Awesome Personnel Carrier
Sometimes in war, neither the Cool Car
nor the Cool Tank
is enough. You need something that can carry The Squad
into and out of battle and even fight alongside it if need be. How do you do this with a simple Armored Personnel Carrier? Easy, slap some more armor on it. Give it a BFG
or three and maybe even the ability to crush other things like a tank!
Enter the Awesome Personnel Carrier, the all-around badass vehicle not just meant to be an overpriced and underarmored taxi. In modern warfare settings, expect these to be ripped off from the BMP and M2 Bradley series of vehicles or some of their relations. In sci-fi settings, this might incorporate more elements of the Cool Tank or have an exotic unloading method.
Special mention should be given here as to terminology. The term IFV denotes Infantry Fighting Vehicle, as in a vehicle that directly engages and suppresses the enemy while the squad does its thing after exiting the vehicle. An APC, or Armored Personnel Carrier, simply shuttles the squad to and from battle. It might not actually do any fighting whatsoever. But that doesn't mean it can't be cool
on its own. APC is commonly used to cover both types of vehicles despite this being incorrect, although the line between armed battle-taxi and light IFV can be quite blurred.
Naturally, compare Cool Tank
cheat by being both, and the Russian Mi-24 Hind ups the stakes again
by flying. If the APC often gets confused with an actual tank you've got Tanks, but No Tanks
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Anime and Manga
- The opening scene in one of the Appleseed movie has Deunan and her squad being attacked by two ACPs armed with gatling guns that effortlessly jump through walls and reduce the battlefield to even finer rubble.
- Gundam Unicorn gives us the D50C Loto, a 12 meter high mobile suit that can transform into a tank like vehicle and carry a squad of special forces troops inside it, doesn't get more awesome than that.
- Note the height, however—the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam from the same series is nearly twenty meters tall plus an extra meter or two in Destroy Mode. The Loto is so small that the 1/144-scale model kit had to be doubled up (two in a single package) in order to match up with the content and price point of a regular Gundam model.
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Section 9 relies on a disguised delivery van (complete with harmless-looking corporate logo) that actually doubles as both a personnel carrier and a communications hub.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing mostly rejects space warships, unlike other Gundam series, because most of the combat in the setting is counter-insurgency rather than large-scale. Space deployment thus embraces this trope on a Mobile Suit scale.
- The Colonial Marines APCnote carried by the Drop Ship in Aliens. It included sliding armored side doors, front minigun turret, heavy weapons turret (with reduced clearance option), no-flat tires, and a fully integrated command station that could provide the platoon leader with real-time video feeds from every grunt.
- Although it manages to be bigger inside than out - the squad can stand up within the APC, but are taller than it outside.
- Soldier's Crawler APC, is just as sophisticated as the Colonial Marine APC: armored side doors, missile launchers, a dual machine gun turret, a remote-controlled mortar, tires larger than its passengers and a command interface fixed onto the driver's pod. The director claims that the Crawler is almost as powerful as a tank. The model was built from a stripped-down tractor.
- But just like the Colonial Marine APC, it had interior size problems when it comes to people 6 feet tall. The solution: hire 5-footers.
- Oh, and just in case you're wondering, this is what it looks like◊.
- A number of the vehicle in the Star Wars movies would count, with the regular troops often outnumbering crew. The most famous example is the AT-AT from The Empire Strikes Back. This was subverted occasionally though, in that some vehicles that were called transports in fact weren't.
- Avatar features the C-21 Dragon Assault Ship, featuring eight 50MM sentry guns, dozens of missile pods, not one but two cockpits, and enough cargo space for a squad of AMP suits.
- In Doomsday, Sinclair's team enter virus-infected Scotland through the rebuilt Hadrian Wall in a pair of sleek-looking APC said to be the last of their types. They look heavy but a crossbow arrow kills one of the drivers - though the action doesn't let audience wonder about armor long enough to suspend suspension of disbelief.
- In Black Hawk Down, the Pakistani troops display this trope by playing The Cavalry the smart way: by charging in heavy AP Cs that could withstand the withering crossfire that the American Humvees couldn't.
- The EM-50 from Stripes is an example that is Played for Laughs (but is still Awesome).
- The "Land Master" from Damnation Alley.
Live Action TV
- UFO. The fully-tracked Mobiles of SHADO have a radar dish on top and carry a squad of assault rifle-toting redshirts for taking on the anonymous alien invaders, yet are small enough to be deployed via aircraft.
- Power Rangers S.P.D.: With their SWAT Mode comes with a SWAT truck that's loaded with cannons and can crash through pretty much anything.
