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LAAD 2011: Iveco shows off Guarani in Brazil

13th April 2011 - 12:27 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Iveco has displayed the Guarani APC that it has developed for the Brazilian Army for the first time in public in the country at LAAD 2011. Brazil signed a $3.3 billion deal for the supply of 2,044 of the vehicles in early 2010.

The APC is the Brazilian Army's most important modernisation project in the short- and medium-term. The 6x6 Viatura Blindada de Transporte de Tropas - Média sobre Rodas (VBTP-MR) or Wheeled Medium APC (Basic Platform) will be the backbone of the country's future mechanised capability alongside the Leopard 1A5 MBT.

After being displayed at LAAD, the prototype will go the Brazilian Army's proving ground in Marambaia for a period of testing. At the same time, Iveco Defence Vehicles will begin construction of a pilot batch of 16 vehicles.

Iveco Latin America is developing the vehicle in close co-operation with the Brazilian Army Science and Technology Department. The Guarani, and its derivatives, will eventually replace the army's 223 6x6 EE-11 Urutu APCs and 408 90mm-armed 6x6 EE-9 Cascavel armoured cars.

The first prototype was delivered to the army in April 2010 and will be followed by another 16 vehicles by the end of 2011. Series production is scheduled to begin deliveries next year with production expected to continue until at least 2030 to meet the army's full requirement.

The APC has a combat weight of about 18t, a three man crew and carries a dismounted squad of eight. It is fitted with the UT30 BR, a member of the Elbit Overhead Remote Controlled Weapon System (RCWS) family.

The UT30 is a dual-axis stabilised unmanned turret, armed with a 30mm cannon and 7.62mm co-axial machine gun. The RCWS are 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.

The vehicle is powered by a PFT diesel coupled to a ZF fully automatic transmission, which will give a maximum road speed of 100km/h and an operating range of about 600km. The baseline vehicle is not amphibious but an amphibious version will be developed, which will be propelled in the water at speeds up to 9.5km/h by two propellers at the rear of the hull.

Variants of the Guarani are expected to include ambulance, C2, command post, fire direction, maintenance, mortar carrier and repair/recovery.

The Brazilian Army is also believed to be interested in a larger 8x8 version of the vehicle, although no details have yet been released. An 8x8 version would give the army the opportunity to mount a larger weapon such as a 90mm cannon. A number of companies exhibiting at LAAD 2011 are exhibiting 90mm turrets including Belgium's CMI.

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