, Allgemeines Kriegsdepartement 7 Abteilung, . "General War Department, 7th Unit, Transportation." (German.) Verkehrswesen AA
Anti aircraft. AAMG
Anti aircraft Machine Gun. AAV RAM/RS
Assault Amphibian Vehicle Reliability, Availability, Maintainability/ Rebuild to Standard. US program to install components from the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle into the AAVP7A1. AAVC
Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Command. AAVP
Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Personnel. Abrams, General Creighton Williams, Jr.
15 Sep 1914-4 Sep 1974. Tank battalion and combat command commander in World War II; 3rd Armored Division commander; commander of US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, from 1968-72; and Chief of Staff of the US Army from 1972-4.
Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle. ACE
Armored Combat Earthmover. M9. ACPC
Armored Command Post Carrier. M577. ACRC
Armored Command and Reconnaissance Carrier. AFV
Armored Fighting Vehicle. AGF
Army Ground Forces. AIV
Armored Infantry Vehicle. AIV is an obsolete US term for APC. AMX
. ("Construction Workshops of Issy-les-Moulineaux." French.) Ateliers de Construction d'Issy-les- Moulineau x AOE
Army of Excellence. 1980s program to restructure US Army units. AOS
Add- On Stabilization. APBC
Armor- Piercing, Ballistic Capped. Armor-piercing projectile that has an aerodynamic ballistic cap on the nose. APC
Armored Personnel Carrier. APCs, usually armed with machine guns, generally transport infantry to the battle and then the troops dismount to fight on their own. APCBC
Armor- Piercing, Capped, Ballistic Capped. Armor-piercing projectile that has a piercing cap installed over the projectile's nose to help prevent projectile break-up when encountering face-hardened armor. Since piercing caps were typically blunt, aerodynamic ballistic caps were then installed over the piercing caps. During World War II, the US did not nomenclaturally differentiate between APC and APCBC projectiles; e.g., the 75mm APC projectile M61 had a ballistic cap fitted as well. APDS
Armor- Piercing Discarding Sabot. APFSDS
Armor- Piercing Fin- Stabilized Discarding Sabot. AR/AAV
Armored Reconnaissance/ Airborne Assault Vehicle. M551 Sheridan. ARCOVE
Ad-hoc Group on
Armament for Future Tanks or Similar Combat Vehicles. Late-1950s US Army tank program analysis. Armor-piercing discarding sabot
Armor-piercing projectile that is smaller than the diameter of the gun's barrel. Sabots (French for "shoe") are placed around the projectile and fill the space between the projectile and barrel walls. Once the projectile clears the gun tube, the sabots fall away. APDS projectiles have a higher muzzle velocity than comparable full-bore projectiles.
Armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot
APDS projectile that is aerodynamically stabilized by fins rather than spinning.
Armored Reconnaissance Scout Vehicle. ASV
Armored Security Vehicle. M1117 Guardian. ATGM
Anti tank Guided Missile. ATACMS
Army Tactical Missile System. AUV
Armored Utility Vehicle. Ausf.
Ausführung "Model." (German.)
Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge.
Brilliant Anti-armor Technology. BAT is an artillery-delivered anti-armor submunition that uses acoustic and infrared sensors to detect targets. BFIST
Bradley Fire Support Team vehicle. BFIST. BFV
Bradley Fighting Vehicle. M2. M3. BGM
As in BGM-71 TOW.
B: Launch environment: Multiple. G: Basic mission: Surface attack. M: Vehicle type: Guided missile. BITE
Built- In Test Equipment. BMP
. Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty Bog
Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty (Боевая Машина Пехоты). "Infantry combat vehicle." (Russian.)
Bradley, General of the Army Omar Nelson
12 Feb 1893-8 Apr 1981. 12th Army Group commander in World War II, Chief of Staff of the US Army in 1948-9, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1949-53.
M2. M3. BT
(Быстроходный Танк). "Fast tank." (Russian.) Bystrokhodnyy Tank
Caliber. The diameter of a gun, expressed in inches (e.g., a .30 caliber machine gun fires bullets .3" in diameter). CBSS
Closed Breech Scavenging System. CBSS used compressed air to force any remaining smoldering pieces of combustible ammunition casing out of the 152mm gun-launcher on the M551 Sheridan and M60A2. CBSS was a safer system than the earlier open breech system, which allowed the flaming pieces to fly around the turret. CEV
Combat Engineer Vehicle. M728. CFV
Cavalry Fighting Vehicle. M3 Bradley. CGMC
Combination Gun Motor Carriage. M15A1. Chaffee, Major General Adna Romanza, Jr.
23 Sep 1884-22 Aug 1941. Commander of US 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized) and I Armored Corps. First commander of the US Armored Force.
