Iveco Defesa has supplied the Philippine Army with 28 Guarani 6×6 armoured personnel carriers. At a total value of $47 million (€39.3 million), the contract marks the first export win for the vehicles. Iveco Defese will arms Philippines cars with an operated turret with a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Onboard systems include an E-LynX software-defined radio, a COMBAT NG command and control system and a TORCH-X combat management system, all supplied by Israel’s Elbit Systems. The design was also adapted by IVECO for its SuperAV 8×8, which eventually was selected by the US Marine Corps for its Amphibious Combat Vehicle program to complement and eventually replace the USMC’s AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles.
The VBTP-MR (Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal – Média de Rodas; “Armored Personnel Carrier Vehicle – Medium Wheeled Type) 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 8×8 version of the VBTP-MR is the base of Iveco’s Superav armoured personnel carrier. In the program other Brazilian Companies also participated, such as IMBEL (Communications), ELBIT (Armaments), Usiminas and Villares (development of national ballistic structural steel). 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 VBTP is 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. 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. 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.
The Guarani can be equipped with manned and unmanned turrets carrying armament from 5.56 to 30 mm. 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.