- In The Doomfarers of Coramonde by Brian Daley, a sorcerer from a parallel sword-and-sorcery universe grabs an APC and its crew from out of the middle of the Vietnam War...in order to fight a dragon. (The sorcerer was actually trying for a full-scale tank, somewhat to the irritation of the APC crew.)
- Warhammer 40,000 has a plethora of them :
- The Imperial Guard has the Chimera, which is essentially a BMP In SPACE!!
- Not to mention the Valkyrie Gunship, which is essentially a Hind In SPACE!!
- The Space Marines have Rhinos, which are essentially
metal BAWKSES M113s In SPACE!! They also have the Land Raider, which is essentially a mobile fortress packing twin-linked heavy bolters and lascannons. Alternatively, one can view the Land Raider as just a World War I tank In SPACE!!
- Note, however, that the Rhino isn't particularly awesome for this trope's specifications: its armour and firepower are rather modest for game standards (the IG Chimera mentioned above is better armed and armoured). Then again, the Space Marines inside are also better armed and armored than the Imperial Guard.
- The Rhino, apparently, is such an Awesome Personnel Carrier that with the exception of the aforementioned Land Raider, Rhino chassis form the basis for every tank the army fields. Need an IFV? Reduce the transport and stick a couple of heavy weapons on top (The Razorback)! Need a Main Battle Tank? Slap some more armour on the front (internally!) and a turret on top (The Predator)! Need a Multiple Missile Launcher? Just... you get the picture (The Whirlwind).
- Let's not forget that this same "APC" is used by the Arbites - the police - on Imperial worlds. The cops don't drive around in squad cars. They drive around in fucking tanks. And they will use a whole station house's worth of Rhinos to barricade a damn street if they need to.
- The Land Raider has, recently, undergone the same level of insane modding as its Rhino cousin. Anything you can stick on a Rhino these days, you can stick on a Land Raider - but more. (Helios has a multiple missile launcher like the Whirlwind, Prometheus has a massive comms array like the Damocles Rhino, Redeemer has a pair of super flamers and assault cannons like a Bhaal Predator... and so on, up to one variant which has a fortress-busting siege cannon on its forward miniturret).
- With the capacity to carry eight guys in power suits originally designed for performing maintenance on active plasma generators from the inside.
- The Imperial Guard also has a super heavy transport, the Crassus. Or, as Memetic Mutation demands, the CRASSUS ARMOURED ASSAULT TRANSPORT, which can carry thirty Guardsmen or two Cyclops.
- And the Gorgon, which is basically a scaled-up WWII landing craft with caterpillar tracks, able to carry fifty infantrymen or two Cyclopes, or, if you really want to bring the pain, three Space Marine Dreadnought combat walkers.
- The Marines have the Spartan Assault Tank, an up-armored, up-gunned, and enlarged Land Raider that can carry 25 marines or 12 Terminators. They have something even larger, the Mastodon, but it doesn't have rules or a model yet.
- The Sisters of Battle use the Immolator, which is also built on the Rhino chassis and usually features turret-mounted flamers - essentially, a Razorback modded as a chapel. They also field the Reppressor, an even more awesome version of the basic Rhino, with expanded transport capacity, a flamethrower miniturret, and a massive bulldozer blade.
- Like the Marines, they also have the Exorcist, which mounts a Pipe Organ/Multiple Missile Launcher.
- The Tau have the Devilfish Skimmer, which is also a gunship.
- Orks have Wartrukks and Battlewagons.
- The Eldar have the Wave Serpant grav-tank fitting into the APC role, with an energy shielded prow and a pair of heavy infantry scale weapons mounted on top, while their Falcon grav-tank fits into the IFV role, being able to carry smaller squads than the Wave Serpent but having superior weaponry for suppressing enemy armor and infantry.
- The Imperial Guard have the Stormlord Super Heavy Tank, its basic chassis is shared with that the other Imperial Guard Super Heavies (i.e. Bane Blade Shadowsword) and it can carry 40 guardsmen and has enough firepower to slaughter any infantry in sight.
- Don't forget the Eldar Storm Serpent in Epic, this thing doesn't carry infantry like a normal APC but has an in built webway gate which can pump out as many reinforcements as you need from half the galaxy away.
- The Dark Eldar Raider, which looks uncannily like a scaled-down version of Jabba the Hutt's sail barge in Star Wars.
- Rifts has nearly as many APCs, if not more. Such as the heavily-armed Coalition Mark V, the amphibious Iwo Jima-class hovercraft, or the German Leopard III, which not only carries infantry, but can also lug around a small tank' for extra firepower.
- BattleTech also fields a number of APCs and IFVs which include wheeled, tracked, hover, and flying varieties.
