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).
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.
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 also an 8×8 variant of the vehicle.
Currently, the VBTP-MR comes in different variants and versions:
- VBTP Standard;
- VBCI (with 30mm turret);
- VBE / CP (command post);
- VBE / Mort (door-mortar, possibly 120mm);
- VBE / Recon (105 mm cannon)
- VBE / CDT (fire control);
- VBE / Communications / Command and Control;
- VBE / Workshop;
- VBE / Relief;
- VBTE / Ambulance
- 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)
- possibly a 105 mm cannon (reconnaissance version)
- possibly a 120 mm cannon (tank-killer version)