- Armoured personnel carrier
Armoured personnel carriers (APCs) are
armoured fighting vehicles developed to transport infantryon the battlefield. They usually have only a machine gunalthough variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), or mortars. They are not really designed to take part in a direct-fire battle, but to carry the troops to the battlefield safe from shrapneland ambush. They may have wheels or tracks. Examples include the American M113(tracked), the British FV 432 (tracked), the French VAB (wheeled), the Dutch/German GTK Boxer (wheeled) and the Soviet BTR (wheeled). More heavily armed and armoured are Infantry fighting vehicles, which are designed for direct combat.
World War I, when the tankwas 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 of 1918.
During World War II,
half-tracks such as the American M3 and the German SdKfz 251played 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 Carrieralso known as the Bren Carrier for the weapon it was designed to carry. 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, General Guy Simonds, ordered the conversion of 72 US-produced M7 Priestself-propelled howitzers to personnel carriers. They were, at the time, being replaced by the British Ordnance QF 25 pounder, 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, after the workshop which did the conversion, which was codenamed Kangaroo. Later in the war Canadian-built Ram tanks 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"box on tracks", of which 80,000 were made. The Soviet Uniondeveloped the wartime BTR-40, BTR-152, BTR-60, BTR-70and BTR-80into a series of 8-wheeled APC.
At the end of the 1980s,
Israelconverted captured T-55tanks to APCs, reminiscent of WWII conversions. The result is one of the best protected APCs in the world, called IDF Achzarit.
infantry fighting vehicleis a development of the armoured personnel carrier concept.
Currently Israel has bought and is manufacturing over 150 new Wolf's.
Most armoured personnel carriers use a
diesel enginecomparable to that used in a large truckor in a typical city bus(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. Usually tracked APCs are powered by their tracks in the water, and wheeled APCs have propellors or
water jets. 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 or
aluminium, sufficient for protection against small arms fire and most shell fragments. Just about any type of anti-tank weapon can defeat the armour of an APC.
The usual armament for an APC is a 12.7 (.50") or 14.5 mm heavy
machine gun. This is mounted on top of the vehicle, either on a simple pintle mount, sometimes with a gun shield, or a small turret. Sometimes an automatic grenade launcheris used instead.
Infantry fighting vehicle
List of modern armoured fighting vehicles
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Look at other dictionaries:
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