Argentina’s Defense Minister Jorge Taiana and Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira signed a letter of intent to incorporate 156 Guaraní 6×6 armored combat vehicles to the Argentine Army’s fleet to enable both nations to conduct combined military operations with an efficient asset and contribute to stability in the region.
“The world trend in this area is armored vehicles with tires,” Argentine Army Colonel José Colombo, head of the Institutional Communications and Press Department of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Diálogo on February 23. “It’s what we need in accordance with the multi-layered defense or attrition strategy at greater distances, designed in the medium-term military strategic planning.”
The contract, the Argentine Ministry of Defense said, is between its Army and the Brazilian vehicle manufacturer. The production of the vehicle includes parts manufactured in Argentina in motor vehicle factory IVECO, located in Córdoba province.
“In addition, the signed letter of intent included the transfer of technology for the progressive increase of parts manufacturing in our country, logistics support, and training of Army crews and technical personnel,” Col. Colombo said. “[This] constitutes a real incentive for our defense industry.”
Of the 156 units Argentina seeks to acquire, 120 are personnel carriers with machine gun tower, 27 are infantry combat vehicles with gun tower, and nine are Command Post vehicles.
“It’s significant from the commercial point of view, which provides the Army with a capacity that it does not have, and in part it modernizes its armored rolling stock,” Juan Battaleme, a defense analyst and professor of International Relations at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, told Diálogo. “We would be witnessing the possibility of local production to meet the needs of our Armed Forces.”
The Guarani 6×6 is an amphibious, wheeled, troop transport armored vehicle with different levels of equipment such as artillery and logistics support. It is equipped with a modern operational communications and night vision system.
Due to its characteristics “its mission is to be the first military response to a crisis, which could provide the two states with an effective tool for combined military action and contribute to stability in the region,” the Argentine Ministry of Defense indicated. The Brazilian Army currently has some 500 operational units.
For Battaleme, the importance lies in “the political decision to strengthen ties with Brazil in possible aspects, and one of the issues is that of regional and bilateral security, which is where there is more consensus between both countries.”
Since 2020, the Argentine Army has been carrying out detailed studies of the vehicle, being considered the most suitable for its needs given its potential, the proximity to Brazil, and the possibility of being manufactured in the country.
“This signature represents a milestone in the integration of respective industries, and reinforces the actions aimed at strengthening the agenda of integration, cooperation, and mutual trust between the two countries,” Col. Colombo said.
In mid-2021, the Guarani, on loan from the Brazilian Army’s 5th Mechanized Cavalry Regiment, was tested in Argentina and was presented during an exhibition at the Argentine Army Arsenals Directorate, Spanish news site Infodefensa reported.
The armored vehicle was subjected to technical tests and armament operations and tested for its airborne capabilities to be deployed in military operations in the Hercules C-130 aircraft that the Argentine Air Force owns.
The acquisition of the vehicle, Col. Colombo said, “will improve interoperability between the armies of the two countries, since the same vehicle will operate on both sides of the border.”
The armed forces of Argentina and Brazil have a historical bond, cooperating on the exchange of officers and noncommissioned officers in training institutes, combined exercises, and participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations, among others.
“Our assimilation with Brazil in Defense matters is not something new, but is already a tradition,” Col. Colombo concluded.