Guarani is a product of a collaboration between the Brazilian defense industry, Italy’s Iveco, and Israel’s Elbit Systems.

The Philippine Army is being strengthened with a series of new generation combat vehicles. This promises to bring the power of the country’s ground forces to a new level in Southeast Asia. In February 2021 Elbit Systems won the Philippine Army’s Armored Vehicle Acquisition Project for 28 Guarani 6×6 APCs in a contract valued at $47 million.

Guarani is a product of a collaboration between the Brazilian defense industry, Italy’s Iveco, and Israel’s Elbit Systems. The vehicle is available in both 6×6 and 8×8 configurations. The Philippines’ 6×6 vehicle will be equipped with an Elbit-built turret as well as a range of the company’s subsystems, including electric drive and stabilisation systems, fire-control systems, Torch-X battle management systems, E-LynX software-defined radio systems, gunner and commander sights, as well as life support systems.

The VBTP-MR Guarani is a 6×6 armoured personnel carrier developed by Iveco and the Brazilian Army as part of its “Urutu-III” modernization program aimed to replace all EE-11 Urutu by 2015. The main feature of this new family should be its modular design, allowing the incorporation of different turrets, weapons, sensors and communications systems onto the same carriage.

Based on the base chassis, variants were also developed, including a communication version, an ambulance version and other fire support versions, equipped with a large-caliber mortar and gun system. The Brazilian military also issued operational requirements for several Guarani derivatives. The new vehicle family will include a command vehicle, a technical support vehicle, an armored ambulance, a 120 mm mortar vehicle, a fire command vehicle and an 8×8 version for the Brazilian Marines.

The VBTP-MR is fitted with an armour protection, which gives protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle can be fitted with add-on composite armor for improved protection. This armored personnel carrier has a V-shaped hull, which provides protection against landmines. Interior is fitted with a spall liner.

Guarani armored vehicle is powered by a 383 hp Iveco Cursor 9 diesel engine. The chassis is 6.9 m long, 2.7 m wide and 2.4 m high, and the weight of the armored vehicle is 16.7 tons. It can reach a maximum road speed of 110 km/h. The vehicle will also have hydro-pneumatic suspension, with operational range of 600km.

Guarani is operated by a crew of two and can carry 9 soldiers. The infantry fighting vehicle is equipped with a 30 mm Mk 44 automatic cannon. It could also be used as a reconnaissance vehicle, equipped with a 105 mm cannon, or as a 120 mm self-propelled mortar.

The 28 Philippine Guarani are expected to be armed with a remote weapons station mounted with a 12.7 mm machine gun and a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. It remains to be seen if the Philippine Army will order more Guarani APCs in the future, as the type could be a potential replacement to the Philippine Army’s ageing fleet of Cadillac Gage V-150 Commando 4×4 armored vehicles.

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