Brazilian Army Modernizes Its Fleet of Armored Vehicles

Brazilian Army Modernizes Its Fleet of Armored Vehicles

By Dialogo
April 01, 2015





Brazil's Army Project Office (EPEx), created in 2012, evaluates, proposes, coordinates, and integrates efforts to realization the Army’s large-scale, technologically and financially complex strategic projects. So far those projects have included
Guarani, Cyber Defense, Air Defense, Proteger, Recop, Astros 2020, and Sisfron.


Diálogo will present each of the projects, their objectives, challenges, and new developments in a series of weekly reports, beginning with Guarani.


Project Guarani develops
vehicles and the ammunition


The Brazilian Army now has better-equipped armored vehicles. Project Guarani, one of the Army's seven strategic projects, is modernizing the fleet of vehicles the Cavalry and Infantry divisions use by replacing Cavalry vehicles which have been in operation since the 1970s, and by transforming the Mechanized Infantry fleet through discontinuations of motorized vehicles.

The first step has been to replace old vehicles known as Urutus with a new model, the VBTP-MR (Armored Personnel Transport Vehicle – Guarani Midsize Vehicle Class); 158 of those have been built since 2009. The army will also replace another outdated vehicle, the Cascavel, with another new model, the VBR-MR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). Both the Urutu and Cascavel vehicle families have been in use for more than 30 years, and are equipped with outdated technology.

“The new versions have much better performance. The motor strength, the maneuverability, the armor, and the amphibious capacity stand out in relation to the old versions,” said the head of Project Guarani, Colonel José Henrique de Cássio Ruffo.

Modern vehicles, modern weaponry


Currently, the vehicles are undergoing the integration phase with the command and control system (the system for transmitting voice, image, and data between a vehicle and a command post) and with the weapons system.

On March 20, Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC) delivered the 30x173mm ammunition that will be used in the 6x6 VBTP-MRs - the result of a 100 percent domestic research and design process. It has a two-kilometer range and will be used in the 30mm Bushmaster II/MK 44 guns that are mounted on the armored vehicles. The vehicles are also equipped with an automatic turret that can accommodate .50 and 7.62mm machine guns, and a 40mm grenade launcher.

By the end of 2015, all of the VBTP-MRs will be equipped with weapons and command and control components. Also planned for this year is the manufacture of the 8x8 VBR-MRs, built by the same company on an assembly line in Minas Gerais. Their delivery will begin in 2019, but it has not yet been determined how many will be manufactured, as the Army is still analyzing the costs of this investment.

This year the Army will also select a company to manufacture a 4x4 VBMT-LR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). It will be used along with the VBR-MRs for smaller operations.

In January, the Army received proposals from four companies – domestic and international – interested in competing for the right to develop the 4x4. The winner will be selected in 2015 and the first vehicles are expected to be ready six months after the contract has been signed. After these three versions, more will come.

“The Army currently needs to obtain 60 new vehicles per year, until 2035,” Col. Ruffo said.

Guarani vehicles to assist in favela pacification and border defense


Of the 158 Guarani vehicles delivered to the Brazilian Army, 50 are already in operation. The vehicles are currently being used in Complexo da Maré, a group of favelas or shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro where security forces are deployed to undertake the pacification process.

On March 17, more of these vehicles were deployed to Mato Grosso do Sul, where they were incorporated into the 4th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade. There, the armored vehicles are used to combat organized crime along the border, under the framework of the Integrated Border Monitoring System (Sisfron, for its Portugese acronym).

The Guarani has the capacity for 11 passengers – nine Soldiers, a Gunner and a driver. The modular design allows for the incorporation of different towers, weapons, sensors, and communications systems within the same vehicle. This enables it to be more versatile; it can be used in offensive, defensive, patrol and peacekeeping Military operations.




Brazil's Army Project Office (EPEx), created in 2012, evaluates, proposes, coordinates, and integrates efforts to realization the Army’s large-scale, technologically and financially complex strategic projects. So far those projects have included
Guarani, Cyber Defense, Air Defense, Proteger, Recop, Astros 2020, and Sisfron.


Diálogo will present each of the projects, their objectives, challenges, and new developments in a series of weekly reports, beginning with Guarani.


Project Guarani develops
vehicles and the ammunition


The Brazilian Army now has better-equipped armored vehicles. Project Guarani, one of the Army's seven strategic projects, is modernizing the fleet of vehicles the Cavalry and Infantry divisions use by replacing Cavalry vehicles which have been in operation since the 1970s, and by transforming the Mechanized Infantry fleet through discontinuations of motorized vehicles.

