BMP-3, although the chassis is different, with a front mounted engine, and rear troop compartment....

, the Soviet/Russian BMP-3
BMP-3
The BMP-3 is a Russian amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, successor to the BMP-1 and BMP-2. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty .- Production history :...

, the Indian Abhay IFV
Abhay IFV
Abhay is an Infantry Combat Vehicle being developed in India by the Defence Research and Development Organization . Abhay is being developed as a technology demonstrator for replacing Indian Army BMP-2s...

, the Yugoslavian BVP M-80
BVP M-80
The BVP M-80, is a Yugoslavian infantry fighting vehicle, produced in the 1980s until the Yugoslav civil wars in the 1990s.-Development:Early research and development of the M-80 began in 1969, with testing of the first completed prototype in 1974. First examples of the, BVP M-80 rolled out in 1979...

, the Canadian LAV III
LAV III
The LAV III armoured vehicle is the latest in the Generation III Light Armoured Vehicle series built by General Dynamics Land Systems, entering service in 1999. It is based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8....

, the British Warrior
Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle
The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armoured vehicles, originally developed to replace the older FV430 series of armoured vehicles. The Warrior started life as the MCV-80 project that was first broached in the 1970s, GKN Sankey/Defence winning the production contract in 1980....

, the American M2 Bradley
M2 Bradley
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is an American fighting vehicle platform manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, formerly United Defense.As with other infantry fighting vehicles, the Bradley is designed to transport infantry with armor protection while providing covering fire to suppress enemy...

, the Spanish Pizarro
ASCOD AFV
The ASCOD armoured fighting vehicle family is the product of a cooperation agreement between Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Spanish Santa Bárbara Sistemas The ASCOD (Austrian Spanish Cooperation Development) armoured fighting vehicle family is the product of a cooperation agreement between...

/ASCOD, the Italian Dardo
Dardo IFV
The Dardo is a infantry fighting vehicle designed for the Italian Army as a replacement for the M113 APC. It is designed and built by the Iveco Fiat Oto Melara Syndicated Company based in Rome...

, the South African Ratel
Ratel IFV
The Ratel is the basic Infantry Fighting Vehicle of the South African National Defence Force's mechanized infantry battalions. Ratel is the Afrikaans name for the honey badger, which has a reputation as a ferocious fighter.-History:...

, the French AMX-10P
AMX-10P
The AMX-10P is a French infantry fighting vehicle. It was developed after 1965 to replace the AMX-VCI in French service, and the first prototypes were completed in 1968. It has NBC protection and amphibious capabilities, with hydro jets to swim in water...

 and VBCI, the Swedish Combat Vehicle 90
Combat Vehicle 90
The Combat Vehicle 90 or Stridsfordon 90 is a Swedish infantry fighting vehicle designed by Hägglunds where the first generation was fitted with a Bofors turret. It is currently produced by BAE Systems Hägglunds.-Background:...

 and the Dutch YPR-765 AIFV
AIFV
The AIFV is a tracked light armored vehicle which serves as an infantry fighting vehicle in the armies of several countries. It is a development of the M113A1 armored personnel carrier.-History:...

.

Combat applications in close-combat environments are likely to drive up survivability requirements necessitating the same protection level required by main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s.

Doctrine

In times of asymmetrical warfare, local crises, and urban combat, the IFV is more important than ever. The IFV offers a viable compromise between mobility, protection, and firepower. They can be used in high
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...

 and low intensity conflict
Low intensity conflict
Low intensity conflict is the use of military forces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with the policies or objectives of the political body controlling the military force...

s as well as peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 operations. The latest vehicles, like the Patria AMV, have been designed with an emphasis on modularity that improves their ability to be repaired in the field.

Design

Infantry fighting vehicles are typically well armored, although usually with less protection than main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s. Typical armament is an autocannon
Autocannon
An autocannon or automatic cannon is a rapid-fire projectile weapon firing a shell as opposed to the bullet fired by a machine gun. Autocannons often have a larger caliber than a machine gun . Usually, autocannons are smaller than a field gun or other artillery, and are mechanically loaded for a...

 and machine guns. IFVs have an egress for dismounts.

