Which is the best
Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) in the
world? Which is the greatest modern IFV and why? This Top 10 analysis is based on the combined score of
protection, firepower, mobility and passenger capacity. All of the armored
mentioned here are well protected and incredibly deadly. Analysis is based on specifications and available
data. This list includes only operational
vehicles, that are currently in production. After exhaustive
research I was surprised with the results.
top 10 best infantry fighting vehicles in the world are these:
The Puma is a recent German design. First
production vehicles were delivered to the German army in 2010.
The Puma is
currently the most protected production IFV in the world. It has modular
There is an option of three various protection levels to suit
operational needs. With maximum level of protection the Puma is
even heavier than a
battle tank. It can be even considered as a heavy IFV. It seems that
the most protected variant withstands 120- and 125 mm tank projectiles
over the front arc. Vehicle also withstands mine blasts equivalent
to 10 kg of TNT. Furthermore the Puma is fitted with advanced threat warning system
which improves survivability.
some other IFVs that are even heavier, and possibly more protected
than the Puma, including a German
Armata heavy IFV. However both of these vehicles are still being
developed and so far received no production orders, while the Puma
is an operational vehicle, which is being built in significant
This German IFV is
armed with turret-mounted 30 mm cannon and coaxial 5.56 mm light
powered by diesel engine, developing a whooping 1 073 horsepower. Some of the latest main battle tanks
are fitted with less powerful engines than this German IFV.
heavy IFV was developed as a private venture by the same company as
but was mainly aimed at export customers. Initial Lynx KF-31 IFV was
introduced in 2016 and larger Lynx KF-41 followed in 2018. During
the same year a single Lynx KF-41 was observed in Qatar during a
military parade. However its status is uncertain.
might be the heaviest and and most protected IFV in the world. It uses proven and readily
available components wherever possible in order to reduce production
and maintenance costs. As a result it is more affordable than the
The Lynx has
a modular design and can be configured for various roles. It has a
common drive module with an interchangeable mission module. It can
be configured as a command post vehicle, armored reconnaissance
vehicle, repair and recovery vehicle and armored ambulance.
The mission module of the Lynx can be removed and replaced in field
conditions within 8 hours.
Maximum weight of the initial Lynx KF-31 was a whooping 38 t. At the
time it was already one of the heaviest and most protected IFVs,
outperforming the German army's Puma. The newer Lynx
KF-41 is even heavier. It weights around 44 t and has a growth
potential to 50 t.
So the Rheinmetall Lynx is one of the heaviest and most protected
IFVs. In terms of protection the Lynx KF-41 might be even superior
German army's Puma. It protection level approaches that of older
main battle tanks.
It seems that the most protected variant of the Lynx withstands 120-
and 125 mm tank projectiles over the front arc.
The K-21 is
a South Korean infantry fighting vehicle. Its
production commenced in 2008. Approximately 900 vehicles were planned
to be built. It is claimed that the K-21 is twice cheaper to produce
comparing with American
Bradley, the the K-21 offers similar level of protection, packs
heavier punch and is amphibious.
of the K-21 armor is still kept in secret. It is assumed that this IFV has
multi-layer armor with glass fiber, ceramic and aluminum alloy. It
is known that front arc provides protection against 30 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round
protection is against 14.5 mm armor-piercing
rounds. The K-21 can be also fitted with
active protection system, similar to that used on the South
K2 Black Panther main battle tank.
The K-21 is
armed with a 40 mm cannon and
7.62 mm machine gun. A powerful gun can
easily defeat all hostile armored personnel carriers and infantry
fighting vehicles. Vehicle also carries two indigenously developed ATGW launchers, but exact details and
number of missiles carried are unknown. Vehicle is fitted with
advanced fire control system and has good
fire accuracy. Such control systems are usually found on the latest
main battle tanks.
The K-21 is lighter comparing with most modern IFVs.
It was made of composite materials that are lighter than steel, in
order to save weight wherever possible.
This IFV uses a number of advanced
high-tech systems, including battle management system, internal
navigation, vehicular information systems and identification system
which recognizes friendly and hostile vehicles.
The K-21 has
a hydropneumatic suspension and advanced running gear. This IFV is
fully amphibious due to built-in automatic flotation bags. These floatation
bags are activated, before entering the water. Only some modern IFVs
are fully amphibious with minimum preparation, and the South Korean K-21 is among them.
of the CV90
commenced in the mid 1980s. The baseline CV9040
entered service with Sweden in 1993. The CV90 recommended itself as
a successful design. Since its introduction the basic design was
constantly improved and updated. The CV90 was built in various
version. This armored vehicle was exported to
Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. New versions
of the CV90 continue to emerge.