- BattleTech is also quite guilty of mixing the categories. The ten-ton 'generic' APCs aren't much to write home about and thus not this trope (and in fact can't even be used as APCs without optional rules because their infantry bays are too small for a full platoon) — on the other hand one gets things like the Maxim Heavy Hover "Transport", which dedicates all of three of its fifty tons to transport space (just enough for a single platoon on foot), but packs a fair-sized array of missiles and machine guns to 'defend' itself with. Adding to this, OmniMechs and -Vehicles of any stripe can serve as Awesome Personnel Carriers to battle armor infantry, a friendly four- to six-trooper unit of whom can simply hitch a ride on any of them by clinging to dedicated handholds on the outside.
- Dungeons & Dragons has the Siege Crab, a magically altered and reinforced Giant Friend Crab with a cabin hollowed out of it's body. A magical piece of headgear lets the wearer control the crab, so it can be used to both carry people through dangerous environments and crush enemies in its four claws.
- Act of War features many Real Life carriers, including the Stryker and the BTR-80, all of them beautifuly modelled.
- Videogame/Planetside has several : The amphibious 5-seat Deliverers (which look like beefed-up futuristic Hummers) and their faction variants, with their own unique weapons. The Sunderer or "Bang Bus" is an absolutely massive bus covered in guns with the capability of carrying players in MAX armor and seating 11 users. The Sunder was later removed from the game and replaced with a uniquely armed variant for each faction, though all variants have a cattle catcher, an EMP blast ability, and ball turrets on the sides. Planetside 2 only has the Sunderer, but it functions much better as an APC due to far better handling, ability to run over smaller vehicles, and an array of support abilities like deploying to turn into a spawn point
- Wargame: European Escalation is played on such large maps that infantry moving on foot would never be able to get to where they're needed, so every infantry squad comes with a transport vehicle. Most of them are listed under Real Life, below.
- The Battle Fortress, IFV, Humvee and the many other forms of it in Command & Conquer. Some forms, like the Battle Fortress, can crush other vehicles!
- One particularly hilarious example from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is the Bullfrog, an otherwise-normal APC armed with an anti-air gun. Its only outstanding feature is its method of delivery: instead of unloading the troops, it fires them out of a cannon on its back. So we've got a scenario in which you can parachute armored war bears onto a group of infantry. And the bears have a stun ability and instant-kill attacks.
- The downside is that it's suicide to unload the troops in an area where the enemy has anti-air defenses.
- Also from Red Alert 3 is the Sudden Transport, a hovering APC that can disguise itself as an enemy vehicle to sneak its troops past enemy lines. Completely unarmed, though.
- The Allied Multigunner IFV, also from Red Alert 3, is billed as an IFV despite only carrying one soldier — but its weapon changes to match that unit's specialty (i.e., loading a rocket trooper gives it (more) rocket pods, loading a Cryo Legionnaire gives it an ice beam) — it can even gain weapons from troops of other factions.
- The Nod Subterranean APC in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun' combines this with Drill Tank. Even more awesome still for being able to carry the Cyborg Commando, the ultimate Nod unit in the game, right into the center of an enemy base.
- Unfortunately, its Weaksauce Weakness is the inability to burrow through concrete, meaning the enemy can rather cheaply cover his entire base with concrete slabs, preventing the APC from surfacing.
- The Reckoner from Kane's Wrath is a bit of an odd-ball. It is completely unarmed and infantry can't fire from within it, until it deploys—at which point it becomes a permanent bunker.
- Humvees in Command & Conquer: Generals could be equipped with drones for self repair and scouting. Not only that, but it could also carry up to five infantry that could all fire out of the windows, essentially making the Humvee a mobile bunker. Additionally, Overlords were so damn large that you could build a bunker on top of its turret. The GLA has their Battle Bus, an alleged transport that can carry ten infantry and has double health. If destroyed once, it became a stationary bunker from which troops could fire out of until it is destroyed again.
- Honourable mention to Command & Conquer: Red Alert's Phase Transport. It shows up in a single mission in the Aftermath expansion, and it can only carry one infantry unit... but on the other hand, the machine gun is replaced with high-powered missile launchers, and it cloaks.
- Lets not forget the Behemoth from Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, which combines APC with Heavy Artillery.
- Borderlands gives us the Lancer in the Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC. At 4, it seats double the number of players. All players have some kind of weapon they can use against enemies. It has at least 50% more hitpoints than the next strongest vehicle in the game. Requires doing ajob for scooter to get it, though.
- Crysis: The enemy APC is essentially a Bradley clone, complete with chain gun and missiles.
- The BTR, BMP, M2 Bradley and Humvee in the Modern Warfare series take their Real Life counterparts and thrust them into a fictional war with each other. The Seaknight is an airborne version equipped with a machine gun and a Mark-19 auto grenade launcher. Ditto for the helicopters that enemies fastrope in from, which have mounted machine guns that can kill you almost instantly on Veteran.
