Developed with Brazilian technology through a joint project between the Army Technology Center and Iveco, part of the Fiat Industrial Group, the Guarani is a six-wheel drive amphibious vehicle that will serve as the basis for a new family of armored multimission vehicles capable of carrying out reconnaissance and fire support missions.
The new vehicle weighs 18 metric tonnes and will replace the Urutu and Cascavel wheeled armoured vehicles developed in the 1970s by the former Engesa. The main feature of the Guarani is its modular design, allowing the incorporation of different turrets, weapons, sensors and communications systems on the same hull.
By its versatility, the project has attracted the interest of neighbouring countries that are also preparing to re-equip their militaries. During the first half of the year, there were preliminary talks with Argentina, which may initially buy 14 vehicles for use in joint peace-keeping missions with Chile.
The new vehicles will be produced at the factory entirely dedicated to the project, within Iveco’s industrial complex at Sete Lagoas (Minas Gerais state). To date, a single prototype has been officially delivered for testing to the Army Evaluation Center. The large-scale production of the Guarani should begin in early 2013.
According to the forecast of the Brazilian Army, seven armored vehicles will be ready by December this year. They are part of a total of a 16-vehicles pilot batch project. The Operational Experimentation Batch should comprise 38 vehicles by July 2013, and the remaining 48 by July 2014.
According to Iveco, production begins with a proportion of local content above 60%. When the plant is operating at full capacity, it will involve a supply chain in Brazil of about 110 direct and 600 indirect suppliers.
In addition to Minister Celso Amorim and the President of Iveco Latin America, Marco Mazzu, the ceremony of signing the contract was also attended by the Army commander, General Enzo Peri, the Chief of Joint Staff of Armed Forces (EMCFA), General Jose Carlos De Nardi, the head of the Department of Science and Technology of the Army, General James Sinclair Mayer, the Italian ambassador in Brazil, Gherardo La Francesca, and representatives of Iveco, as well as civil and military authorities.