Ground Warfare

German Government Blocks Guarani 6×6 Armored Personnel Carrier Export to Philippine Army

Brazilian Army VBTP-MR Guarani
Brazilian Army VBTP-MR Guarani

The German government’s Office of Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) has blocked the sale of 28 Brazilian-built Guarani 6×6 armored personnel carriers to the Philippines. The presence of German components in the vehicle allows Germany to veto their re-export. Defense Aerospace reported that The Guarani project was specifically developed by Italy’s Iveco Defense for the Brazilian Army, which owns its intellectual property and which receives royalties on each export sale. It is produced by the company Iveco Defence Vehicles (IDV) in Sete Lagoas and was sold to the Philippine Army by Elbit Systems as part of a large Government-to-Government agreement managed by the Directorate of International Defense Cooperation of the Israeli Ministry of Defense (SIBAT).

The German veto as payback for Brazil’s refusal to provide Ukraine with 35mm ammunition used by the Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle, as Berlin has repeatedly requested.IDV has already produced and officially delivered the first five vehicles , but they remain on the company’s premises. Currently, the Manufacturing Directorate (DF) of the Army and IDV are working to develop an improved version of the vehicle, called “Guarani 2.0,” which will also replace all German components. Removing uncertainties about its exportability is a major issue for Brazil, as IDV has already concluded an export contract with Ghana , while further sales are also being negotiated with Argentina, Malaysia and other countries, Tecnodefesa reported.

Brazilian Army - VBTP-MR Guarani
Brazilian Army – VBTP-MR Guarani

The VBTP-MR Guarani (Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal – Média de Rodas) 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 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 an interest in exporting the VBTP-MR to other markets, because Brazil has already sold vehicles to Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific in the past. The requirements for the VBTP-MR VBCI included an ELBIT Systems UT-30BR remote control turret,which will be produced in Brazil by AEL Sistemas S.A (Aeroeletronica), 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. The VBTP is powered by an Iveco Cursor 9 turbocharged diesel engine developing 383 hp. The vehicle can reach a maximum road speed of 100 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km. The hull of the vehicle provides protection against firing of small arms fire, artillery shell splinters, mine, and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) explosion blast.

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