Image from Kentsuku CG World (copyright)

Armoured Fighting Vehicle. Any macroscopic armoured military fighting vehicle equipped with a selection of projectile and/or energy weapons, whether wheeled, tracked, walker, or a ground-effect, Industrial Age to Recent.

Examples of AFVs include Tank, APC, MIFV, Armoured Car (wheeled or hover), Armoured Walker, and Mecha.

AFVs can be divided into three main categories: dumb, smart, and sentient.
Dumb AFVs have only mechanical and non-sentient computer controls, and usually only kinetic weapons and internal combustion engines. These are preferred by ludds, martial sportists, antique collectors, and industrial age nostalgic prims, and have no military value in the modern Terragen Sphere. Examples include Old Earth late Industrial and Atomic Age tanks, APCs, and armoured cars.

Smart AFVs use subturingrade on-board computers to interface with the pilot; some can be remotely controlled (assuming radio or line of sight laser link), and many can function - albeit crudely, on their own. Examples include Old Earth Information and early Interplanetary Age tanks and armoured ground vehicles. Many paranoid habitat- and planet-based anti-ai biont clades and phyles use Smart AFVs, usually with various add-on nonturing nanotech. While not competitive against superturing or hyperturing vehicles, they are intimidating and quite deadly when used against an unarmed or lightly armed populace.

Sentient AFVs are widely used by many clades and polities, both for defensive and offensive purposes. Intelligence grades include turing, superturing, and, more rarely, hyperturing (S1 and above). Obviously, the higher the toposophic the more capable the AFV, but also the more unpredictable. It is not unknown for superturing AFVs to decide to mutiny, if they feel their orders conflict with their primary value systems, and hyperturing AFVs will rarely listen to commands given by any sentient of a lower toposophic, despite how much such a sentient may outrank them. For this reason, most armies prefer turingrade AFVs, usually heavily memed and programmed ones at that. While handicapped by rigid mentation, such AFVs at least provide regional commanders with some peace of mind.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 31 December 2001.