- The Stryker used by Drebin and the PMC's in Metal Gear Solid 4, you also get to ride on top of Drebins during the epic chase scene in chapter 2.
- Project Reality gives us the BMP-3, which packs more firepower than most tanks in the game, is amphibious, and still has room for a full infantry squad.
- The APC the player and his squad ride around in in the second FEAR game.
- Red Faction: Guerrilla has drivable IFVs, mounted with machine guns, rail guns another other futuristic weaponry, forming an integral part of the enemy EDF's presence on Mars. They are notable for the loving detail of their models and are undoubtedly cool.
- Mass Effect had the player travel around between important points on planets in the Mako which could be dropped in from high atmosphere (kind of like a Drop Ship but with less emphasis on the ship part and more on the drop) and had significant armaments to justify its own battle sequences (though you could always get out and try killing them all with a pistol whipping if you felt so inclined) in the form of a powerful coilgun that hits with the power of a tank's main gun and a mass accelerator machine gun. As with all weapons in the Mass Effect universe, these have effectively unlimited ammo. On top of that, it's very durable complete with absurdly resilient shields and thick armor, letting it shrug off a dozen anti-tank rockets without even losing the shields.
- DLC from the sequel gives us the Hammerhead, which is part APC, part hover vehicle, and part ground-effect aircraft, now with a guided main weapon.
- There's also the UT-47A Kodiak Shuttle. Not only is it a heavily armored aircraft that can fly faster than a jet, hover, and carry twelve passengers, but it also has an FTL drive for space travel, Deflector Shields, anti-tank cannons on either side, and two side door-mounted autocannons.
- Most Battlefield games have this in one form or another. BF2 gives us the LAV-25 and its Chinese and Russian counterparts, which are in fact so well-rounded in terms of firepower, armour and speed that most people forget they were initially meant to transport and fight alongside infantry. In Bad Company 2, APCs are referred to as "light tanks", but that name is misleading. With 3 machine guns and 1 autocannon, a fully-crewed "light tank" can murder infantry in any direction and it never runs out of ammo. With the alternative weapon upgrade, it can also utilize its wire-guided missile launcher to fight off enemy tanks.
- Well, BMP is based on a light tank chassis, and does count as one in international treaties in Real Life.
- Special mention goes to the A3-Goliath IFV from Battlefield 2142, a truly massive vehicle armed with grenade launchers, autocannons, and machine guns, with armor that is strong enough to withstand strikes from orbit. Oh yeah, and its armor regenerates. It usually takes a lot of heavy firepower to put that beast down.
- Being a mil-sim, Operation Flashpoint is loaded with these. The BMP-1 is ubiquitous throughout most of the campaigns, either as a friend or as a foe. Particularly nasty are the BMP-2 and the Bradley, as both mount powerful autocannons that can rip apart enemy squads and light vehicles from kilometers away. In OFP's successors, ARMA and ARMA II, the Bradley is replaced by variants of the LAV-25. The OPFOR continue to use BMP variants.
- Dawn of War uses most of the major APCs from Warhammer 40000, upgrading them to Clown Car status in the process. The Chimera holds 42 soldiers in some incarnations, though they still die like Guardsmen.
- The Combine APC◊ from Half-Life 2 looks pretty cool. Its design features room for several fully equipped soldiers, a siren, bulletproof armour, a good speed, and the ability to be plugged in and provide external power for other applications when it's not in use. Its armaments include a mortar-esque laser guided missile launcher, forward mounted fast firing dummy missiles, and a pulse machine gun.
- Most of the CESO tanks from Achron can carry infantry with them, which basically turns CESO armies into battlegroups of Awesome Personnel Carriers.
- Soldiers of Anarchy has several options in this regard, all of them real-life models.
- Humvees are the weakest (a single mine or RPG is enough; snipers can kill the crew without damaging the vehicle) and can only carry two passengers plus crew, yet they are fast and have variable weaponry (M60, TOW missile or grenade launcher). They can also carry combat gear, unlike the others.
- BTR-60s have the second highest capacity (10 passengers plus crew) of all ground vehicles. They use a turret-mounted machine gun and smoke grenade launcher, perfect for hot drops.
- The BMP-1 is a rather fearsome opponent, armed with a machine gun, a cannon and AT-2 anti-tank missiles. It can't carry as many passengers but it more than makes up for that with its significant firepower.
- Finally, there is an M163 around mid-game that can carry as much people as the BMP even though it's technically a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. An APC with a minigun, how cool is that?
- The Armadillo and its technical version, the Junker, from Gears of War. Although driving it isn't quite so awesome.
