Armored personnel carrier
An armored personnel carrier (APC) is a lightly armored and armed combat vehicle that is intended to move infantry to a battlefield where they will fight on foot. Its armor protects the troops inside from machine gun fire, artillery fragments, but not direct hits from heavy weapons. It is not intended to move alongside them while they fight, although it may be able to support them with a heavy machine gun or other weapons, at the edge of the battle area.
APCs are lighter than infantry fighting vehicles. Some, especially when wheeled rather than tracked, can be dropped by parachute or carried by a large helicopter. APC chassis are typically used as the basis for a wide range of other military vehicles that are not in the thick of combat, such as command, forward air controller, artillery forward observer, combat engineer carrier, etc.
Some vehicles, such as the U.S. Army Stryker and U.S. Marine Corps LAV series, derived from the Canadian LAV III light-armored vehicle, a design modified from the Swiss Mowag Piranha, are wheeled, and intermediate in protection between APCs and IFVs.