The CV90 has a
welded steel armor hull. Appliqué armor can be added. It is
claimed that the front arc of the CV90 withstands
30 mm armor-piercing rounds, used by
the older Russian IFVs and airborne combat vehicles. All-round protection is against 14.5 mm
armor-piercing rounds. Latest versions of the CV90
withstand blasts equivalent to 10 kg of TNT. Appliqué ceramic armor
can be added for all-round protection against
30 mm armor-piercing rounds and improved protection against
improvised explosive devices. A slat armor can be fitted for
protection against tandem-charge
Swedish CV9040 is armed with a powerful Bofors 40 mm cannon, which
is basically a modified anti-aircraft cannon.
can easily defeat pretty much all hostile armored personnel carriers
and IFV and also poses threat to older tanks such as the T-55 and T-62.
batch of vehicles for the Swedish Army had no gun stabilization
system, and thus cold not fire accurately on the move. Also these
had only limited night fighting capability.
Also there is coaxial
7.62 mm machine gun. Export
models of this infantry fighting vehicle are armed with
fully-stabilized 30- or 35 mm cannons. These guns are less powerful,
but more versatile. Also newer CV90 series IFVs have more modern
fire control systems.
This IFV was
specially designed to minimize radar and infra-red signatures. It
also uses heat-absorbing filters to provide protection against
thermal imaging, image intensifiers and infra-red cameras. Vehicle
also has quiet movement in order to improve stealth.
preparation this vehicle is amphibious.
M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle entered service with the US
Army in 1981. Since its introduction it was constantly upgraded. Currently US Army operate improved M2A3 version of
the Bradley is an old design, it is has higher level of protection
than most other IFVs. The upgraded M2A3
version is fitted with explosive reactive armor of new generation.
It has some degree of protection against
rounds. Front arc of the latest models withstands
30 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round
protection is likely to be against 14.5 mm
armor-piercing rounds. It is planned that in the near future some of
the US Bradley IFVs will be fitted with active protection systems.
This will significantly improve survivability against anti-tank
guided missiles and anti-tank rocket launchers.
armed with a two-man turret, fitted with a 25 mm dual-fed Bushmaster
chain gun. It fires armor-piercing and High-Explosive Fragmentation
(HE-FRAG) rounds. There is also
a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. The M2 Bradley is also equipped with
anti-tank guided missile launcher, providing this vehicle a
considerable anti-armor capability.
The M2 is
amphibious with the use of swim barrier. Swimming capabilities
improved by the erection of inflatable buoyancy tanks. On water the
Bradely is propelled by spinning its tracks.
Kurganets-25 is a next-generation Russian IFV. It was developed as a
successor to the
whole project was kept in high secrecy. First batch of
pre-production vehicles was delivered in 2015. By 2018 this armored
vehicle was still tested by the manufacturer and is not yet ready
for mass production. Full-scale production
of this armored vehicle could begin within the next few years.
Kurganets-25 is a clean sheath design. It shares little common with
the BMP-3. This armored vehicle has an engine at the
front and troop compartment at the rear.
Drawbacks of the BMP-3, such as a cramped crew compartment and
cramped exit, were eliminated.
Armor of the
Kurganets is made of special aluminum alloy. There are also add-on
explosive reactive armor modules. Vehicle is also fitted with
countermeasures system, that reduce a chance of being hit by enemy
anti-tank guided missiles.
Some sources report that this vehicle can be fitted with
Drozd-2 active protection system, though this system
is still untested.
Overall the Kurganets-25 is better protected than the older BMP-3.
However it has been reported its protection is inferior to that of
This IFV is
fitted with remotely-controlled turret, armed with a 30 mm cannon
and coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Also there are 4 external launchers
Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missiles.
