10 Most Capable Infantry Fighting Vehicles of the 21st Century


Armored infantry fighting vehicles are armored fighting vehicles designed to transport infantry teams across the battlefield and also provide firepower. Considering this, you can easily distinguish them from other types of military vehicles, such as armored personnel carriers. Armored personnel carriers also transport soldiers across the battlefield, but unlike infantry fighting vehicles, they do not offer similar firepower. These vehicles have designs that focus primarily on protection rather than weaponry. That’s why the only weapons we see on armored personnel carriers are machine guns (in most cases), for self-defense against a variety of targets. But, with infantry fighting vehicles, this is not the case. As we said earlier, firepower is a requirement for a vehicle to be considered in this category.

As a result, IFVs (like main battle tanks) focus on both protection and weaponry which gives the vehicle offensive and defensive capabilities on the battlefield (but they also have space for transport troops). Let’s see which are the ten most capable of their kind!

ten Piranha V

Piranha V is the most powerful vehicle in the Piranha family of the Swiss Armed Forces. In general, the whole vehicle is protected against shells up to 14.5 mm, but with additional armor the level of protection increases (it can withstand up to 25 mm shells). The armament consists of a 30 mm chain gun and a 12.7 mm machine gun.

9 Hunter

Singapore made an excellent infantry fighting vehicle with Hunter. The armored vehicle comes with a 30mm Mk.44 Bushmaster II cannon and two anti-tank missile launchers. It can carry up to 8 fully armed soldiers.

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8 BMP-3

The legendary BMP-3 from Russia was exported to many countries around the world. In the front part, the armor can withstand armor-piercing shells up to 14.5 mm. As an option, the Arena active protection system is available for a higher level of protection. We must not forget the powerful 100 mm cannon and the coaxial 30 mm cannon.

seven ZBD-08

China made a product based on the Russian BMP-3 and called it ZBD-08. The vehicle will be used in large quantities in the near future. In the front, the armor resists up to 30 mm shells, while in the rest of the hull, the maximum protection is limited to 14.5 mm shells. There is a 100mm cannon, a coaxial 30mm cannon and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.

6 Kurganets-25

Another Russian infantry fighting vehicle, the Kurganets-25 is considered the successor to the BMP-3. The level of protection is unknown, as the vehicle has yet to enter mass production. However, we know that there is a 30mm cannon, a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and four launchers for the Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missiles.

5 M2Bradley

Fifth on the list is an American vehicle that began service with the military in 1981. The vehicle has a new generation of explosive reactive armor that is being considered. The front part of the armor can withstand shells up to 30 mm, while in general the vehicle can withstand shells up to 14.5 mm.

The vehicle is armed with a two-man turret equipped with a 25mm Bushmaster machine gun. There is also a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun located in the M2 Bradley. Finally, there are two launchers for the TOW 2 anti-tank guided missiles. The vehicle has amphibious capabilities when equipped with the right equipment.

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4 CV90

Production of the Swedish vehicle began in the mid-1980s. Reports show that the front part of the armor withstands shells up to 30 mm, while the rest protects the crew from shells up to 14.5 mm . The latest versions of the CV90 can survive mine explosions equivalent to 10 kg of TNT.

The Swedish CV9040 includes a powerful Bofors 40 machine gun that can destroy almost any armored infantry fighting vehicle or personnel carrier. There is also a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, while export versions come with fully stabilized 30 or 35mm machine guns. These weapons are less powerful but can be used in a wider variety of occasions. The latest versions also feature stealth elements and modern fire control systems. With the right preparation, the vehicle can acquire amphibious capabilities.

3 K-21

The K-21 is one of the newest vehicles in South Korea, as it only started service in 2008. In the first place, the production plan included 900 units, while the cost per unit is rated at half the price of an American M2 Bradley. It seems that the front part of the armor can withstand up to 30mm rounds, while the rest of the armor can survive up to 14.5mm shells. The K-21 can be fitted with an active protection system, similar to that used on South Korea’s K2 Black Panther main battle tank.

The K-21 comes with a 40mm machine gun and a 7.62mm machine gun. These guns can also penetrate the armor of other infantry fighting vehicles and personnel carriers. The vehicles carry two anti-tank missile launchers. There is also a sophisticated fire control system that offers decent accuracy. The K-21 is equipped with other high-end systems like battlefield management system, internal navigation system, intelligence system, identification system, etc. The South Korean vehicle is fully amphibious and has a hydropneumatic suspension.

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2 Lynx

The German Lynx was designed primarily for export, outside the country. The Lynx KF-31 began service in 2016, while the KF-41 began its career in 2018. KFP41, which was seen only once in a military parade in Qatar, perhaps the heaviest armored infantry fighting vehicle in the world. Its excellent design, coupled with its modern systems, allows it to operate in many different roles, such as reconnaissance missions, rescue missions, etc.

The maximum weight of the original Lynx KF-31 was 83 tons. The KF-41 is even heavier, as it weighs almost 44 tons with the capacity to weigh an impressive 50 tons. The level of protection competes with that of old combat tanks. It seems that the best-protected version of Lynx can withstand tank shells up to 120-125 mm (in the front part).

1 Puma

Another German vehicle, Puma, began to be delivered to the country’s armed forces in 2010. Puma is probably the best protected infantry fighting vehicle at this time. With the highest possible armor, Puma is heavier than the T-72 main battle tank. It seems that the front part of the vehicle can survive 120-125 mm shells. The vehicle can also withstand mine blasts equivalent to 10 kg of TNT. It also comes with an advanced warning system.

Puma is equipped with a 30 mm machine gun located in the turret, and a coaxial 5.56 mm machine gun. The vehicle’s diesel engine produces 1,073 horsepower, quite an impressive stat considering that modern battle tanks are equipped with less powerful engines.


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