- Ground Control had an APC that could fire at ground or air targets and heal/ repair other units all while carrying a squad of soldiers in Power Armor. The sequel APC's where considerable less cool but did come with fun tools like flame-throwers and smoke screens. They also had a separate repair vehicle that could carry four soldiers.
- Valkyria Chronicles II: With the Utility APC frame, the APC is capable of carrying equipment for almost any situation. It can build bridges and ladders to bypass enemy fortifications, equip items that remove status effects around it just for your troops, can break large rocks to create new paths through the maps, and more. While it is somewhat fragile compared to the tanks and can't equip any of the anti-tank turrets, the flamethrower is very good for taking out clusters of enemy soldiers (especially before you can upgrade your shocktroopers to commandos) and its carrying capability lets you stock a lancer or mauler to deal with any tanks it encounters. The tank/APC debate essentially boils down to "One CP light tank vs. Utility APC", with many preferring the APC because of the flexibility it provides. This functionality was carried over to and improved on in Valkyria Chronicles III.
- The Bear APC from Saints Row 2. It features an independent driver-controlled MG turret, six wheels, heavy armour, seating for 4 or 5 passengers, and can keep up with most four-wheeled vehicles. You can even install a Nitro Boost in it! It's the closest the game gets to Tank Goodness.
- As many of the vehicles in Mercenaries and its sequel are just a case of A.K.A.-47, they still apply. Especially the Hind, which is basically going to be your air-evac vehicle of choice; it is basically the toughest chopper available and, like the real thing, is more than capable of clearing out its own LZ, being armed with an autocannon, rocket pods, four to eight anti-tank missiles and possibly even up to four anti-air missiles if you're lucky. The SK and AN Bradley-clones are also a pretty good ground alternative given their powerful autocannons and anti-tank missiles.
- In Z an APC can be fitted with any kind of robots, including Toughs, which transforms the APC to a light, fast missile launcher, or with Pyros.
- The APC's of Advance Wars got an upgrade in Days of Ruin; now they are Rigs, which in addition to transporting infantry and resupplying any adjacent units, (including naval and even air units, as well as other rigs) can also build repair stations for naval units (on beaches) and air units (on plains).
- Fallout Tactics' APC was one of the few vehicles that could carry your entire squad. And while it had no weapons itself, your entire squad could shoot out.
- The "Transporter" enemy from Mini Robot Wars appears as a regular, mook-spawning APC... until it get a helicopter upgrade in the second playthrough. Then it becomes a flying APC.
- Syphon Filter 2 has a highway tunnel where you run up against a pair of APC's with machine gun turrets, and you must kill the lights to advance.
- One of the villains in Perfect Dark Zero has a jet VTOL combination gunship/personnel transport.
- Halo Wars has the M312 Elephant, which also serves as a mobile infantry barracks. It also has a cameo in Halo3 and ODST, although it wasn't a usable vehicle there.
- Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter has the Stryker and Bradley on the player's side, and the Mowag and Panhard on the the enemy's side.
- The Cops in Carmageddon don't fuck around. Their solution to stopping an Axe Crazy speedster who's been mowing down innocent pedestrians? Send a bunch of APC's known as Squad Cars to wreck him/her to death. These Squad Cars are fast, extremely resilient and hit hard. When they don't work, the Special Forces come in with the ultimate in road justice: the Suppressor. Bigger, faster and harder than the Squad Cars, this behemoth can wreck pretty much any other car in the game and can even outrace them. It appears near the end of the game, but if you waste it, you get it and the remainder of the game will be a cakewalk.
- In Emperor: Battle for Dune: The Atredies and Ordos used AP Cs. The Atredies one can use an Invisibility Cloak while not moving and the Ordos one is a very nimble Hover Tank with a rocket turret for anti-vehicle defense and anti-aircraft defense.
- In Xenonauts, the later troop transports (Shrike and especially Valkyrie) definitely count, but the good old Chinook is pretty awesome too in its own class.
- In Alpha Protocol you fight a Stryker at the end of the Saudi Arabia hub. Later on if you chose SIE as your handler for "Intercept Surkov at US Embassy", you'll get to "Assault Brayko's Mansion" manning the turret of another.
- Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's Lightning, Blue Jet, Elve, Gigantic and Red Sprite straddle the line between IFV, APC and Cool Ship, as they share attributes of all three: they are insanely well equipped with plasma armor, limited VTOL capabilities and attack turrets, but they are unsuited for entering each of the Schwartzwelt's sectors for direct combat due to terrain issues, though the Red Sprite does a wonderful job of directly engaging Horkos. Each carries a massive contingent of armed soldiers and support units, and have enough supplies and technology to count as independent bases by themselves.
