The vehicle’s history:
Drawing on insights gained from peacekeeping missions, the Brazilian Army embarked on a transformative endeavor by conceptualizing a novel modular armored personnel carrier (APC) to supplant the aging Urutu fleet. This initiative also encompassed the mechanization of troops, entailing the retirement of conventional trucks in favor of this innovative vehicle. To realize this vision, a formal bidding process was initiated in 2007, aimed at materializing the design of the new APC termed NFMBR (Nova Família de Blindados Média de Rodas/New Family of Medium Armoured Vehicles on Wheels). By forging a strategic alliance with IVECO in 2009, pivotal strides were taken towards the realization of the vehicle, now officially designated as VBTP-MR Guarani (Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal – Média de Rodas/Armored Personnel Transport Vehicle – Medium on Wheels Guarani). In a noteworthy milestone, this vehicle was ceremoniously inducted into the ranks of the Brazilian Army in 2012, marking the fruition of years of innovation and collaboration. Beyond the troop carrier iteration, the Brazilian Army harbored aspirations for a comprehensive Guarani family, catalyzed by a creative process involving the repurposing and modification of the APC’s hull to engender new iterations tailored to specific functions. Notably, among these specialized variants emerged the VBTP-MR Guarani UT-30BR, underscoring the multifaceted versatility of this groundbreaking armored vehicle project.
The Guarani UT-30BR is 6x6 amphibious armoured vehicle that weights 18 tons (without kits), it is 6.91 meters long, 2.7 meters wide hull and 4 meters tall. It has a crew of three (Driver, Gunner and Commander) that have access to a series of electronic components like LRF, LWS and Thermals.
The Guarani employs the unmanned UT-30BR turret, developed and adapted by the Brazilian company ARES (a subsidiary of Elbit Systems). It is armored with STANAG 4569 level 2 plates positioned at various angles to provide adequate protection against 7.62x39mm caliber machine guns. Equipped with two autonomous day and night observation systems – one for the commander and another for the gunner – stabilized along two axes, it incorporates the Auto Tracking/Automatic Target Tracking system, an extremely useful feature enabling monitoring without human intervention. It boasts Hunter-Killer capability and offers access to a Laser Range Finder (LRF) and the Elbit Laser Warning System (ELWS). The turret allows the main gun a depression of -12º and an elevation of +60º, featuring two 30mm ammunition storage compartments – one accommodating 50 rounds and the other 150 rounds. Moreover, all ammunition is stored externally on the vehicle, thereby enhancing the crew’s chances of survival.
The turret is very High profile making it difficult to fit in cargo aircrafts, so to counter this little problem, the turret comes with a mechanism that allows it to be in low profile mode.
The Guarani UT-30BR is mainly armed with the ATK Bushmaster MK44 of 30mm and as secondary armament it has access to an MAG 7,62mm coaxial. In addition it mounts 8 smoke grenades launchers tubes of 76mm.
The info of the hull armor in this vehicle is still classified, however based on guesses we can have an idea of its armor level
It is armored with STANAG 4569 level 2 plates distributed throughout the turret, including the observation system commander, shootersights and ammunition.
The Guarani hull, without any additional armor, complies with Stanag 4569 level 3 against gunfire from all sides.
The Guarani UT-30BR has access to two Kits/packages, the ALLTEC and Buoyancy kits, each one developed for different purposes.
The Brazilian company ALLTEC – Materiais Compostos has developed supplementary ballistic armor designed to absorb the impact of .50 AP projectiles (12.7X99 mm PFM2) fired from a distance of 100 meters, intended for the VBTP-MR Guarani. Weighing 1.2 Tonnes, this additional armor kit adheres to Stanag level 3+ specifications, which corresponds to an approximate equivalent plate thickness ranging from 24 to 35 mm. The front armor equipped with this package is reported to possess the capability to intercept 25×137 mm APDS-T rounds at a range of 1,000 meters. While the precise thickness is not specified, this kit elevates the Stanag level to 3 in terms of protection against 155 mm shrapnel from a distance of 60 meters, and also provides the vehicle with Stanag level 2 protection against 6 kg of explosives beneath any wheel.
Given the forward positioning of the Guarani’s engine on the chassis, slightly to the right, the vehicle exhibits a tendency to lean to the right during navigation, consequently diminishing its travel speed.
To counteract this inclination and enhance the Guarani’s aquatic performance when equipped with the UT30BR, the utilization of a designated flotation kit becomes imperative. This kit is affixed to the armored vehicle’s chassis, securing it on both sides.
Note: In the case of the Guarani equipped with the UT-30BR, the deployment of this kit is mandatory to ensure the vehicle’s optimal stability when in water.
Weight Distribution of the Buoyancy Kit Blocks:
The Guarani UT-30BR is equipped with the Iveco FPT Cursor 9, a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine generating 383 horsepower. This engine is positioned at the front of the vehicle. It empowers the vehicle to achieve a top speed of 100 km/h on roadways, boasting an operational range of 600 kilometers. When navigating rugged terrain, it can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h and traverse rivers at 9 km/h. The engine’s capabilities include producing a torque of 1,500 Nm at 1,400 rpm and delivering 280 kW of power within the range of 1,600 to 2,100 rpm. These specifications yield the vehicle an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 22 hp/t.
The Guarani uses the ZF Friedrichshafen 6HP602S automatic transmission, which has 6 forward gears and 1 reverse.
The Guarani uses the 6×6 CTIS (Central Tire Inflation System) suspension system
Guarani UT-30BR Technical Sheet:
Crew: 3 (Driver, Gunner and Commander)
Total Weight (without Kit): 18 Tons
Total Weight (with ALLTEC Kit): 19.2 Tons
Total Weight (with Buoyancy Kit): 18.43 Tons
Height (maximum): 4.3 meters
Height: 4 meters
Length: 6.91 meters
Width: 2.7 meters
Ammunition Quantity: two 30mm ammunition safes, one with a capacity for 50 rounds and the other 150 rounds
Main armament: The ATK Bushmaster MK44 of 30mm
Secondary armament: Coaxial MAG 7.62mm
Smoke Grenades: 8 smoke grenades launchers tubes of 76mm
Suspension: 6×6 CTIS (Central Tire Inflation System) suspension system
Ground Clearence: 0.45 meters
Obstacles: the vehicle can cross obstacles of 0.5 meters
Trench cross: the vehicle can cross a trench of 1.3 meters
Turning radius: 9 meters
Transmission: ZF Friedrichshafen 6HP602S automatic transmission with 6 forward gears and 1 reverse
Engine: Iveco FPt Cursor 9 – 6 cylinder 383 hp turbo diesel engine
Maximum speed on the road: 100 km/h
Operational range on the road: 600 km
Maximum speed on rough terrain: 70 km/h
Maximum speed in water: 9 km/h
ARES UT-30BR Turret official page: http://www.ares.ind.br/new/pt/sistemas-terrestres/ut30br.php
Sir Darren Hazes Article: VBTP–MR Guarani - Tank Encyclopedia
MT 2355-005-12 – Manual Técnico, DESCRIÇÃO E OPERAÇÃO, Viatura Blindada de Transporte de Pessoal 6X6 – Guarani – Média Sobre Rodas
Caiafa Master - VBTP-MR Guarani UT-30BR with Buoyancy Kit in fluvial test: https://youtu.be/EHi4BtvaSYw
Caiafa Master – VBTP-MR Guarani UT-30BR shooting at night (you can notice the thermals and the looks inside): https://youtu.be/sbFnFczNvVM