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Encyclopedia > Armored personnel carriers
East German BRDMs on parade during celebrations of the 40th anniversary of East Germany in 1989

Armoured personnel carriers (APCs) are light armoured fighting vehicles for the transport of infantry. They usually have only a machine gun although 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 shrapnel and ambush. They may have wheels or tracks. Examples include the American French VAB (wheeled) and the Russian BTR series (wheeled).

Most armoured personnel carriers use a diesel engine comparable to that used in a large truck or in a typical city bus. The M-113 for instance used the same engine as the standard General Motors urban bus. A single M-113 moving at top speed generates as much noise as a General Motors urban bus moving at top speed. However, the typical armoured personnel carrier contains only six or ten soldiers while a typical urban bus can carry thirty to fifty seated passengers, and hundreds when standing passengers are included.

Because of the increase usage of APCs in urban warfare, extra armor was added to some types of APCs. In some cases, old tanks were converted to heavy APCs, exploiting strong chassis and powerful engine. This class of armored fighting vehicles is known as HAPC - heavy armoured personnel carriers. The best example for such an HAPC is the heavy IDF Achzarit, which is considered one of the best-protected APCs in the world. Interestingly, the original APC was created in World War II, when Allied leaders found a better use for a poorly armed tank, the Canadian Ram, whose turret they took off to create the Kangaroo.

Another result of urban warfare is the spreading of wheeled APCs, such as the American Stryker or the German Fuchs. The Strykers are very versatile and they come with serveral configurations: APCs, CEV, 105mm cannon, mortar, anti-tank gun, recon, communication etc.

Romanian Transportor Auto Blindat APCs that made infamous frontline news in 1989 were mostly 8-wheel, massive Romanian clones of the Soviet BTR60 APC. Soldiers hated this machine, with unconfortable access from above and heavy latches that seemed designed to snap one's fingers off. Limited visibility and clumsy maneuvrability in an urban environement might have contributed (along with bad will, of course) to the numbers of deaths through crushing during the Romanian Revolution.

  Results from FactBites:
DefendAmerica News - Iraqi Armed Forces Receive 38 Armored Personnel Carriers (330 words)
Another 22 tanks and multi-purpose armored vehicles are scheduled to arrive this week in addition to the six remaining Panhard M3s.
Panhard M3 armored personnel carriers are six-wheeled armored personnel carriers used to delivery infantry safely onto the battlefield and can be used for convoy security purposes as “gun trucks” as well.
The armored vehicles are capable of carrying a passenger load of up to 10 soldiers, are typically armed with heavy machine guns, and are capable of traveling up to 55 miles per hour on roads.
  More results at FactBites »



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