Countermeasures

Generally, IFVs have thinner and less complex armour than tanks to ensure mobility. Most IFVs are resistant against heavy machine guns, artillery fragments, and small arms. The IFV's mission does not include anti-tank duties except in support of tank units or in emergencies; therefore, it needs less protection from heavy weapons fire. Instead, the IFV, as its name implies, is supposed to carry riflemen and their weapons into the battlefield where they dismount and fight outside the vehicle with the support of the IFV's main armament.

In IFVs, the thickness of armour varies widely between models. Some vehicles are proofed against nothing larger than 12.7 mm projectiles while others, such as Sweden's CV90, US Bradley M2A3
M2 Bradley
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is an American fighting vehicle platform manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, formerly United Defense.As with other infantry fighting vehicles, the Bradley is designed to transport infantry with armor protection while providing covering fire to suppress enemy...

 and Russia's BMP-3
BMP-3
The BMP-3 is a Russian amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, successor to the BMP-1 and BMP-2. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty .- Production history :...

, can withstand frontal hits from 30 mm autocannon. The sides, roof, and floors of IFVs have thinner armour. Vehicles must also protect crew against anti-personnel mines and against anti-tank mines.

Newer vehicles like the Finnish Patria AMV use armour made in interchangeable modules of various thickness. This permits the vehicle to be tailored for particular missions such as decreasing the weight of vehicle for air transportation or strengthening the protection if it engages in dangerous missions. The latest models of the Russian BMP-3 use the Arena active protection system
Arena Active Protection System
The Arena is an active protection system developed at Russia's Kolomna-based Engineering Design Bureau for the purpose of protecting armoured fighting vehicles from destruction by light anti-tank weapons, anti-tank guided missiles , and missiles with top attack warheads. It uses a Doppler radar...

 (APS) that protects the vehicle from missiles and rockets with velocities from 70 to 700 metres per second. Israeli IFVs will soon employ the "Iron Fist" APS which can defeat kinetic APFSDS tank rounds.

The most common counter measures are smoke grenade dischargers. These help IFVs to avoid a hits from ATGMs by allowing the IFV to hide behind a smoke screen. Some vehicles, such as the French VBCI, employ infra-red jamming flare dispensers. These are effective against missiles with IR guidance systems.

The term heavy infantry fighting vehicle is often applied to IFVs that are heavily armored.

Weaponry

The primary weapon on most IFVs is an autocannon, usually of a calibre between 20–40 mm, although IFVs such as the BMP-3
BMP-3
The BMP-3 is a Russian amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, successor to the BMP-1 and BMP-2. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty .- Production history :...

 carries a 100 mm gun/missile launcher along with a 30mm autocannon. It is effective against a wide range of targets such as unarmoured and lightly armoured vehicles, infantry, helicopters and low-flying aircraft. It can fire several types of munitions, including high explosive, incendiary, and kinetic penetrator rounds. Germany's Puma
Puma (IFV)
The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle, the mass production has started on the 6th July 2009. It will replace the aging Marder IFVs, from 2010 through 2020. Governing company is PSM Projekt System Management, a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The Puma is...

 and Sweden's CV90 can fire air burst munition, that contain hundreds of tungsten rods that are effective against vehicles, helicopters, and stationary strong points. IFV cannons can elevate their barrels by as much as 70 degrees to permit their crews to engage aircraft.

On many IFVs, a coaxial machine gun is mounted on the turret along with the main armament. The most common calibre is 7.62 mm (.30 cal). Some vehicles mount more machine guns; for example on the German Marder, one machine gun fires from the rear of the vehicle, and the Russian BMP-3 has two machine guns mounted in the hull facing forward.

Many IFVs utilize firing ports allowing infantry to fire without leaving the protection of the vehicle.

