MANUFACTURER(S): IVECO Latin America - Brazil / Italy
OPERATORS: Brazil (planned); Lebanon
Detailing the development and operational history of the IVECO VBTP-MR (Guarani) Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
Entry last updated on 12/16/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Iveco of Italy has delivered an all-modern Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) solution to the Brazilian Army through the joint "VBTP-MR" - the vehicle recognized locally under the "Guarani" name. The system was designed to an Army specification calling for a replacement for the aging EE-9 "Cascavel" and EE-11 "Urutu" line of vehicles of similar form and battlefield function (the vehicles detailed elsewhere on this site). The VBTP-MR brings along with it all the modern comforts and safety for the crew as well as features such as a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) and strong drive power. 6x6 and 8x8 forms make up the standard configuration of the family from which several variants have been planned to serve in specialized battlefield roles.
The 16.7 ton vehicle sports a length of 23 feet, a width of 9 feet and a height of 7.7 feet. The base operating crew numbers two (driver and commander) and there is seating for up to nine combat-ready personnel in the passenger compartment. The wheeled nature of the design lowers production and procurement costs and is in line with the growing global trend shifting to wheeled vehicle types over "track-and-wheel" models.
Beyond the multi-wheeled configuration supporting cross-country and road travel, the VBTP-MR sports a hydropneumatic suspension system for ride comfort. Road speeds reach nearly 70 miles per hour with ranges out to 370 miles. Power is served through an Iveco "Cursor 9" series diesel-fueled engine of 383 horsepower.
The general hull shape is traditional with a very sloped, near-horizontal, glacis plate showcased at the front. The hull roof is flat as are the hull sides and offer protection from small arms fire and artillery spray. The hull structure is suspended high above the ground giving excellent clearance. The vehicle is also completed with an amphibious capability. Doors at the rear of the hull provide protected entry/exit access for the passengers. With the driver seated at front-left, the engine is installed at front-right with the commander's position aft of the driver. This leaves the rear of the hull available for the passengers.
The basic APC model is defensed by machine guns and personal weapons carried by the occupants whereas the definitive fighting form introduces a remote-controlled turret armed with a 30mm Mk 44 Bushmaster II series autocannon and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The turret is of Israeli design (Elbit Systems) and is manufactured locally under license. A 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) supplies local air defense and can be used against light-armored threats as well. Smoke grenade dischargers provide a self-screening action for the vehicle and crew.
Beyond the aforementioned models, the VBTP will also appear in more dedicated battlefield forms such as a Command and Control (C2) variant, armored ambulance, tank-killer (proposed), and mortar carrier (120mm caliber). This lineup showcases the versatility of the Italian design.
The Brazilian Army is slated to received over 2,000 VBTP-MRs into 2030 with deliveries having begun in 2012 through an initial 200-strong batch. The system will also be used by Brazilian Marine forces.
The Lebanese Army is the only recognized export customer of the vehicle to date (2016).
December 2017 - The Brazilian military reaffirmed their commitment to succeeding the aging line of EE-11 Urutu vehicles with the Italian VBTP-MR.