The VBTP Guarani (Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal or Armored Personnel Carrier Vehicles) a new family of 19,6 tonnes 6×6 armoured, amphibious vehicles, developed jointly by Iveco and the Brazilian Army (DCT – Department of Science and Technology) following the contract signed in 2009. The vehile as part of its “URUTU-III” modernization program aimed to replace all EE-11 Urutu by 2015. Fitted with an Iveco-FPT 9-litre, 281 kW (383 HP) bi-fuel common-rail engine, coupled to an automatic gearbox, the VBTP can carry 11 personnel. It is 7.0 metres long, 2.7 metres wide and 2.3 metres in height and can be transported by C-130 Hercules and KC-390 aircrafts.
This new family of armoured vehicles can be equipped with manned and unmanned turrets carrying armament from 5.56 to 30 mm. The adoption of a modular approach to product development provides numerous advantages including development of product variants without unnecessary re-engineering (reducing timescales and costs), optimum combination of power, protection and payload, flexibility in operation, support through improved maintainability and ease of upgrade. With different configurations to fulfil roles including personnel carrier, command post, recovery, ambulance, etc, the VBTP family will meet a whole range of operational needs.
The requirements for the VBTP-MR VBCI included an ELBIT remote control turret, equipped with a Mk44 Bushmaster II cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun; it should also be able fire anti-tank guided missiles. This turret, capable of 360 degree swivel and elevation / depression of -15 to +60 degrees, was chosen by the Brazilian Army on a selection made from among four companies. It is expected to be manufactured in Brazil. The firing system has a laser rangefinder, vision and fire control by day/night thermal vision, double shot of command (commander and gunner of the car, with precedence for the later), automatic target tracking system, and hunter killer smoke launchers. A significant aspect of this vehicle is that the turret is equipped with weapons sights and it is stabilized in two axes, allowing firing on the move with very high probability of hit within the first shot. Future needs will determine what kind of instruments will equip the turret, possibly after the vehicle enters service.
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 vehicles will replace the old Urutu armoured vehicle employed today by the Brazilian armed forces. The contract covers the delivery of 2,044 vehicles and logistical support for a period of 20 years. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2012, and continue for 18 years. There is also an 8×8 variant of the vehicle.