Mechanized infantry
Mechanized infantry are 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...

 equipped with armored personnel carriers (APCs), or 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 (IFVs) for transport and combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 (see also mechanized force).

Mechanized infantry is distinguished from motorized infantry, which is transported to battle by trucks or wheeled armored vehicles, in that their vehicles provide a degree of protection from hostile fire, as opposed to "soft-skinned" wheeled vehicles (trucks or jeeps). Most APCs and IFVs are fully tracked, or are all-wheel drive vehicles (6×6 or 8×8), for mobility across rough ground. Some nations distinguish between mechanized and armored infantry, designating troops carried by APCs as mechanized and those in IFVs as armored.

The support weapons for mechanized infantry are also provided with motorized transport, or are built directly into combat vehicles, in order to keep pace with the mechanized infantry in combat. For units equipped with most types of APC or any type of IFV, fire support weapons such as 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....

s, 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...

s, small-bore direct-fire 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, and even 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 are often mounted directly on the infantry's own transport vehicles.

Compared with "light" (foot-mobile) infantry or motorized infantry, mechanized infantry can maintain rapid tactical movement and (if mounted in IFVs) possess more integral firepower. They require more combat supplies (ammunition and especially fuel) and ordnance supplies (spare vehicle components), and a comparatively larger proportion of their manpower is required to crew and maintain the vehicles.

For example, most APCs mount a section of seven or eight infantrymen but have a crew of two. Most IFVs carry only six or seven infantry but require a crew of three. To be effective in the field, mechanized units also require large numbers of mechanics with specialized maintenance and recovery vehicles and equipment.


Arguably, the first mechanized infantry were 36 two-man infantry squads carried forward by Mark V* tanks at the Battle of Amiens in 1918. In a battle of such scale, their contribution went unnoticed.

Towards the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, all the armies involved were faced with the problem of maintaining the momentum of an attack. Tanks, artillery or infiltration tactics could all be used to break through an enemy defense, but almost all the offensives launched in 1918 ground to a halt after a few days. Pursuing infantry quickly became exhausted, and artillery, supplies and fresh formations could not be brought forward over the battlefields quickly enough to maintain the pressure on the regrouping enemy.

It was widely acknowledged that cavalry was too vulnerable to be used on most European battlefields, although many armies continued to deploy them. Motorized Infantry
Motorised infantry
In NATO and most other western countries, motorised infantry is infantry which is transported by trucks or other motor vehicles. It is distinguished from mechanized infantry, which is carried in armoured personnel carriers, infantry combat vehicles, or infantry fighting vehicles...

 could maintain rapid movement, but their trucks required either a good road network, or firm open terrain (such as desert). They were unable to traverse a battlefield obstructed by craters, barbed wire and trenches. Tracked or all-wheel drive vehicles were to be the solution.

Following the war, development of mechanized forces was largely theoretical for some time, until many nations began rearming in the 1930s. The British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 had established an Experimental Mechanized Force
Experimental Mechanized Force
The Experimental Mechanized Force was a brigade-sized formation of the British Army. It was officially formed on 27 August 1927, and was intended to investigate and develop the techniques and equipment required for armoured warfare. It was renamed the Experimental Armoured Force the following year...

 in 1927 but failed to pursue this line due to budget constraints and the prior need to garrison the frontiers of the Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...


Although some proponents of mobile warfare such as J.F.C. Fuller
J.F.C. Fuller
Major-General John Frederick Charles Fuller, CB, CBE, DSO was a British Army officer, military historian and strategist, notable as an early theorist of modern armoured warfare, including categorising principles of warfare...

 advocated "tank fleets", other soldiers such as Heinz Guderian
Heinz Guderian
Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was a German general during World War II. He was a pioneer in the development of armored warfare, and was the leading proponent of tanks and mechanization in the Wehrmacht . Germany's panzer forces were raised and organized under his direction as Chief of Mobile Forces...

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Adna R. Chaffee Jr. in the US and Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky was a Marshal of the Soviet Union, commander in chief of the Red Army , and one of the most prominent victims of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.-Early life:...

 in 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....

 recognized that tank units required close support from infantry and other arms, and that these supporting arms needed to maintain the same pace as the tanks.

