First photos of the VBTP-MR (Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal – Media de Rodas) Guarani 6×6 armored personnel carriers bound for the Philippine Army, as five units were said to have been handed over by IVECO Latin America to Elbit Systems for integration of Elbit-supplied equipment. The 5 armored personnel carriers are expected to be delivered to the Philippines soon. It remains to be seen if the integration of Elbit-supplied systems will be made in the Philippines. Elbit Systems won the Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army and is set to deliver 28 units of the Guarani 6×6 APC. The contract was signed for $47 million.
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 Brazilian Army has signed with Iveco a contract worth about €2.5 billion for supplying armoured personnel carriers of the VBTP-MR model. 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 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. Brazilian Army also issued operational requirements for a number of derivatives of the Guarani. This new family of vehicles will include command vehicle, technical assistance vehicle, armored ambulance, 120 mm mortar carrier, fire direction vehicle and 8×8 version for Brazilian Marines.
VBTP-MR Guarani is powered by IVECO Cursor 9 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 383 hp. Engine is located at the hull front. It was planned that this engine will be produced in Brazil by FIAT. Engine is mated with an automatic transmission. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension. This APC is fully amphibious. Modular side floats can be added for improved floatation. Baseline APC can be airlifted by the C-130 Hercules or by Embraer KC-390 future Brazilian military cargo aircraft. 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.