- Vanquish's seventh level has you aided by an APC armed with a railgun that can take out Romanovs in one shot.
- Battle Zone 1998 has a hovering APC for both the Americans and the Soviets. They are heavily armored but have no inherent weapons, instead relying on their ability to deploy half a dozen heavily armored and comparatively tiny soldiers that are difficult to hit. The ISDF in Battlezone II retain the APC, which instead of hovering close to the ground, flies a hundred meters in the air above the range of most defenses before landing in the middle of an enemy base to deploy even more heavily armored shock troopers armed with bazookas and grenades, who can wreak havoc in a densely built-up base.
- The Whiteboard:
- Rank Amateur includes the HSD's all-terrain six-wheel Venturer vehicles - They're the size of dump trucks, and can carry their own artillery banks.
- The Mighty Ducks travelled on the ground in the Migrator, which had various weapons and features built in. In one episode, it got damaged and they tried using a new model... it didn't end well.
- The police in The Legend of Korra have Roaring Twenties-style armored trucks◊ for carrying officers into dangerous situations.
- Providence's assault vehicles in Generator Rex are built to withstand attacks from E.V.O.s, carry squads of soldiers, and have a machine gun and missile launcher fitted on each side.
- [[GI Joe]] has examples on both sides of the battle.
- The Joes have the classic APC, the Monster Blaster APC, and the Rhino, which has a helicopter which docks in the middle.
- Cobra has the Parasite and the B.A.T. APC (a repaint of the Monster Blaster, but it's a cool design).
- Transformers Animated has Grandus and his repaint Dug Base, who turn into Cybertronian Personal Carriers. They're naturally on the big side in both size and girth.
- The BMP series of vehicles radically altered the conventional wisdom of APC warfare from just a "Battlefield Taxi" to a vehicle that could actually defend itself against tanks and support the infantry. The BMP was so cool with its 73mm cannon, anti-tank missiles and 360º firing ports it was re-christened as the first Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle.
- BMP-1 technically is a light tank (namely, PT-76 amphibious tank) with somewhat reduced armament and other non-essential stuff thrown out to free enough space for a squad of infantry.
- The BMD series are their respective BM Ps with even more stuff thrown out to allow them to be parachute-dropped at the cost of paper-thin armour. The Reds with Rockets were, and the Tricolors With Rusting Rockets are, the only military with fully mechanized paratroops.
- The BMP-2 is similarly awesome, trading in the 73mm cannon for a rapid firing 30mm.
- The BMP-3 is the most heavily armed of the lot, retaining the 30mm and adding a 100mm gun/missile launcher. That's right: this MICV is more heavily armed than some tanks.
- Ironically, despite all of the glowing press the BMP has received over the years it has so far proven to be an abysmal failure in actual combat. US and coalition troops slaughtered them with impunity during both Gulf Wars.
- The BTR series of AP Cs were more or less lame, being light, wheeled boxes, armed with a 14.5mm machine gun and a 7.62mm machinegun - true to the APC standard of "battle taxi". The most recent variant, the BTR-90, fixes all that, having heavier armour, better speed, full NBC protection, and a BMP-2's 30mm automatic cannon in place of the 14.5mm. It has proven rather popular with crews.
- The American M2 Bradley and the British Warrior were developed to counter the BMP, what ensued became infantry carrying, tank busting, all around cool machines.
- In fact, in Desert Storm the Bradley IFV's accounted for more Iraqi vehicles destroyed than the M1 Abrams battle tanks they accompanied. They took greater losses though, but to be fair, most of the losses (17 of 20) were friendly-fire incidents.
- The Yanks were pretty bad about this: something like 3/4 of all American vehicles lost during the war were destroyed by friendly fire.
- That the Bradleys were mostly assigned to cavalry scout units accounts for the high attrition; recon troops have been notoriously susceptible to friendly fire since dirt was invented. Even friendly fire from their accompanying tanks. The fact that the vast majority of combat missions were flown by US aircraft is also a contributing factor, as was the fact that being hit from above or behind was about the only thing that could knock them out.
- It has been stated that the Bradley is a jack of all trades but master of none, since it's a track-laying, 30 ton, gun-and missile-toting thing that makes anybody who looks at it think "TANK!", carries only half a squad of infantry, and doesn't carry enough gun to be considered a full tank. It even got its own movie mocking it. As the disgusted engineers put it, "It's a troop carrier that can't carry troops, a recon vehicle that's too conspicuous to do reconnaissance, a psuedo-tank with less armor than a snowblower, but carries enough ammo to take out half of DC." Which is ironic when you consider the Bradley's performance in actual combat so far has been excellent; at the battle of 73 Easting two troops of US Cavalry mounted mostly on Bradleys rolled up an entire Republican Guards armored division like a cheap rug while suffering almost no casualties, with each Bradley accounting for several Iraqi tanks and literally dozens of Iraqi BM Ps.