As the Germans rearmed in the 1930s, they equipped some infantry units in their new Panzer
A Panzer is a German language word that, when used as a noun, means "tank". When it is used as an adjective, it means either tank or "armoured" .- Etymology :...

 (armored) divisions with the 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...

 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....

, which could keep up with tanks on most terrain. The French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Army also created Light Mechanized (Légère Méchanique) divisions in which some of the infantry units possessed small tracked carriers. Together with the motorization of the other infantry and support units, this gave both armies highly mobile, combined-arms formations. The German doctrine was to use these to exploit breakthroughs in Blitzkrieg
For other uses of the word, see: Blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg is an anglicized word describing all-motorised force concentration of tanks, infantry, artillery, combat engineers and air power, concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the lines are broken,...

 offensives, the French envisaged them being used to shift reserves rapidly in a defensive battle.

World War II

As World War II progressed, most major armies integrated tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

s or assault gun
Assault gun
An assault gun is a gun or howitzer mounted on a motor vehicle or armored chassis, designed for use in the direct fire role in support of infantry when attacking other infantry or fortified positions....

s with mechanized infantry (and other supporting arms such as artillery and engineers) as combined arms
Combined arms
Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different branches of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects...


Allied armored formations included a mechanized infantry element for combined arms teamwork. For example, US armored divisions had a balance of three battalions each of tanks, armored infantry, and self-propelled 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...

. US armored infantry were fully equipped with M2 and M3 halftracks. In the British and Commonwealth armies, "Type A Armoured Brigades", which were intended for independent operations or to form part of armored divisions, had a "motor infantry" battalion mounted in Bren carriers or later in Lend-Lease halftracks. "Type B" brigades lacked a motor infantry component and were subordinated to infantry formations.

The Canadian Army, and subsequently the British Army also, used expedients such as the Kangaroo APC
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...

, usually for specific operations rather than to create permanent mechanized infantry formations. The first such operation was Operation Totalize in the Battle of Normandy which, although it failed to achieve its ultimate objectives, nevertheless showed that mechanized infantry could incur far fewer casualties than dismounted troops in set-piece operations.
The German Army, having introduced mechanized infantry in their Panzer
A Panzer is a German language word that, when used as a noun, means "tank". When it is used as an adjective, it means either tank or "armoured" .- Etymology :...

Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

, later named them Panzergrenadier
is a German term for motorised or mechanized infantry, as introduced during World War II. It is used in the armies of Austria, Chile, Germany and Switzerland.-Forerunners:...

units. In the middle years of the war, they created entire mechanized infantry divisions, which they named Panzergrenadier divisions.

Because the German economy could not produce adequate numbers of their half track APC, barely a quarter or a third of the infantry in Panzer or Panzergrenadier divisions was mechanized, except in a few favored formations. The rest were moved by truck. However, most German reconnaissance units in these formations were also primarily mechanized infantry and could undertake infantry missions when needed. The Allies generally used jeeps, armored cars or light tanks for reconnaissance.

The Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 began the war while still in the process of reorganizing its armored and mechanized formations, most of which were destroyed during the first months of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. About a year later, the Soviets recreated division-sized mechanized infantry units termed Mechanized Corps
Mechanized Corps (Soviet)
A mechanised corps was a Soviet armoured formation used prior to the beginning of World War II.- Pre-war development of Soviet mechanised forces :...

, usually consisting of one tank brigade and three mechanized infantry brigades, with motorized supporting arms. They were generally used in the exploitation phase of offensives, as part of the pre-war Soviet concept of Deep operations
Deep operations
Deep battle was a military theory developed by the Soviet Union for its armed forces during the 1920s and 1930s. It was developed by a number of influential military writers, such as Vladimir Triandafillov and Mikhail Tukhachevsky who endeavoured to create a military strategy with its own...


The Soviet Army also created several Cavalry mechanized group
Cavalry Mechanized Group
A cavalry-mechanized group was a type of military formation used in the Red Army during World War II against Germany and Japan.- Organization :...

s in which tanks, mechanized infantry and horsed cavalry were mixed. These also were used in the exploitation and pursuit phases of offensives. Red Army mechanized infantry were generally carried on tanks
Tank desant
Tank desant is a military combined arms tactic, where infantry soldiers ride into an attack on tanks, then dismount to fight on foot in the final phase of the assault...

 or trucks, with only a few dedicated Lend-lease APCs.

