(after 1990) trends in IFV's technical requirements
and construction's philosophy has nothing to do with innovation
but with the quick shift into focus of optimization for regional COIN operations, mostly in urbanized areas
Requirements of the latest IFV in western counties ,in facts, has been relieved from the historical task to slow down ,for what was possible, overwhelming Soviet Forces advancing in the Great European Plain in the attempt, at least, to "channel" and concentrate them and allow, in this way, a more efficient employment of tactical nuclear weapons ( obtaining a de-escalation of the conflict).
Today ,instead, requirements of IFV such as Schützenpanzer Puma, ASCOD Pizarro, CV-90 etc... are dictated mostly by COIN missions against technically inferior opponents
which employ mostly guerrilla warfare tactics in urbanized areas ; in this optic the most important features to assure crew's survivability become : 1) All around protection against AP heavy submachine gun fire 2) High resilience to RPG fire 3) High survivability against middle charge IEDs 4) Good speed and mobility on-road and on compact terrains (to complicate aiming task of ambushing elements armed with RPG and machine guns and reducing time of exposure to enemy fire.5) Multispectral sensor suit and integrated data sharing capabilities, to allow combined engagement or avoiding of a potential ambush point detected by a third asset.6) Pin point precision engagement capability in the 1500-2000 meters radius circle
. (Enemy are almost totally devoid of military class long range ATGMs while ambush fire from defilade in urban environments become habitual)
Now anyone can realize how IFVs constructed around similar central requirements in a high intensity conflict against a very powerful enemy wouldn't result merely unsuitable but even on the border of the ridiculous.
The first most critical (even strategic...) requirement of an IFVs for efficiently fight in an high intensity conflict against a symmetric opponent
is capability to move unhindered in ANY terrain of ANY sector of the conflict's theatre
-both in offensive and ,even more, counteroffensive operations - so to achieve:
1) Local Force's Concentration Overmatch
on enemy forces and ,possibly, insulation of one or more of its components.
2) Tactical Surprise
,through attacks executed from vectors unexpected or uncovered by enemy formations.
3) Avoid enemy Fortified Positions ,Minefields and Artillery/Infantry Ambush points
4) Actively search open "corridors" to enemy frail supply lines and logistical tail
In this regard anyone can realize how ,in a conflict between very strong opponents, real amphibious capability work literally as a strong Force's Multiplier
Someone should think how much Schützenpanzer Puma or CV-90....if any.....,with the infantry elements carried , would be present in a particular moment ,in a precise theatre's sector, for attack enemy forces from a particular direction or penetrate in its rearguard or supply lines and, instead, how much BMP-3/3M would be present in the same conditions in a theatre like the following
Naturally the opponent would be........China
(not some small third world opponent completely uncapable to defend itself
Someone is surprised that amphibious capability is one of the central requirement of Indian FIFV program ?
I've leaved out the question of fire power and capabilities to engage any battlefield menace because here the difference become even crushing.
If i was a troop of an ATGM squads in covered/fortified positions placed on an hill and equipped with TOW and Javelin i would be extremely scared knowing that groups of enemy BMP-3Ms (that can come literally from anywhere ) can stop quietly at 7-7,5 km of distance and saturate at leisure the entire area with an indirect rain of overhead detonating supersonic 3UOF19/E-3UOF19 HE-Frag rounds
, advance and engage the remaining fortified positions with Arkan missiles ; all of that from a wide stand-off range
Same situation against enemy Pumas, M3 Bradley or ASCOD with, at maximum theirs auto-cannon’s fire to effectively engage enemy ATGMs squads ?
Well, i would definitely NOT be in any those vehicles or in one of the infantry squads it carry.