A tank destroyer is a type of armored fighting vehicle armed with a gun or missile launcher, and is designed specifically to engage enemy armored vehicles. Many have been based on a tracked tank chassis, while others are wheeled.
Since World War II, main battle tanks have largely replaced gun-armed tank destroyers although lightly armored anti tank guided missile (ATGM) carriers are commonly used for supplementary long-range anti-tank work. However, the resurgence of expeditionary warfare in the past twenty years has seen the emergence of gun-armed wheeled vehicles, sometimes called protected gun systems, which may bear a superficial resemblance to tank destroyers, but are employed as direct fire support units typically providing support in low-intensity operations such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Famous quotes containing the word destroyer:
“The supreme, the merciless, the destroyer of opposition, the exalted King, the shepherd, the protector of the quarters of the world, the King the word of whose mouth destroys mountains and seas, who by his lordly attack has forced mighty and merciless Kings from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same to acknowledge one supremacy.”
—Ashurnasirpal II (r. 88359 B.C.)