An infantry fighting vehicle is a type of armored fighting vehicle, used to provide direct-fire support and carry infantry into battle. The concept of an infantry fighting vehicle evolved from the armored personnel carrier, which was first used in World War I.
In the years after World War II, a number of armies around the world adopted infantry fighting vehicles. These included the West German Schützenpanzer Lang HS.30, first developed in 1956, the world’s first infantry fighting vehicle.
We will take a closer look at the infantry fighting vehicle in this blog post. Let’s get started.
What Is an Infantry Fighting Vehicle?
In the United States Army, there are three essential characteristics of an infantry fighting vehicle. Firstly, it must be armed with a least a medium-caliber cannon or automatic grenade launcher. It must also possess off-road mobility and be sufficiently protected against small arms fire.
The United Nations register for Conventional Arms is less specific in its definition. It defines an infantry fighting vehicle as any armored vehicle that is designed to fight with soldiers on board.
Another definition comes from the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. It defined the infantry fighting vehicle as an armored combat vehicle designed primarily to transport infantry, armed with an integral or organic cannon of at least 20 millimeters caliber. It may also be armed with an antitank missile launcher.
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is a tracked armored fighting vehicle platform and part of the United States Army. The vehicle was developed in response to the Soviet BMP family of infantry fighting vehicles. It first entered service in 1981.
The main roles of the unit are to:
- Safely transport infantry to locations on the battlefield
- Destroy enemy tanks and other vehicles
- Provide fire support to cover soldier’s dismounted operations
Here is a breakdown of the specifications of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle:
- Length: 21.5 ft
- Width: 12 ft
- Height 9.8 ft
- Mass: 27.6 tons
- Speed: 41 mph
- Armament: 7.62 mm M240C machine gun, TOW II missile system, 25mm M242 Bushmaster cannon
To date, more than 6,700 units have been built. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle includes a number of variants. These include the M2 Bradley, the M3 Bradley, the M4 Command and Control Vehicle, the Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle, the M6 Linebacker, and the M7 Bradley Fire Support Vehicle.
Your Guide to the Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The infantry fighting vehicle has long been an essential military vehicle, including within the U.S. military. Infantry fighting vehicles are popular in part due to being easier to maintain and less expensive than tanks, as well as having higher firepower than the more traditional armored personnel carriers.
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