Char "Tank." (French.)
Counterintelligence/ Human Intelligence Automated Tool Set. Christie suspension
The suspension designed by J. Walter Christie in the 1920s involved independently springing a vehicle's road wheels on tall vertical helical springs. The wheels were attached to swing arms which then connected to the springs. The springs required a tall double-walled hull, and they were placed in between the two hull layers. Many vehicles with Christie's suspension could drive on or off of their tracks, wheeled motion usually being powered by chains running from the sprockets or final drives. Among vehicles using variants of Christie's suspension were many British World War II-era cruiser tanks, and the Soviet BT series and T-34.
Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer. CTL
Combat Tank, Light. CV
Command Vehicle. M1130 Stryker. CVR(T)
Combat Vehicle, Reconnaissance ( Tracked).
Embedded Training Module. ESV
Engineer Squad Vehicle. M1132 Stryker.
Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle. M992. FBCB2
Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below. Secure digital communication system that allows commanders to track friendly and enemy units. FCS
Future Combat System. FIM
As in FIM-92 Stinger.
F: Launch environment: Individual. I: Basic mission: Aerial/space intercept. M: Vehicle type: Guided missile. Fire height
Height to the centerline of a vehicle's main weapon when that weapon is at 0° elevation.
Fire Support Team Vehicle. M981. FLIR
Forward- Looking Infra red. FSDS
Fin- Stabilized Discarding Sabot. See APFSDS. FSV
Fire Support Vehicle. M1131 Stryker. FV
Gun Motor Carriage. Grant, General of the Army of the United States Ulysses S.
27 Apr 1822-23 Jul 1885. Commander-in-chief of the US Army in the US Civil War and eighteenth President of the USA.
Ground contact length
Distance between the centers of a vehicle's first and last road wheels.
General Staff Officer, 1st grade. G/VLLD
Ground/ Vehicle Laser Locator Designator.
As in M2HB.
Heavy Barrel. Heavy-barreled air-cooled machine guns did not require a water jacket around the barrel for cooling. HE
High Explosive. Explosive material that detonates; i.e., the chemical decomposition shock wave travels at supersonic speeds. HEAT
High Explosive Anti tank. Shaped charge shell wherein explosive packed around a hollow cone-shaped metal liner causes the liner to collapse into a solid "jet" upon detonation. Armor penetration occurs via the pressure induced by the jet's leading tip, which reaches speeds of ~10km/s (~20,000mph). HEAT-MP
High Explosive Anti tank, Multi purpose. HEAT shell with sufficient blast and fragmentation to also enable it to be used against unarmored targets or troops. HEP
High Explosive Plastic. Thin-walled projectile filled with a plastic high explosive composition that, upon impact, spreads onto the target before being detonated by a base fuze. When used against armored targets, the shock wave imposed can cause spalling of the opposite face of the armor plate. HERCULES
Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System. M88A2. HMC
Howitzer Motor Carriage. HMMWV
High- Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. Horizontal volute spring suspension
This type of suspension involved springing the road wheels on a bogie against each other with a horizontally-oriented volute spring.
Heavy Recovery Vehicle. HVAP
Hyper- velocity Armor -Piercing. HVSS
Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension. Hydropneumatic suspension
This suspension transmits pressure from the road wheel arm to compress a volume of gas via hydraulic fluid from which the gas is separated by a piston. By pumping or draining fluid into the suspension, the road wheel can also be raised or lowered.
Armor-piercing projectile that has a dense tungsten core surrounded by a lightweight, aerodynamic metal body. The light weight of the projectile imparts a higher muzzle velocity, and this, along with the relatively small diameter of the piercing core, yields greater penetration compared to conventional projectiles, especially at shorter ranges since the lighter HVAP projectile will bleed off speed more quickly than a heavier conventional projectile.
Interim Armored Vehicle. Early name for the Stryker family. IBAS
Improved Bradley Acquisition System. ICV
Infantry Carrier Vehicle. M1126 Stryker. IED
Improvised Explosive Device. IFV
Infantry Fighting Vehicle. IFVs provide heavier fire support to infantry in addition to armored transportation. IR
Infra red. IS
As in IS-3.
Iosif Stalin (Иосиф Стáлин). ITOW
Improved TOW. ITV
Improved TOW Vehicle. M901. IVIS
Inter vehicular Information System.
Jettison Fitting Kit.
Kampfpanzer "Fighting tank." (German.)
Kanone Granate rot Panzer "Cannon shell, red, armor." (German.)
