In December 2009, Brazil signed a EUR 2.5 billion deal with Italy’s Iveco that aims to renew its wheeled armored personnel carrier fleet, and revive Brazil’s land vehicle defense industry in the bargain. The 6×6 Guarani Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal, Media de Rodas (VBTP-MR) is envisaged as a vehicle family that can replace Engesa’s wheeled vehicles. Their EE-9 and EE-11 have suffered from age-related problems, questionable protection levels, and a shortage of ready spares since Engesa’s 1993 bankruptcy.
Iveco is best known around the world for its trucks, but its Iveco Fiat Oto Melara joint venture has designed and fielded the core of Italy’s tank, wheeled APC, and tracked IFV fleets. The firm already has the new Puma wheeled 6×6/ 4×4 APC in its offering set, but the VBTP will offer them a new market, a new joint venture, and new export opportunities.