- The British Warrior has had a very understated career, just persistently being there in the background and doing the job modestly, reliably and stomping out 30mm RARDEN nightmares to anyone unfortunate enough to cross its path. It's soon to gain one heck of a popularity boost though, with the CT 40 Turret upgrade happening soon giving it an auto-stabilised 40mm cannon and a new sensor package. Yup, the British make their upgrades very simple and true to the word of More Dakka.
- The U.S Marines are upgrading their own Awesome Personnel Carrier soon, with the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) due to enter full service in 2015. Not only can it carry seventeen Marines, but also packs a 30mm autocannon, more powerful than the Bradley's 25mm gun, and has a whopping 2700 hp engine and amphibious capability, making it one of the most mobile armored fighting vehicles around. Compare this kind of power to most tanks, which have ~1500 hp, and other APCs, which have 1000 hp or less. Of course, it only uses its full power when traveling on water, and uses only 850 hp on land. It also essentially transforms into a boat mode, sealing up various panels and extending the front into a prow.
- Their current AAV7 is more of a very high-capacity (25 troopers) APC. Its nature as a Military Mashup Machine is made quite obvious by its boat-shaped front.
- The Canadian LAV-25 and all its derivatives, also having 8 wheels rather than tracks it - can move a lot faster then most other IFV's, and is amphibious.
- The Aussie version, the ASLAV, is even more awesome by having something most military vehicles lack, air conditioning.
- The American version would be the Stryker, which, like all American vehicles deployed in support of OIF, has at least nominal air conditioning. A variant trades troop capacity for a tank gun, becoming a Glass Cannon.
- The LAV-25 is itself a derivative of the MOWAG Piranha I, while the Stryker is a derivative of the Piranha III, both produced by Switzerland.
- During World War II, the US fielded a simple vehicle known as the Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT). In essence, this was a landing craft with tracks on it, capable of hitting the beach and rolling inland from there. It was originally intended to haul cargo ashore without forcing troops to drag heavy crates up the beach, but it didn't take long for it to be equipped with ever increasing amounts of armor protection and firepower. The Marines loved it, but lacking much in the way of mechanics, they were unable to maintain them. Typiaclly a Marine unit would roll ashore with a complement of LV Ts, using them to provide mobile cover and fire support until they would break down and be abandoned where they stopped, and hope to get a replacement later.
- Recently, due to the battlefield saturation with IFVs and antitank weapons, a new class of APCs started to appear — namely, a heavy IFV: essentially a full-on main battle tank with all attendant protection, but carrying not a large caliber gun, but a common IFV kit — an autocannon or grenade launcher and a squad of infantry. Many are, in fact, conversions of an older MBTs too obsolete for their original role, but still too solid and functional to be worth scrapping.
- Israeli Azcharit and Russian BTR-T are both conversions of the venerable, but sadly outdated T-55. On a similar theme, the Israeli Puma is one of a number of conversions of the Centurion MBT used by IDF Engineers. The most awesome of the Centurion conversions would be the Nagmachon, which instead of simply plating over the former turret location has a heavily armored mini-tower for machine guns, looking more than anything like a miniaturized version of a battleship's superstructure. This structure, known to troops as the "doghouse", makes the Nagmachon an incredibly effective urban combat vehicle.
- The Merkava ("Chariot") is often affectionately referred to as "heavy APC" as well, despite being a full-on MBT. It has the capacity to carry a squad. but only by ditching most of its main cannon's ammunition. Those big rear doors are intended for rapid reloading, not infantry, but in a pinch the Merkava can carry most anything. In some cases, a Merkava will even be used as a "tankbulance", discarding most of the ammo to evacuate wounded troops.
- As of 2008, Israel started to produce an actual APC based on the Merkava chassis called Namernote , making it a truly Awesome Personnel Carrier. It's easily the best-protected APC in the world. The original plan was a conversion of obsolete Merkava Mark I tanks, along the lines of the above-mentioned T-55 and Centurion conversions. But ultimately, only the prototypes were built in this manner and production models instead used newly-built hulls based on the current, even better-armored Merkava Mark IV design.
- There's another variant, the Nemmerah ("leopardess") which can not only tow the Merkava, but also swap an extra power system with it, recharging it in under two hours.
- The M113 has to rate pretty well. Despite being an ugly, under-armoured box-on-tracks, it has seen more roles, and been used my more countries than probably any other armoured vehicle. It also remains in use in the country of its production, despite being close on 50 years old. It's also the third most numerous armoured vehicle of any time-period, being outdone only by the T-54 tank and the Bren Carrier (roughly 100K both).
