Armored fighting vehicle

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Armored fighting vehicles have both a covering to protect them from blast, fragmentation, etc., and weapon systems that either directly impact an enemy or provide direct support to other armored vehicles that use fires against an enemy. The classic example of armored fighting vehicle is the tank (military), but other types include armored personnel carriers (e.g., U.S. M113 (armored personnel carrier), British Warrior), infantry fighting vehicles (e.g., Russian BTR (armored fighting vehicle) and U.S. M2 Bradley (armored fighting vehicle)), armored self-propelled artillery (e.g., U.S. M109 howitzer, and armored combat engineering vehicles (e.g., Assault Breacher Vehicle).

The military concept of "fires" is expanding to include information operations, so an armored vehicle carrying electronic warfare systems falls into this category, as would an armored loudspeaker vehicle used for psychological warfare on the battlefield.

Direct support of armored combat vehicles include armored mobile command vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, fire support control vehicles, and reconnaissance vehicles equipped with sensors for biological, chemical, or radiological threats.



One of the basic issues is whether a given AFV is, in practical terms, air transportable. The M1 Abrams is a single load for the heaviest of transport aircraft, where lighter vehicles can be carried by medium transports such as the C-130 Hercules.


On the ground, tracked vehicles can operate over the widest range of terrain, but current tracked vehicles are part of "heavy" forces, sometimes unable to go over civilian bridges or fit in narrow streets. Wheeled vehicles require less maintenance and usually are preferable for urban or light combat.