The ZBD-08 is a Chinese
revised and improved version of the Soviet/Russian
First production version, the
entered service with Chinese army in 2004. An improved ZBD-08
followed a couple of years later. This new infantry fighting vehicle
is produced in large numbers for the Chinese army.
the ZBD-08 externally resembles the BMP-3, vehicle has been
redesigned considerably. It has a revised layout with engine at the
front and troop compartment at the rear. Chinese designers managed
to eliminate a number of drawbacks of the Russian BMP-3, such as
cramped troop compartment and cramped exit, though at a cost of
reduced amphibious capabilities. Also the ZBD-08 is a much newer
vehicle, which uses modern electronics and more modern technologies,
such as improved sights and fire control system. So even though the
ZBD-08 and BMP-3 carry similar armament and both vehicles have
similar level of protection, Chinese IFV is clearly superior.
has a welded steel armor hull. Add-on
modular armor can be fitted for a higher level of protection. It is
claimed that front arc withstands 30 mm armor-piercing rounds. Sides
withstand 14.5 mm rounds. Side skirts were added for improved
protection. Also vehicle may be fitted with indigenous active laser
retains complete turret of the BMP-3, which is now license-built in
China. It has similar firepower and in these terms outperforms most current IFVs.
Its 100 mm gun is completed with an autoloader has an effective
range of 4 km. This gun can fire both ordinary projectiles and
launch anti-tank guided missiles. It is compatible with Chinese
anti-tank guided missiles and poses serious threat to main
battle tanks. The coaxial 30 mm cannon has an effective range of 1.5-2 km.
There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Also the ZBD-08
has improved sights and fire control system.
fully amphibious. However on water it is not as good as the original
was adopted by the Soviet Army back in 1987. This IFV
was exported to some countries. Currently it is in service with
Russia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Greece, Indonesia, Kuwait, South Korea, Ukraine,
United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
turret of this infantry fighting vehicle are welded of aluminum
alloy armor. The front arc is made of composite armor and provides
protection against 30 mm armor-piercing rounds.
All-round protection is against
14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. Protection can be enhanced
with add-on explosive reactive armor kit. Furthermore
active protection and Shtora countermeasures
systems can be installed on this vehicle. Such systems are normally
associated with main battle tanks.
packs a formidable punch. It is armed with a
100 mm gun and coaxial 30 mm cannon. The 100 mm gun can
launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary
munitions, providing this armored vehicle a considerable anti-armor
capability. The coaxial 30 mm cannon has an effective range of 1.5-2 km.
There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.
was originally designed to become a light tank, but was eventually
repurposed as an IFV. As a result it has some design limitations for
this class of vehicles, such as a cramped troop compartment due to the rear-mounted engine.
Engine was deliberately mounted at the rear in order to improve weight
distribution and amphibious capabilities of the original light tank.
The BMP-3 is
among the few modern IFVs that are fully amphibious. Furthermore it
is rather fast afloat.
is a new Singaporean IFV. It is an indigenous Singaporean design
which uses a number of Western components.
It was officially adopted in 2019.
This IFV is
fitted with a remotely-controlled turret, armed with a 30 mm Mk.44
Bushmaster II cannon. It can be also fitted with 2 anti-tank missile
little information is available regarding Hunter's armor protection.
However judging by its weight this vehicle is a well-protected IFVs.
It was designed with blast protection in mind.
is operated by a crew of 3 and can carry 8 fully-equipped dismounts.
Piranha V (Switzerland)
V is the latest and most protected vehicle of the Piranha line. It
was developed by MOWAG of Switzerland and revealed in 2010. Because
of increased weight and protection, versions with powerdul armament
can be considered as wheeled IFVs rather than armored personnel
carriers by their function. This armored vehicle is in service with
V has an all-welded steel armor hull with integrated add-on
composite modular armor. The baseline version provides all-round
protection against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell
splinters. Maximum armor level provides all-round protection against 25 mm armor-piercing projectiles.
Vehicle has a double floor with a V-shaped hull and is well
protected against landmines and IED blasts. It withstands anti-tank
mine blasts equivalent to 10 kg
of TNT under any wheel. The Piranha V is also proposed
with LEDS-150 active protection system, which significantly reduces
the chance of being hit by anti-tank guided missiles and anti-tank
Vehicle revealed in 2010
was fitted with a turret-mounted 30 mm chain
gun. Secondary armament consists of remotely controlled
weapon station, armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun.
height-adjustable semi-active hydropneumatic suspension and has good
mobility on hard surface roads. Though it is not as capable off-road
as tracked vehicles. Due to its wheeled configuration it is cheaper
to buy, operate and to maintain comparing with tracked vehicles.
IV is not amphibious. There were plans to develop a specialized
amphibious version of this armored vehicle in the future.