An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour, generally combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked. Main battle tanks, armoured cars, armoured self-propelled guns, and armoured personnel carriers are all examples of AFVs. Armoured fighting vehicles are classified according to their intended role on the battlefield and characteristics. The classifications are not absolute; two countries may classify the same vehicle differently, and the criteria change over time. For example, relatively lightly armed armoured personnel carriers were largely superseded by infantry fighting vehicles with much heavier armament in a similar role. Successful designs are often adapted to a wide variety of applications. For example, the MOWAG Piranha, originally designed as an APC, has been adapted to fill numerous roles such as a mortar carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, and assault gun.
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