What is An Armored Personnel Carrier?

What is An Armored Personnel Carrier?

An armored personnel carrier (APC) belongs to a classification of machine known as armored fighting vehicles (AFV), which are typically involved with armed combat.  The APC, however, is not designed for attack; rather it is a vehicle used to protect infantry during ground transport.  Also known as “battle taxis” or “battle buses,” the Troy Armoring APC is quite different from other infantry-based armored fighting vehicles based upon its equipped weapon.

APC: A Definition

According to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, the Armored Personnel Carrier is “an armoured combat vehicle which is designed and equipped to transport a combat infantry squad and which, as a rule, is armed with an integral or organic weapon of less than 20 millimeters calibre.”

APC: A History

Essentially, the first armored personnel carriers likely appeared as part of the Western Front of World War I.  More specifically, APCs became quite important during the later parts of the war as Allied tanks managed to break through enemy lines with little trouble; but the infantry following close behind were largely vulnerable to both small arms and artillery fire.  And without infantry support, the tanks would also be more isolated and, thus, more vulnerable to destruction too.

In response to this, British troops started experimenting with the idea of carrying machine-gun crews in Mark V tanks. Obviously, this was to keep them safe; unfortunately, they soon found that the conditions within the steel beasts rendered the soldiers unfit for immediate combat.  As such, Britain designed the very first, purpose-built armored troop transport—known as the Mark IX—but, ironically, the war ended before they were able to put it use.

APC:  Design

APC vehicles can vary greatly in weight:  on the low end, these machines can weigh 6 tons and at the high end, about 40 tons.  On average, these vehicles weigh between 9 and 20 tons as these have the troop capacity of between 8 and 12 dismountable troops.  Larger vehicles might carry 20 or more troops, but all should be able to manage at least one driver; some with a gunner, and others with a commander.

Also, APC vehicles are mobilized by either wheels or tracks, sometimes even a combination of both (which is known as a “half-track”).  Track vehicles have better traction and off-road maneuverability.  Wheeled APCs are faster on the open road and can cross longer distances.

Categories: Automotive

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