. Kampf pan zer
Light Armored Infantry. LAR
Light Armored Reconnaissance. LAV
Light Armored Vehicle. LAV-AD
Light Armored Vehicle, Air Defense. LAV-AT
Light Armored Vehicle, Anti tank. LAV-C2
Light Armored Vehicle, Command and Control. LAV-L
Light Armored Vehicle, Logistics. LAV-M
Light Armored Vehicle, Mortar. LAV-R
Light Armored Vehicle, Recovery. LAW
Light Antitank Weapon. Leclerc de Hautecloque,
Maréchal de France Jacques-Philippe 22 Nov 1902-28 Nov 1947. French armored division commander in World War II and French Far East Expeditionary Corps commander from 1945-7.
Lee, General Robert Edward
19 Jan 1807-12 Oct 1870. Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia in the US Civil War.
Lane Marking System. LRAS3
Long- Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System. LRF
Low Recoil Force. LRV
Light Recovery Vehicle. LVT
Landing Vehicle, Tracked. LVT(A)
Landing Vehicle, Tracked ( Armored). LVTC
Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Command. LVTE
Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Engineer. LVTH
Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Howitzer. LVTP
Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Personnel. LVTP(CMD)
Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Personnel ( Co mman d). LVTR
Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Recovery.
Marder "Marten." (German.)
Maximum Protection. M1224. MBT
Main Battle Tank. MBTs are the primary tank type of modern armies and combine characteristics of their medium and heavy tank ancestors. MC
Mortar Carrier. M1129 Stryker. MC4
Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care. System to digitally capture medical treatment data in operational environments, leading to a comprehensive lifelong electronic medical record for personnel. MEAP
MRAP Expedient Armor Program. MECU
Mission Equipment Control Unit. MEV
Medical Evacuation Vehicle. M1133 Stryker. MG
Machine Gun. MGM
As in MGM-51 Shillelagh.
M: Launch environment: Mobile. G: Basic mission: Surface attack. M: Vehicle type: Guided missile. MGMC
Multiple Gun Motor Carriage. MGS
Mobile Gun System. M1128 Stryker. 2. Missile Guidance Set. MICV
Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle. MILES
Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System. Combat simulation system using lasers to score hits. MIM
As in MIM-72 Chaparral.
M: Launch environment: Mobile. I: Basic mission: Aerial/space intercept. M: Vehicle type: Guided missile. Mk.
Mar k. MLRS
Multiple Launch Rocket System. M270. MMC
Mortar Motor Carriage. MOPP
Mission- Oriented Protective Posture. MOWAG
. ("Motorcar Factory, joint stock company." German.) Motor wagenfabrik Aktien gesellschaft MRAP
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected. MRUV
Mine Resistant Utility Vehicle. MSD
Magnetic Signature Duplicator system.
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare. NBCRV
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle. M1135 Stryker.
Objective Gunner Protection Kit.
Όντως.) "That which is indeed." (Greek.) M50. OPTAR
Optical Tracking, Acquisition, and Ranging. OQF
Ordnance, Quick Firing. A gun that does not use separate loading ammunition; i.e., the propellant case and projectile are a single unit.
Panzerfaust "Armor fist." (German.) German World War II handheld antitank weapon.
Panzergrenadier "Armored grenadier;" i.e., mechanized infantry. (German.)
Panzerkampfwagen "Armored fighting vehicle;" i.e., tank. (German.)
Panzerschreck "Armor fright." (German.) German World War II handheld antitank weapon.
Patton, General George Smith, Jr.
11 Nov 1885-21 Dec 1945. US Army general in World War II, commands included 2nd Armored Division, I Armored Corps, Seventh Army, and Third Army. In World War I he helped create the American Expeditionary Force's Tank Corps and commanded the AEF's 1st Tank Brigade.
M46. M47. M48. Pershing, General of the Armies of the United States John Joseph
13 Sep 1860-15 Jul 1948. Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, he helped create the AEF's Tank Corps.
Projector, Infantry, Anti tank. British World War II handheld antitank weapon. Pitch
Distance from the centers of the front and rear track pins on a single shoe.
Product Improved Vulcan Air Defense System. M163. Protectoscope
Periscope viewing device with an armor pocket that traps fragments or bullets that penetrate the vision slot, thereby protecting the viewer.
. Pan zer kam pfwagen
Return of Forces to Germany. REFORGER exercises, lasting from 1969 to 1993, were used to test and train the United States' ability to quickly reinforce troops in Europe with troops stationed in the US. RISE
Reliability Improvements for Selected Equipment. RISE was a US program to increase the reliability of certain AFV powertrains. ROAD
Reorganization Objective Army Division. 1960s program to restructure US Army units. RSTA
Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition. RV
Reconnaissance Vehicle. M1127 Stryker. RWS
Remote Weapon System.
