An armoured fighting vehicle (or armored fighting vehicle; AFV) is a combat vehicle, protected by strong armour and armed with weapons, which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked.
Armoured fighting vehicles are classified according to their intended role on the battlefield and characteristics. This classification is not absolute; at different times different countries will classify the same vehicle in different roles. For example, armoured personnel carriers were generally replaced by infantry fighting vehicles in a very similar role, but the latter has some capabilities lacking in the former. There may also be hybrid vehicles, such as the Stryker family of AFV's; the M1128 Mobile Gun System, an armored car which mounts a large 105mm gun normally used in tank destroyers, but can theoretically be reconfigured to the M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle.
Successful general-purpose armoured fighting vehicles often also serve as the base of a whole family of specialized vehicles, for example, the M113 and MT-LB tracked carriers, and the MOWAG Piranha wheeled AFV.
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