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Top 10 Infantry Fighting Vehicles


   Which is the best infantry fighting vehicle 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 capacity. All of the armored vehicles mentioned here are 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.

   Currently top 10 best infantry fighting vehicles in the world are these:


Top 10 IFVs

Nr.1 Puma (Germany)


   The Puma infantry fighting vehicle is a recent German design. First production vehicles were delivered to the German army in 2010.

   The Puma is the most protected IFV currently available. It has modular armor. There is an option of three various protection levels to suit operational needs. The Puma IFV with maximum level of protection is even heavier than the T-72 main battle tank. It can be even considered as a heavy IFV. It seems that the most protected variant withstands 120- and 125-mm projectiles over the front arc. Vehicle also withstands mine blasts equivalent to 10 kg of TNT. The Puma is also fitted with advanced threat warning system.

   This IFV is armed with turret-mounted 30-mm cannon and coaxial 5.56-mm light machine gun.

   Vehicle is powered by diesel engine, developing a whooping 1 073 horsepower. It is worth mentioning that some of the latest main battle tanks haven't got that much power.



Best IFV

Nr.2 K-21 (South Korea)


   The K-21 is a new infantry fighting vehicle, developed in South Korea. Its production commenced in 2008. Approximately 900 vehicles are planned to be built. It is claimed that the K-21 is twice cheaper to build comparing with American M2 Bradley.

   Composition of the K-21 armor is still 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. he K-21 can be also fitted with active protection system, similar to that used on the South Korean 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 enemy 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 for better fire accuracy. Such control systems are usually fond on the latest main battle tanks.

   The K-21 is lighter comparing with most modern IFVs. It was designed using composite materials to save weight wherever possible. This infantry fighting vehicle has a great degree of advanced high-tech systems used including battle management system, internal navigation, vehicular information systems and identification system which recognizes friend and foe vehicles.

   The K-21 has a hydropneumatic suspension and advanced running gear. This IFV is fully amphibious with a help of an automatic flotation bags. Floatation bags are activated, before entering the water. Besides the Russian BMP-3 it is the only fully-amphibious modern IFV.



Best IFVs

Nr.3 CV90 (Sweden)


   The CV90 infantry fighting vehicle was developed since the mid 1980s. It entered service with Sweden in 1993. Vehicle was also exported to Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.

  The CV 90 has a welded steel armor hull. Appliqué armor can be added.  It is claimed that the front arc of the CV 90 withstands 30-mm armor-piercing rounds, used by the older Russian IFVs and ACVs. 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 RPG rounds.

   The original Swedish CV90 is armed with a powerful 40-mm cannon. All export models of this infantry fighting vehicle are armed with a 30-mm cannon. Also there is coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun.

   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. With preparation this vehicle is amphibious.



Top ten IFV

Nr.4 M2 Bradley (USA)


   The original M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle entered service with the US Army in 1981. Currently US Army operate improved M2A3 version of this vehicle.

   The M2A3 version is fitted with explosive reactive armor of new generation. It has some degree of protection against RPG 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.

   Vehicle is armed with a two-man turret, fitted with a 25-mm dual-fed Bushmaster chain gun. It fires armor-piercing and HE-FRAG rounds. There is also a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. Also the M2 Bradley is equipped with a twin-tube TOW-2 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 can be improved by the erection of inflatable buoyancy tanks. On water the Bradely is propelled by spinning its tracks.



Top 10 armoured fighting vehicles

Nr.5 Kurganets-25 (Russia)


   The Kurganets-25 is a next-generation Russian IFV. It was developed as a successor to the BMP-3. The whole project was kept in high secrecy. First batch of pre-production vehicles was delivered in 2015. Full-scale production is expected to begin in 2016.

   The Kurganets-25 is a clean sheath design. It shares little common with the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles. 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 fixed.

   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 newly-developed Drozd-2 active protection system. Overall the Kurganets-25 is better protected than the older BMP-3. However it has been reported its protection is inferior to that of the M3A3 Bradley.

   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 with Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missiles.

   Vehicle is fully amphibious.



Top 10 armoured fighting vehicles

Nr.6 ZBD-08 (China)


   The ZBD-08 is a Chinese revised and improved version of the Soviet/Russian BMP-3. First production version, the ZBD-04, 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.

   Vehicle eliminates a number of drawbacks of the BMP-3. It has a revised layout with engine at the front and troop compartment at the rear.

   The ZBD-08 infantry fighting vehicle 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 protection system.

   The new IFV retains complete turret of the BMP-3, which is now license-built in China. It has similar firepower and 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 anti-tank guided missiles. It is compatible with Chinese ATGMs, and poses serious threat to main battle tanks. The 30-mm cannon has an effective range of 1.5-2 km. There is a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. Also the ZBD-08 has improved sights and fire control system.

   Vehicle is fully amphibious.



Best infantry fighting vehicle

Nr.7 BMP-3 (Russia)


   The BMP-3 was accepted to service with the Soviet Army back in 1987. This IFV was exported to some countries. Currently it is in service with Russia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Greece, Kuwait, South Korea, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

   Hull and 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 likely to be against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Protection can be enhanced with add-on explosive reactive armor kit. Furthermore the Arena active protection and Shtora countermeasures systems can be installed on this vehicle. Such systems are normally associated with main battle tanks.

   This IFV 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.

   Troop compartment of the BMP-3 is cramped due to the rear-mounted engine. Vehicle is fully amphibious.



Best IFV in the world

Nr.8 Piranha V (Switzerland)


   The Piranha 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, protection and powerful armament it is no longer considered an armored personnel carrier, but rather a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle. This armored vehicle is in service with Monaco.

   The Piranha V IFV 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 a 10 kg anti-tank mine blast under any wheel. The Piranha V is also proposed with LEDS-150 active protection system.

   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.

   Vehicle uses 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.



Best infantry fighting vehicles

Nr.9 Warrior (United Kingdom)


   The Warrior entered service with the British Army in 1988. A total of 798 vehicles were built when production ceased in 1995. The British Army plans to operate these armored vehicles until 2035. This IFV has been exported to Kuwait.

   The Warrior IFV has an all-welded aluminum armor hull and laminated steel armor turret. It provides all-round protection against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Font arc is likely to withstand 25-mm armor-piercing rounds. During military conflicts vehicles are fitted with extra passive armor panels for protection against RPG rounds.

   The Warrior is armed with a 30-mm cannon and a 7.62-mm machine gun in a two-man turret. The main gun is capable of destroying enemy armored personnel carriers at ranges of up to 1 500 m. It can also engage low-flying helicopters.

   The Warrior is fast for its class of vehicles. It has a maximum road speed of 75 km/h.



Nr.10 Freccia (Italy)


   The Freccia is a new Italian wheeled infantry fighting vehicle. It evolved from the wheeled Centauro 8x8 tank destroyer. It entered service with Italian Army in 2009.

   It is claimed that front arc of the Freccia provides protection against 25- to 30-mm rounds. All-round protection is likely to be against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Vehicle withstands mine blasts equivalent to 6 kg of TNT. Protection can be increased to withstand blasts equivalent to 8 kg of TNT under any wheel.

   The Freccia is armed with a 25-mm cannon and two 7.62-mm machine guns. An ATGW variant of this IFV is equipped with two Rafael Spike ML/LR anti-tank guided missiles additionally to the 25-mm cannon.

   Due to its wheeled configuration it is cheaper to buy and to maintain comparing with tracked vehicles. However cross-country performance of the Freccia is inferior to tracked vehicles.