Semi- Active [also Semi- Automatic] Command to Line- Of- Sight. A system of missile guidance where the operator needs to simply keep the crosshairs on target for the missile to hit. The control equipment senses the deviation between where the operator is aiming and where the missile is flying, and automatically adjusts so that the missile's flight coincides with its aiming point. SADARM
Sense And Destroy Armor. SADARM is an artillery-delivered anti-armor submunition that uses millimetric-wave radar and infrared sensors to detect targets. SAM
Surface-to- Air Missile. SBCT
Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
Schützenpanzer "Shooter armor;" i.e., armored personnel carrier. (German.)
. Son der kraft fahr zeug Sheridan, General of the Army of the United States Philip Henry
6 Mar 1831-5 Aug 1888. Union cavalry general in the US Civil War.
M551. Sherman, General of the Army of the United States William Tecumseh
8 Feb 1820-14 Feb 1891. Union general in the US Civil War.
Standard Integrated Command Post System. M1068. SMP
Surface Mine Plow. SOB
Straight Obstacle Blade. SOMUA
. ("Mechanical Tools and Artillery Machining Company." French.) Société d' Outillage Mécanique et d' Usinage d' Artillerie
Sonderkraftfahrzeug "Special-purpose motor vehicle." (German.)
Self- Propelled. SPAT
Self- Propelled Anti- Tank. M56. SPG
Self- Propelled Gun. SPH
Self- Propelled Howitzer. SPM
Self- Propelled Mortar. SPR
Self- Propelled Rifle. SPz
. Schützen pan zer Stryker, Specialist Fourth Class Robert Francis
9 Nov 1944-7 Nov 1967. US Army grenadier who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for actions performed on 7 November 1967 near Loc Ninh, Republic of Vietnam.
Stryker, Private First Class Stuart S.
30 Oct 1924-24 Mar 1945. US Army platoon runner who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for actions performed on 24 March 1945 near Wesel, Germany.
Stuart, Major General James Ewell Brown
6 Feb 1833-12 May 1864. Confederate cavalry general in the US Civil War.
As in T-34.
(Танк). "Tank." (Russian.) Tank TBAT-II
TOW Bushmaster Armored Turret, 2-man. TC
Tank Commander. Torsilastic suspension
This suspension used wheels attached to a suspension arm which was sprung with a rubber spring. Used, for example, on many US LVTs, the rubber springs possessed the obvious advantage of being immune to corrosion, a great benefit on amphibious vehicles.
Torsion bar suspension
This suspension type predominates among modern tracked vehicles. The road wheels are independently sprung, and attached by swing arms to the torsion bars, which are made from specially-treated steel and which run from the road wheel swing arm to an anchor on the other side of the hull. The torsion bars twist in response to wheel movement and provide a large amount of wheel travel. Vehicles with torsion bar suspension usually have their opposite road wheels slightly offset from each other since most torsion bars run the width of the hull.
Torsion tube over bar suspension
A torsion tube operates on the same principle as a torsion bar. When placed over a torsion bar, a torsion tube will twist once the bar has reached its limit and therefore allow more wheel travel than a torsion bar alone.
Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided missile. TOW is an American series of SACLOS antitank missiles able to be mounted on vehicles, helicopters, or ground mounts. TRADOC
Training and Doctrine Command. Tread
Distance between the centerlines of a vehicle's tracks or wheels.
Tank Recovery Vehicle. TTS
Tank Thermal Sight.
Unternehmen Herbstnebel "Operation Autumn Mist." (German.) German offensive in the Ardennes region starting 16 December 1944.
Vulcan Air Defense System. M163. Vertical volute spring suspension
This suspension involved mounting the road wheels to a bogie in pairs on arms and pivoting them against a vertically mounted volute spring, which was typically protected from damage by the bogie frame.
M4A1(76)W Sherman. Wet ammunition stowage. In tanks with wet ammunition stowage, main gun ammunition was stored in double-walled boxes. In between the walls of the ammunition boxes was a mixture of water, antifreeze, and an anticorrosive agent. When the boxes were penetrated, the water delayed or eliminated the resulting ammunition fire, giving crews valuable time to escape. More importantly, the ammunition was moved from the tanks' sponsons to under the turret, a much safer place for ammunition storage. Walker, Lieutenant General Walton Harris
3 Dec 1889-23 Dec 1950. US 3rd Armored Division and XX Corps commander during World War II, and Eighth Army commander in the Korean War.
White Phosphorus. Pyrophoric compound often used as filler in smoke projectiles.
NOTE: It has come to my attention that many of these definitions appear in The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, general editor Christopher F. Foss, published in 2002 by Thunder Bay Press, © 2002 Amber Books, Ltd., and DeAgostini UK, Ltd. Permission was not granted for that usage, nor was I consulted before or after publication, although I am flattered.
Last updated 20 Jul 2022.
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© Copyright 2000-22 Chris Conners