blindado GUARANI

VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 amphibious armoured vehicles – Brazil

The VBTP-MR Guarani (Portuguese > Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal – Média de Rodas; “Vehicle Armored Personnel Carrier – Medium Wheeled Type”) is a 6×6 armoured personnel carrier developed by Iveco and the Brazilian Army as part of its “URUTU-III” modernisation program aimed to replace all EE-11 Urutu by 2015. The VBTP-MR is based on a 6×6 version of Iveco’s Superav armoured personnel carrier. In the program there’s also the Brazilian Companies IMBEL (Communications), the ELBIT (Armaments), the Usiminas and the Villares (development of national ballistic structural steel).

3-image-3vbtp-mr-2VBTP with UT30-BR by Elbit Systems with a a Mk44 Bushmaster II cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun; it should also be able fire anti-tank guided missiles.Guara 8Standard turret by with (.50 machine gun)

In 1999 the Brazilian Army issued a request (ROB #09/99) for a new family of armored fighting vehicles with amphibious capabilities able to replace the EE-9 Cascavel and EE-11 Urutu developed in the seventies. 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.

EE-9 Cascavel with 90mm cannon  EE-11 Urutu

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.



Currently, the VBTP-MR comes in different variants and versions:

  • VBTP Standard;
  • VBCI (with 30mm turret);
  • VBE / CP (command post);
  • VBE / Mort (mortar carrier, possibly 120mm);
  • VBE / Recon (105 mm cannon)
  • VBE / CDT (fire control);
  • VBE / Communications / Command and Control;
  • VBE / Workshop;
  • VBE / Relief;
  • VBTE / Ambulance

19131Assuntos Militares (11)

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 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.

images.jpegELBIT 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.

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. Future needs will determine what kind of instruments will equip the turret, possibly after the vehicle enters service.

Mk44 Bushmaster II cannon

Some speculate that that the VBE / CP version will fashion a battle management system. The first level at which information must flow in a bidirectional way, what is known as “situational awareness”, refers to the tactical commander.

The distress (probably the VBCI) and recognition models are planned to have an 8×8 drive train.



The Guarani can be fitted with a variety of remote-controlled weapon stations. It might be fitted with remotely controlled 7.62-mm, 12.7-mm machine guns or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. One of the variant order by the Brazilian Army will be equipped with an UT30 turet, armed with a 30mm gun and 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. This remote controlled weapon station is being delivered by Elbit’s Brazilian subsidiary, AEL Sistemas, which received a $260 million framework contract to supply ‘a few hundred’ UT30 turrets for the project.

  • UT-30BR turret by Elbit Systems, which will be produced in Brazil by AEL Sistemas S.A (Aeroeletronica). (30 mm autocannon)

  • REMAX turret by Ares Aeroespacial e Defesa S.A. and CTEx. (.50 machine gun)

  • possibly a 120 mm mortar (mortar version)
ELbit Systems’ CARDOM mortar system is marketed in Brazil by Elbit Systems’ subsidiary ARES, as an optional weapon system for the VBTP-MR family. Defense-Update
  • possibly a 105 mm cannon (reconnaissance version)
Oto Melara’s  105 mm modular HITFACT turrets
  • possibly a 120 mm cannon (tank-killer version)
OTO Melara HITFACT 120 mmOto Melara’s  120 mm modular HITFACT turrets


Compared to the model in use today by the Brazilian Army, the new project brings advantages such as upgraded armor protection, increased mobility, increased range, independent hydropneumatic suspension, increased protection against mines, better ergonomics, air conditioning, brake system with double disc and ABS, GPS, automatic detection and extinguishing of fire, night operation capability as standard and laser detection system.


According Waldemir Cristino General Romulo, Military Project Manager, 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 Argentine Army expressed interest in an 8×8 version. Armies also from Chile, Colombia and Ecuador showed interest in the Guarani.

First orders

On the 26 November 2009, the Brazilian Defence Minister, Nelson Jobim, announced that President Lula had authorized the start of production for 2044 new vehicles with the new name Guarani, formerly known as Urutu III. According to him the new vehicle would replace the entire mobility system of the Brazilian Army. Also according to the minister, $6 billion would be invested in construction for the Guarani over 20 years. It was predicted that the first vehicle would be ready in 2010 and 16 vehicles would be tested by 2011. From 2012 on, the actual production would begin.

The army commander, General Enzo Martins Peri, signed the contract for the manufacture of vehicles in 18 December 2009. The examinations would be held at Army’s test range (CAEx), located in Barra de Guaratiba, west of Rio de Janeiro state. The tests would examine the vehicle durability, ergonomics and armour in situation such as landmine explosions.


Only on 7 August 2012, the Brazilian Army signed a contract to produce 86 Guarani. The order was completed by December 2012.


In March 2014 the 33rd Motorized Infantry Battalion of the 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade will receive the first 13 vehicles. It will be the first regular army unit to be issued the new vehicle. It will be part of trials using the initial 86 vehicles to figure out doctrine for its use in service.

The Guarani is motorised with a PFT diesel engine 383hp coupled to a ZF fully automatic transmission, which will give a maximum road speed of 100km/h and an maximum range of about 600km.


Map of VBTP-MR operators in blue
Map of VBTP-MR operators in blue

Current operators

  •  Brazil
    • Brazilian Army: 200+, Deliveries started in December 2012 four pre-series and 50 purchased. 86 units were ordered in December 2012, with 2,044 units of the 6×6 variant total ordered (finish by 2030).
Proposal for a 90 mm cannon   vbtp_mr_flex_1021The Iveco VBTP-MR was displayed at LAAD with two new add-on counter-RPG protection – the Flexfense and Hybrid, Hybrid Slat Fence (HSF) developed by Plasan. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-UpdatePlasan’s new Ultra Flex add-on armor includes the Hybrid Slat Fence (HSF) skirts developed by Plasan and produced in Brazil by All Tec composite materials. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Updateiveco-vbtp-mr.png


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