Infantry fighting vehicle

1940

Its first wheeled APC, the BTR-152, had been designed as early as the late 1940s.

1950

The IFV established a new niche between combat vehicles which functioned primarily as armored weapons-carriers and APCs. During the 1950s, Soviet, US, and most Western European armies had adopted tracked APCs.

Design work on a new tracked IFV began in the late 1950s and the first prototype appeared as the Obyekt 765 in 1961.

1957

The YPR-765 had five firing ports and a 25 mm autocannon with a co-axial machine gun. The Soviet Army had fielded its first tracked APC, the BTR-50, in 1957.

1958

In 1958, however, the newly-organized Bundeswehr adopted the Sch├╝tzenpanzer Lang HS.30 (also known simply as the SPz 12-3), which resembled a conventional tracked APC but carried a turret-mounted 20 mm autocannon that enabled it to engage other armored vehicles.

1960

Following the trend towards converting preexisting APCs into IFVs, the Dutch, US, and Belgian armies experimented with a variety of modified M113s during the late 1960s; these were collectively identified as the AIFV.

Reduced production, operation, and maintenance costs also helped make wheeled IFVs attractive to several nations. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the US Army had gradually abandoned its attempts to utilize the M113 as an IFV and refocused on creating a dedicated IFV design able to match the BMP.

1961

Design work on a new tracked IFV began in the late 1950s and the first prototype appeared as the Obyekt 765 in 1961.

1966

After the Soviets had evaluated and rejected a number of other wheeled and tracked prototypes, the Obyekt 765 was accepted for service; it entered serial production as the BMP-1 in 1966.

About 20,000 BMP-1s were produced in the Soviet Union from 1966 to 1983, at which time it was regarded as the most ubiquitous IFV in the world.

1969

The first US M113-based IFV appeared in 1969; known as the XM765, it had a sharply angled hull, ten vision blocks, and a cupola-mounted 20 mm autocannon.

1970

However, during the 1970s improvements in power trains, suspension technology, and tires had increased their potential strategic mobility.

Reduced production, operation, and maintenance costs also helped make wheeled IFVs attractive to several nations. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the US Army had gradually abandoned its attempts to utilize the M113 as an IFV and refocused on creating a dedicated IFV design able to match the BMP.

The British Army was one of the few Western armies which had neither recognized a niche for IFVs nor adopted a dedicated IFV design by the late 1970s.

1971

A similar vehicle known as the BMD-1 was designed to accompany Soviet airborne infantry and for a number of years was the world's only airborne IFV. In 1971 the Bundeswehr adopted the Marder, which became increasingly heavily armored through its successive marks and like the BMP was later fitted as standard with a launcher for anti-tank guided missiles.

1973

Between 1973 and 1975, the French and Yugoslav armies developed the AMX-10P and BVP M-80, respectively, which were the first amphibious IFVs to appear outside the Soviet Union.

US Army evaluation staff were sent to Europe to review the AMX-10P and the Marder, both of which were rejected due to high cost, insufficient armor, or lackluster amphibious capabilities. In 1973, the FMC Corporation developed and tested the XM723, which was a 21-ton tracked chassis which could accommodate three crew members and eight passengers.

1975

Between 1973 and 1975, the French and Yugoslav armies developed the AMX-10P and BVP M-80, respectively, which were the first amphibious IFVs to appear outside the Soviet Union.

1976

They could also be armed with various anti-tank missile configurations. === Late Cold War and post-Soviet period === Wheeled IFVs did not begin appearing until 1976, when the Ratel was introduced in response to a South African Army specification for a wheeled combat vehicle suited to the demands of rapid offensives combining maximum firepower and strategic mobility.

It initially carried a single 20 mm autocannon in a one-man turret but in 1976 a two-man turret was introduced; this carried a 25 mm autocannon, a co-axial machine gun, and a TOW anti-tank missile launcher.

1978

In 1978, the Bundeswehr became the first Western army to embrace this trend when it retrofitted all its Marders with launchers for MILAN anti-tank missiles.

1979

The BMP-1 was vulnerable to [machine gun]s at close range on its flanks or rear, leading to a variety of more heavily armored marks appearing from 1979 onward.

1980

In Soviet service, the BMP-1 was ultimately superseded by the more sophisticated BMP-2 (in service from 1980) and the BMP-3 (in service from 1987).

It was accepted for service with the US Army in 1980 as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

In 1980, it made the decision to adopt a new tracked armored vehicle, the FV510 Warrior.

1982

The amount of space taken up by the hull and stowage modifications has reduced the number of passengers to six. By 1982 30,000 IFVs had entered service worldwide, and the IFV concept appeared in the doctrines of 30 national armies.

1983

About 20,000 BMP-1s were produced in the Soviet Union from 1966 to 1983, at which time it was regarded as the most ubiquitous IFV in the world.

1987

In Soviet service, the BMP-1 was ultimately superseded by the more sophisticated BMP-2 (in service from 1980) and the BMP-3 (in service from 1987).

1990

The 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe defines an infantry fighting vehicle as "an armoured combat vehicle which is designed and equipped primarily to transport a combat infantry squad, and which is armed with an integral or organic cannon of at least 20 millimeters calibre and sometimes an antitank missile launcher".




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