The first step has been to replace old vehicles known as Urutus with a new model, the VBTP-MR (Armored Personnel Transport Vehicle – Guarani Midsize Vehicle Class); 158 of those have been built since 2009. The army will also replace another outdated vehicle, the Cascavel, with another new model, the VBR-MR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). Both the Urutu and Cascavel vehicle families have been in use for more than 30 years, and are equipped with outdated technology.

“The new versions have much better performance. The motor strength, the maneuverability, the armor, and the amphibious capacity stand out in relation to the old versions,” said the head of Project Guarani, Colonel José Henrique de Cássio Ruffo.

Modern vehicles, modern weaponry


Currently, the vehicles are undergoing the integration phase with the command and control system (the system for transmitting voice, image, and data between a vehicle and a command post) and with the weapons system.

On March 20, Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC) delivered the 30x173mm ammunition that will be used in the 6x6 VBTP-MRs - the result of a 100 percent domestic research and design process. It has a two-kilometer range and will be used in the 30mm Bushmaster II/MK 44 guns that are mounted on the armored vehicles. The vehicles are also equipped with an automatic turret that can accommodate .50 and 7.62mm machine guns, and a 40mm grenade launcher.

By the end of 2015, all of the VBTP-MRs will be equipped with weapons and command and control components. Also planned for this year is the manufacture of the 8x8 VBR-MRs, built by the same company on an assembly line in Minas Gerais. Their delivery will begin in 2019, but it has not yet been determined how many will be manufactured, as the Army is still analyzing the costs of this investment.

This year the Army will also select a company to manufacture a 4x4 VBMT-LR (Armored Multitask Vehicle – Light Vehicle Class). It will be used along with the VBR-MRs for smaller operations.

In January, the Army received proposals from four companies – domestic and international – interested in competing for the right to develop the 4x4. The winner will be selected in 2015 and the first vehicles are expected to be ready six months after the contract has been signed. After these three versions, more will come.

“The Army currently needs to obtain 60 new vehicles per year, until 2035,” Col. Ruffo said.

Guarani vehicles to assist in favela pacification and border defense


Of the 158 Guarani vehicles delivered to the Brazilian Army, 50 are already in operation. The vehicles are currently being used in Complexo da Maré, a group of favelas or shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro where security forces are deployed to undertake the pacification process.

On March 17, more of these vehicles were deployed to Mato Grosso do Sul, where they were incorporated into the 4th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade. There, the armored vehicles are used to combat organized crime along the border, under the framework of the Integrated Border Monitoring System (Sisfron, for its Portugese acronym).

The Guarani has the capacity for 11 passengers – nine Soldiers, a Gunner and a driver. The modular design allows for the incorporation of different towers, weapons, sensors, and communications systems within the same vehicle. This enables it to be more versatile; it can be used in offensive, defensive, patrol and peacekeeping Military operations.
This newspaper is great! Little is known about what the Brazilian Armed Forces do. I asked my grandchildren if anything was mentioned about the military at school, no information, not even from parents. When reading the news, I felt that they still exist, but where are the military leaders? The recognizable ones have already died. I am talking about LEADERS, ethical, correct, fair and human, and this is formed with serious education, with respect and love for the country, family and others. I remember as a youth, when the flag was raised in high school on September 7, the Army was remembered the most and present in our lives. Today, little is remembered and spoken of this glorious Army, which I had the pleasure of serving. Please, educate our children, and it won't be necessary to punish men. Great publicity work. Brazilians need to know their Armed Forces. I wanted to know if there's a military news magazine like there was in the past. Also, what is effectively being done to protect the Brazilian Amazon? That immense region envied by other people is a concern. The Armed Forces should demand an increase in funds from our representatives in Congress for a modern plan to protect such a very important national area. Southeast Brazil already has what seems to be enough. We urgently demand a modern defense plan before some country adventures into taking this rich and forgotten region. I like it. Great to know that we are no longer outdated. It gives us more sovereignty. Our country is more than correct in investing in our security because we are a nation. As we need to prepare ourselves, we need to invest! Congratulations on the publication, because we are in need of good news reports after so many that are taking our country down politically. On April 22, I asked if there was a magazine that publishes the work of our Armed Forces. I would like a response. Thank you. Carlos Rodrigues. Unfortunately, our world is in increasing disarray due to damn money. As an ex-member of the Brazilian Armed Forces (FAB), I admire all of this talent.
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