Some IFVs are equipped with anti-tank missiles. These missiles are mostly medium range (2000–4000 m). Others may carry surface-to-air missiles or a combination of the two, such as the 2T Stalker.

Some new vehicles, 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...

 or Puma
Puma (IFV)
The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle, the mass production has started on the 6th July 2009. It will replace the aging Marder IFVs, from 2010 through 2020. Governing company is PSM Projekt System Management, a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The Puma is...

, come equipped with 30, 40, 76, or 81 mm grenade launchers. Most IFVs also have smoke grenade dischargers for concealment.

Mobility

Most IFVs 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....

 and air transportable. A few, such as the Soviet BMD
BMD
BMD can refer to several things:* BMD - Polish music producer, DJ and party promoter* Britainy Maria Dye* BMD * BMD Big Medium Drink...

 series of the Chinese ZLC2000, can be deployed by a parachute system from aircraft directly into battle.

Wheeled IFVs can travel great distances on their own without needing to be transported by flat-bed trucks and railway, as required by tracked IFVs. Tracked IFVs need to have their treads serviced or replaced on a regular basis. The tracks themselves and the weight of the IFVs tend to be tough on road surfaces, wearing them down more quickly than a wheeled IFV. Many wheeled IFVs can extract themselves from a battlefield with specialized run-flat tires when not operating in difficult terrain, while an IFV with damaged tracks would require its tracks repaired in the field or a heavy vehicle
Armoured recovery vehicle
An armoured recovery vehicle is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to repair battle- or mine-damaged as well as broken-down armoured vehicles during combat, or to tow them out of the danger zone for more extensive repairs...

 to tow it out. However, tracks cannot be punctured like a tire so are more difficult to immobilize. A weapon that destroys a track will do significant more damage to a wheeled vehicle then a flat tire (such as destroying the axles in which case the vehicle will have to be towed away as well). Tracks also offer far greater off-road mobility, greater obstacle climbing capabilities and greater maneuverability than wheels. Unlike a wheeled vehicle, a tracked vehicle will not be stopped by a spike strip or roadblock. A tracked vehicle can reach places a wheeled vehicle can not. As IFVs often operate alongside tanks being tracked means that the vehicle can go everywhere that the tanks go, which a wheeled vehicle could not. In this case wheeled vehicles would either have to take another route (leaving the tanks without IFV support and the IFVs without tank protection) or the tanks would have to stay where the wheeled IFVs can go and drastically limit their own tactical mobility. Tracked vehicles can attack and operate from and in areas which a wheeled vehicle could not which is a great tactical advantage. A wheeled vehicle is limited to roads and not to difficult terrain which allows the enemy to predict where they will come from. Generally this means tracked vehicles have greater mobility except on roads where wheeled vehicles have the advantage of having a greater top speed. This is why many countries only use wheeled armor for support functions or low-risk peacekeeping missions whereas combat functions are performed by tracked vehicles. A compromise between wheels and tracks is the band track, which combines some of the advantages of wheels and tracks.

The mobility offered by IFVs is an asset in close combat, especially against fixed artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

. American military simulations in the 80s concluded a three to fivefold increase in artillery defense effectiveness when IFVs were deployed.

Throughout its life cycle an IFV is expected to gain 30% more weight from armor additions. This complicates the design by requiring additional power.

See also

  • Armoured warfare
    Armoured warfare
    Armoured warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war....

  • Armoured personnel carrier
    Armoured personnel carrier
    An armoured personnel carrier is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles , or mortars...

  • List of AFVs
  • List of modern armoured fighting vehicles
  • BMP development
    BMP Development
    The BMP series of infantry fighting vehicles were the first production line IFVs. Included in the series are the mainline BMPs, the airborne variant BMDs, and licensed modified and reverse engineered versions . BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty , meaning "fighting vehicle of infantry")...

  • Mechanized infantry
    Mechanized infantry
    Mechanized infantry are infantry equipped with armored personnel carriers , or infantry fighting vehicles for transport and combat ....

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