The New Zealand Army
New Zealand Army
The New Zealand Army , is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted around 1946...

 ultimately fielded a division of roughly similar composition to a Soviet Mechanized Corps, which fought in the Italian Campaign
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

, although it had little scope for mobile operations until near the end of the war.

The Cold War

In the post-war era, the early years of 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...

, the Soviet Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 and NATO further developed the equipment and doctrine for mechanized infantry. With the exception of airborne formations, the Red Army mechanized all its infantry formations. Initially, wheeled APCs (e.g. the 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...

) were used, some of which lacked overhead protection and were therefore vulnerable to artillery fire. This nevertheless gave the Soviet Army greater strategic flexibility, given the large land area and long borders of the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...


The US Army established the basic configuration of the tracked APC with the M75
M75 (APC)
The M75 is a American armored personnel carrier that was produced between December 1952 and February 1954, and saw service in the Korean War. It was replaced in U.S. service by the smaller, cheaper, amphibious M59. The M75s were given as military aid to Belgium where they were used until the early...

 and M59
M59 (APC)
The M59 was a U.S. armored personnel carrier that entered service in spring of 1954 replacing the M75. It had three key advantages over the M75: it was amphibious, had a lower profile, and was considerably cheaper to produce. Approximately 6,300 were built before production ended in 1960. The M84...

 before adopting the lighter M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
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...

 which could be carried by C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 and other transport aircraft. The vehicle gave infantry the same mobility as tanks though with much less effective armor protection (but with nuclear, biological, and chemical protection).

In Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, the M113 was often fitted with extra armament and used as an ad-hoc Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Early operations by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam , sometimes parsimoniously referred to as the South Vietnamese Army , was the land-based military forces of the Republic of Vietnam , which existed from October 26, 1955 until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975...

 using the vehicle showed that troops were far more effective while mounted in the vehicles than when they dismounted. American doctrine subsequently emphasized mounted tactics. The Americans ultimately deployed a mechanized brigade and ten mechanized battalions to Vietnam.

Even more important for future developments was the Soviet 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...

, which was the first true Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Its introduction prompted the development of similar vehicles in Western armies, such as the West German
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

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 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...

. Unlike the APC which was intended merely to transport the infantry from place to place under armor, the IFV possessed heavy firepower which could support the infantry in attack or defense. Many IFVs were also equipped with firing ports from which their infantry could fire their weapons from inside, although these were generally not successful and have been dropped from modern IFVs.

Soviet organization led to different tactics between the "light" and "heavy" varieties of mechanized infantry. In the Soviet Army, a first-line "Motor Rifle" division from the 1970s onward usually had two regiments equipped with the wheeled 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...

 APC and one with the tracked BMP-1 IFV. The "light" regiments were intended to make dismounted attacks on the division's flanks while the BMP-equipped "heavy" regiment remained mounted and supported the division's tank regiment on the main axis of advance. Both types of infantry regiment nevertheless were officially titled "Motor Rifle" units.

A line of development in the Soviet Armed Forces from the 1980s was the provision of specialized IFVs for use by their airborne forces
The Russian Airborne Troops or VDV is a military branch of service of the Russian Military, on par with the Strategic Rocket Forces and the Russian Space Forces...

. The first of these was the BMD-1
The BMD-1 is a Soviet airborne amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle, which was introduced in 1969 and first seen by the West in 1970. BMD stands for Boyevaya Mashina Desanta . It can be dropped by parachute and although it resembles the BMP-1 it is in fact much smaller...

, which had the same firepower as the 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...

, but which could be carried in or even parachuted from the standard Soviet transport aircraft. This made airborne formations into mechanized infantry at the cost of reducing their "bayonet" strength, as the BMD could carry only three, or at most four, paratroopers in addition to its three-man crew. They were used in this role in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

 in 1979. This trend has had limited uptake in Western forces with only Germany equipping their airmobile division with the similar Wiesel tankette two of which can be carried inside a CH-53.

The present day

At present, almost all infantry units from industrialized nations are provided with some type of motor transport. Infantry units equipped with IFVs rather than lighter vehicles are commonly designated as "heavy", indicating more combat power but also more costly long-range transportation requirements.

