Ground Warfare

Philippine Army Receives Brazilian-Made VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 Armoured Personnel Carriers

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Philippine Army Receives Brazilian-Made VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 Armoured Personnel Carriers

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Elbit Systems to Deliver VBTP-MR Guarani 6x6 Armored Personnel Carriers to Philippine Army
Elbit Systems to Deliver VBTP-MR Guarani 6x6 Armored Personnel Carriers to Philippine Army

The first batch of five 6X6 Iveco Guarani armored personnel carriers arrived in the Philippines. on 18th February 2024. Manufactured at the industrial complex in Sete Lagoas, these units departed through the port of Santos (Brazil) on December 31, 2023, transiting through Singapore before finally being offloaded at the port of Manila. This batch is part of an order for 28 units, acquired in 2020 through Elbit Systems, with delivery expected throughout this year. It is worth noting that the Filipino government is negotiating a second batch, consisting of an additional 28 vehicles. The delivery of the Guarani to the Philippines was delayed after the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) imposed a veto on some German-origin components integrated into the Brazilian 6×6 armored vehicle in February 2023.

Following months of negotiations between the parties involved, Germany lifted the veto on the export of components manufactured in the country, which are part of the APC 6×6 Guarani. The veto affected the supply of ballistic steel produced by thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, anti-mine ballistic protection plates produced by Rheinmetall Protection Systems GmbH (formerly IBD Deisenroth Engineering), periscopes models M17 (driver) and M45 (commander) manufactured by GuS glass + safety GmbH & Co, CV half-shafts produced by GKN Driveline Deutschland GmbH, transmission assembly model 6HP 602S produced by ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and the cooling system fan (FAN) model Behr Y2991001 produced by MAHLE GmbH, as reported by the Brazilian portal Technology & Defense.

The embarkation of the first five VBTP-MR Guarani 6X6 armored personnel carriers is currently underway at the Port of Santos in São Paulo, Brazil.
The embarkation of the first five VBTP-MR Guarani 6X6 armored personnel carriers is currently underway at the Port of Santos in São Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Elbit Systems)

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 armored personnel carriers, with the aim of ultimately acquiring a total of 114 armored vehicles in different configurations. The contract was signed for USD$47 million and is intended to be complete within a three year period. Integration of Elbit Systems’ products including the RCWS, the Torch-X battlefield management system, and E-Lynx software defined radios are expected to be done in the Philippines by the Armor Division’ under supervision by Elbit Systems. These vehicles are assigned with the Philippine Army’a Armor Division although they are expected ro be attached with the strategic 1st Brigade Combat Team.

The VBTP-MR Guarani (Portuguese Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal – Média de Rodas; “Armored Personnel Carrier Vehicle – Medium Wheeled Type”) 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. Other Brazilian companies also participated in the program, such as IMBEL (Communications), Elbit (Armaments), Usiminas and Villares (development of national ballistic structural steel). VBTP-MR Guarani is powered by Iveco’s Cursor 9 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 383 hp and coupled to an automatic transmission. The vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension. Modular side floats can be added for improved floatation. The baseline APC can be airlifted by C-130 Hercules. The vehicle has a crew of 2 and is designed to transport 9 troops.

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