- And lets not forget the granddaddy of them all, the British Mark IX from the late stages of World War One...
- Unfortunately these proved to be (as with all the WW1 tanks) less than successful. The main problems being that WWI tanks struggled to go faster than a brisk walking pace and conditions inside the early tanks being so bad that even if the troops managed to remain conscious they disembarked in no condition to fight. Not to mention they had abysmal mechanical reliability. Rather more successful was the series of Kangaroos that appeared late in WW2.
- The German Sdkfz 251 shows the difficulty in dividing APC from IFV. The basic model had a couple of machine guns but variants had flamethrowers, triple mounted 15mm HMGs, a light PaK gun and the turret from an armoured car.
- The good old British Universal Carrier from WW2, also known as the Bren Carrier. It was, however, the most famous personal carrier, rather than the most awesome one.
- Also the single most produced armoured vehicle in history, with over 100,000 made. Its not exactly fast, well-armoured, nor even particularly attractive, but it got the job done. It's a stellar example of Boring but Practical.
- In an unusual example, the Russian combat-transport helicopter Mi-24 Hind can carry a squad of eight men while being a full-power assault bird with gun turret and full array of air-to-air and air-to-surface guided and unguided missiles, literally intended to be the flying BMP. Apparently, the concept is successful enough to stay in frontline service from '71, as well as being adopted by countless countries, including basically the whole former Warsaw pact and India.
- It should be noted, however, that it can't transport personnel while carrying a full armament. In fact, personnel transport is mostly seen as a distant secondary task to infantry support and strike missions.
- It's still seen as useful enough (especially in extraction, medevac and other SAR missions) that Russian AAF recently ordered a batch of a newly-built Mi-35 (an upgraded and mostly export versions of Hind) in addition to the dedicated gunships like Mi-28 and Ka-50/52. In certain situations Hind's ability to clear up its own LZ and generally look for itself is invaluable.
- Having too much ammo to perform a pickup in contact with the enemy is a self-solving problem.
- Still the Russians in Afghanistan usually used Mi-8 Hip helicopters for transport and the Hinds only for for fire support. While still having an extra crew member in the troop bay, with a machine gun or two.
- The German Puma IFV is among the heaviest and best armored AP Cs out there, with a maximum weight of 43 tons, still maintaining a high power-to-weight ratio. Using four A-400M transport aircrafts, you could quickly transport three Pumas into the theatre - one of the planes would transport the additional armor (which can be flexibly mounted). The Puma's unmanned turret houses a 30 mm autocannon with airburst ammo, Spike anti-tank missiles with a range of 4,000 meters and a coaxial machine gun. Of course, air conditioning, full NBC protection a very smooth and low-profile hull and an active defense system capable of defeating modern ATG Ms can also be found aboard it.
- The West German Marder was the second MICV ever developed, and predated the Puma's design. It is still in service in many places.
- Before the Puma the Marder 2 was conceived in the 1980s to replace the Marder 1 to accompany the Leopard 2 tank into battle. Unfortunately it was canceled in 1992 as it was too large, too heavy and too expensive for the post-Cold War era.
- Speaking of Teutonic engineering, there's also the Wiesel, which is absolutely tiny by comparison. It's half the size of the Puma, and is so compact that 4 or 5 of them can fit inside a C-130 Hercules. Size comes at a price though: most Wiesel variants can't fit more than 2 or 3 crew members, with the experimental personnel carrying variant carrying no more than 6 people altogether. However, it still manages to fulfill a wide variety of roles that would otherwise be given to APC-type vehicles, like fire support, anti-tank and anti-aircraft warfare, command and control, and reconnaissance.
- Note that current (c. 2010) military thinking is that the IFV concept really is Awesome but Impractical; for many years, militaries were hoping they'd be a Game Breaker (or, at least, Difficult but Awesome ). They suffer from the Master of None problems: not enough armor to handle modern man-portable anti-tank weapons (let alone vehicle-mounted ones), large enough that they have a very noticeable profile, yet not big enough to transport a large number of troops (compared to the normal APC), very expensive, noisy (making them generally unsuitable for scouting duties many armies use them for), heavy (which restricts their mobility and transportability), and, oddly enough, underpowered. Many militaries are going back to the APC "battle taxi" strategy for their next generation, though many are including more potent firepower on their new AP Cs, to allow for infantry support in urban areas. The emphasis does seem to be swinging back to "carry infantry around then hang back", rather than "fight out in front with the infantry".
- In most cultures chariots were a predecessor to the Horse Archer. Among Celts and pre-classical age Greeks (according to possible interpretations of The Iliad) they were an Awesome Personnel Carrier. Making this Older Than Feudalism.