For Armored Fighting Vehicles, the Brazilian Army developed a new vehicle through cooperation with Iveco of Italy, which was identified as VBTP-MR with the local name Guarani.
The Brazilian defense industry has become the country’s most dynamic high-tech industry. In the last three decades, Brazil has seen its defense industry go through a number of different phases: from being vibrant and export oriented in the 1980s, to a stagnant industry in the 1990s, with a resurgence in the 2000s.
In the past three decades, Brazil built a dynamic and diversified defense industry. Successions of domestic political and economic policies, and international trends, have brought the Brazilian defense industry to a marginal position in the global defense industry.
For Armored Fighting Vehicles, the Brazilian Army developed a new vehicle through cooperation with Iveco of Italy, which was identified as VBTP-MR with the local name Guarani. The vehicle is a 6×6 armoured personnel carrier developed as part of its “URUTU-III” modernization program aimed to replace all EE-11 Urutu.
Work began in 1999, the Brazilian Army issued a request for a new family of armored fighting vehicles with amphibious capabilities. 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.
The development program also include a communications version, an ambulance version and different fire support versions, armed with large calibre mortar and gun systems.
In 2009, the Brazilian Army has signed with Iveco a contract worth about €2.5 billion for supplying armoured personnel carriers of the VBTP-MR model. The contract covers the delivery of 2,044 vehicles and logistical support for a period of 20 years.
The first vehicles were delivered between 2013 and 2014. By 2019 a total of more than 400 Guarani armored vehicles were delivered.
The VBTP-MR armoured personnel carrier based on 6×6 wheeled chassis and weigh about 17 tonnes. The basic Iveco VBTP-MR model measures 6.91m long, 2.7m wide and 2.34m in height.
The vehicle is designed to have a turret door and can be equipped with a remote control system for use in various applications. It can also be equipped with modular floats to increase its marine manoeuvrability.
The armoured personnel carrier is air transportable by aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules or by Embraer KC-390 Brazilian military cargo aircraft.
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.
Several options of weapons are proposed for this armored personnel carrier. It might be fitted with remotely controlled 7.62 mm, 12.7 mm machine guns or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher.
Variant with 30 mm cannon and anti-tank guided missiles is also proposed.
Vehicle has a crew of two and is designed to transport 9 troops. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via the rear doors or roof hatches. The VBTP-MR is fitted with modern battlefield management systems, which is used for navigation, positioning, mission planning. It also displays nearby friendly units.
VBTP-MR is equipped an Iveco Cursor 9 turbocharged diesel engine generating a power of 383hp. The engine will be located at the hull front and manufactured by Fiat.
The vehicle will also have hydro-pneumatic suspension, a maximum speed of 110km/h with operational range of 600km.
VBTP-MR has great potential for export. Currently the VBTP-MR is the most advanced armored vehicle, being produced in South America. In the past Brazil has already sold vehicles to Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
The Argentine Army expressed interest in obtaining 14 of these APCs. Armies also from Chile, Colombia and Ecuador showed interest in the Guarani. The Lebanese army ordered 10 units and unveiled to the public in 2017.
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