Mechanized Infantry is infantry soldiers mounted in Infantry Fighting Vehicles. Each IFV carries a squad of troops, and is designed to fight alongside them as well as transport them. In this respect they differ from units equipped with APCs, which are designed to transport the troops, but not to fight.
A typical squad in a mechanized infantry platoon consists of the 3-man IFV crew and around six infantry. The infantry are often equipped with carbine or bullpup small arms due to the confined space within the vehicles. The IFV is usually armored to withstand small arms, shell fragments, autocannons and light anti-tank weapons, although protection against the last two is limited outside the frontal arc. The IFVs main weapon is usually an autocannon in a powered turret, with secondary armament of one or more machine guns. Many IFVs also include an ATGM system, which can sometimes be dismounted for use on foot.
Tactically, mechanized infantry are fast and well protected enough to operate alongside tanks, protecting them from enemy infantry, and in turn receiving protection from enemy tanks. In practice tank and infantry companies often swap platoons with each other to form these mixed formations. Many IFVs now mount the same kind of sophisticated sights and digital battlefield network equipment as modern armor. This has been developed due to the rise of computer power in recent decades. The IFV also provides full protection against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to its occupants.