In the British Army, "heavy" units equipped with the Warrior IFV
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....

 are described as "Armoured Infantry", and units with the Bulldog APC as "Mechanised Infantry". This convention is becoming widespread; for example the French Army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

 has "Motorisées" units equipped with the wheeled 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...

 and "Mécanisées" (armoured) units with the tracked 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...


The transport and other logistic requirements have led many armies to adopt wheeled APCs when their existing stocks of tracked APCs require replacement. An example is the Canadian Army, who have used the 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....

 wheeled IFV in fighting in Afghanistan. The US Army has also followed this trend, having formed brigades which use the 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:...

 wheeled IFV (although they will continue to field "heavy" formations for many years to come). On the other hand, the Italian
Italian Army
The Italian Army is the ground defence force of the Italian Armed Forces. It is all-volunteer force of active-duty personnel, numbering 108,355 in 2010. Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank destroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft...

, Spanish
Spanish Army
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.-Introduction:...

 and Swedish
Swedish Army
The Swedish Army is one of the oldest standing armies in the world and a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces; it is in charge of land operations. General Sverker Göranson is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Army.- Organization :...

 armies are adopting (and exporting) new indigenous-produced tracked IFVs. The Swedish CV90 IFV in particular has been adopted by several armies.

A recent trend seen in the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are the military services of Russia, established after the break-up of the Soviet Union. On 7 May 1992 Boris Yeltsin signed a decree establishing the Russian Ministry of Defence and placing all Soviet Armed Forces troops on the territory of the RSFSR...

 is the development and introduction of exceptionally well-armored APCs (HAPC) such as the IDF Achzarit
IDF Achzarit
The Achzarit is a heavily armored armored personnel carrier manufactured by the Israeli Defence Forces Corps of Ordnance.-History:...

 which are converted from obsolete Main Battle Tanks
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

 (such as the Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n T-55
The T-54 and T-55 tanks were a series of main battle tanks designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of...

). Such vehicles are usually expedients, and lack of space prevents the armament of an IFV being carried in addition to an infantry section or squad. In the Russian Army, such vehicles were introduced for fighting in urban areas, where the risk from short range infantry anti-tank weapons such as the RPG-7
The RPG-7 is a widely-produced, portable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Originally the RPG-7 and its predecessor, the RPG-2, were designed by the Soviet Union, and now manufactured by the Bazalt company...

 is highest, after Russian tank and motor infantry units suffered heavy losses fighting insurgents in Grozny
Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census. but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989...

 during the First Chechen War
First Chechen War
The First Chechen War, also known as the War in Chechnya, was a conflict between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, fought from December 1994 to August 1996...

 in 1995.

Many APCs and IFVs currently under development are intended for rapid deployment by aircraft. New technologies which promise reduction in weight, such as electric drive, may be incorporated. However, facing a similar threat in Post-invasion Iraq to that which prompted the Russians to convert tanks to APCs, the occupying armies have found it necessary to apply extra armor to existing APCs and IFVs, which adds to the overall size and weight. Some of the latest designs (such as the German 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...

) are intended to allow a light, basic model vehicle which is air-transportable to be fitted in the field with additional protection, thereby ensuring both strategic flexibility and survivability.

Combined arms operations

It is generally accepted that single weapons system types are much less effective without the support of the full combined arms team; the pre-WWII notion of "tank fleets" has proven to be as unsound as the WWI idea of unsupported infantry attacks. Though many nations' armored formations included an organic
Organic (military)
In military terminology, organic refers to a military unit that is a permanent part of a larger unit and provides some specialized capability to that parent unit...

 mechanized infantry component at the start of World War II, the proportion of mechanized infantry in such combined arms formations was increased by most armies as the war progressed.

The lesson was re-learned, first by the Pakistani Army in the 1965 War with India, where the nation fielded two different types of armored divisions: one which was almost exclusively armor (the 1st) while another was more balanced (the 6th). The latter division showed itself to be far more combat capable than the former.

Having achieved spectacular successes in the offensive with tank-heavy formations during the Six Day War, the Israeli Defense Force found in the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

of 1973 that a doctrine that relied primarily on tanks and aircraft had proven inadequate. As a makeshift remedy, paratroopers were provided with motorized transport and used as mechanized infantry in coordination with the armor.
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