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Intent Statement and scope:
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Armored vehicles are military vehicles which utilize armored protection in order to protect their crew and passengers from enemy fire. Most vehicles feature some type of armament for both self-protection and offensive capabilities. The capabilities of armored vehicles can often be categorized into three traits; protection, mobility, and firepower. The strengths of a vehicle in these categories will determine how best the crew and commander can employ the vehicle, and exploit the enemy's weaknesses.
The "armor" of vehicles traditionally refers to the physical materials used to protect the crew and critical components of the vehicle from various forms of enemy fire. This could be as simple as metal such as steel or aluminum of sufficient thickness to stop small arms fire and shrapnel. More modern vehicles utilize composite armor that increases resistance to chemical-based ammunition such as shaped-charge HEAT projectiles. Additional forms of protection may include explosive-reactive armor (ERA), or external "cage" armor. Passive protection may include jammers or infra-red floodlights to confuse the seeker on a missile. Smoke dischargers or camouflage netting can prevent observation or direct line-of-sight between the enemy and the vehicle.
If you possess superior protection to the enemy, this allows your vehicle to hold key terrain and dictate the enemy's movement and force them to react to you. If the enemy posses superior protection, this means trying to engage in direct combat is not advised. You should seek to even the odds by flanking, ambushing, or avoiding them altogether.
Mobility refers to the vehicles ability to traverse various terrain or obstacles, and the speed it can do so. This is usually a balance between the power of it's engine, and the total weight of the vehicle. Armored vehicles also use either wheels or tracks. Wheels often allow the vehicle to move faster on roads and other prepared surfaces, they also make less noise. Tracks offer greater off-road mobility, and are usually required for the heaviest vehicles such as main battle tanks and heavy infantry fighting vehicles, however they usually cannot reach the same speed as wheeled vehicles on roads. Mobility is key for maneuvering on the enemy, exploiting breakthroughs, and withdrawing quickly.
Amphibious capability is another form of mobility that some vehicles possess. Vehicles equipped with this capability can cross lakes, rivers, and in some cases even the ocean surf. This allows them to avoid limitations such as bridges or fords that can funnel vehicles towards predictable routes.
If you posses superior mobility, you should use this to out flank or bypass enemies not directly in opposition to completing your objective. It also allows you to react faster across a wider area to the enemy by quickly re-positioning. If the enemy possess superior mobility, you should be prepared to appear on your flanks or behind you, and be prepared to quickly re-position in order to engage them.
Firepower concerns the weapon(s) carried and used by vehicle. These can vary greatly depending on the vehicles intended mission. Some may only carry machine-guns for basic self-defense against troops and light materiel. Others may carry automatic cannons, grenade-launchers, guided missiles, and large-caliber cannons. Each weapon has limitations on its capabilities including rate of fire, range, accuracy, targeting method, armor penetration, and amount of ammunition carried. Firepower will dictate on what terms the vehicle is best suited to engage the enemy. A tank is unsuited to fighting infantry at close range, where a machinegun-armed personnel carrier is not ideal for engaging armored vehicles at range.
If you possess superior firepower, you should use your vehicle in a way that maximizes its effectiveness while minimizing risk to you. Superior effective range can be use to engage outside the enemy's ability to return fire. High-explosive ammunition can be used to turn fortifications and buildings from an advantage to a liability for the enemy. If the enemy has superior firepower, seek to minimize his advantage by engaging close enough thatyour weapons are effective, or using terrain or fortifications to improve your protection.
Sain Battle Tankection
The Main Battle Tank (MBT) is the modern evolution of the tank. While tanks were once classified by their armor and weapons into Light, Medium, and Heavy, MBTs combine modern armor, high performance engines, and large cannons to provide maximum flexibility. MBTs are well-protected, can move relatively quickly across most terrain, and posses the ability to engage nearly any vehicle they may encounter. Their size can be prohibitive in restricting terrain and urban environments, and can provide a lucrative target for purpose-built anti-tank weapons such as missiles and rockets. Their degree of protection can also limit their situational awareness and ability to engage close targets. Close cooperation with friendly infantry is often required for tanks to successfully engage the enemy in these environments.
Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) evolved from the concept of both the tank and the APC. While the APC could quickly move troops through artillery and small arms fire most likely to cause casualties while closing with the enemy, they were typically ill-equipped to actually engage the enemy en-route or once at their objective. The IFV sought to remedy this by combining the mobility and troop-carrying capability of the APC with the firepower of a tank. IFVs do not posses the armor or heavy armaments most tanks posses, but can still engage most targets effectively that threaten dismounted troops. Common weapons include an auto-cannon that can fire either armor-piercing or high-explosive ammunition. It's flat trajectory an high rate-of-fire means it is ideal for destroying fortifications and strong points, even while on the move. The anti-tank guided missile is another common weapon, allowing the vehicle to effectively engage enemy armor, even main battle tanks, at comparable ranges, albeit at a lower rate of fire compared to an MBT's cannon.
The Heavy IFV is a subset of the Infantry Fighting Vehicle. This is a vehicle that seeks to provide the same level or protection enjoyed by an MBT, while still retaining the ability to carry troops. This typically comes at the cost of mobility and firepower, as they are often based on the hull of MBTs without the large turret and cannon. These are meant for situations and environments where direct combat and exposure to effective enemy fire cannot be avoided, and higher protection is sought over mobility. Examples include the Israeli Namer and German Puma.
Armored Personnel Carrier
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