Following the contract signed on December 18, 2009 for the supply of the amphibious armoured personnel carriers (VBTP-MR), that the company is developing jointly with the Brazilian Army, Iveco will create a dedicated Defence Vehicle unit in Brazil. The new “Iveco Veículos de Defesa” begins with an investment of € 23 million for the construction of a manufacturing facility within Iveco’s industrial complex in Sete Lagoas (MG), where an area of 18 thousand square meters will be completely dedicated to accommodate the production of the new VBTP-MR.
Series production of the vehicle is expected to begin in the second half of 2012. When fully operational, the new unit will employ around 350 people, many of them trained for specialised tasks not currently available in the market, such as welding ballistic steels.
The supply of the VBTP-MR will amount to 2044 vehicles, being delivered until the year 2030, with a contract value of over €2 billion. The joint development between Iveco and the Brazilian armed forces will serve to stimulate growth in the Brazilian defence industry, attracting some 100 local suppliers.
The VBTP-MR is a family of armoured vehicles with a GVW of 18.3 tonnes, powered by locally produced FPT Industrial Cursor 9 Diesel engines, 6x6 drive, amphibious capability and able to carry 11 soldiers. The basic dimensions are 6.91 metres long, 2.7 metres wide and 2.34 metres high. The model can be equipped with a turret armed with remote control operation for several different applications and can be transported by an aircraft of type C-130 Hercules.
The creation of “Iveco Veículos de Defesa” has been officially announced today by the governor of Minas Gerais, Antonio Anastasia, at an event held at the Administrative Centre of the State Government and which was attended by the Commander of the Brazilian Army, General Enzo Peri, among other senior civil and military personalities. At the ceremony, the first VBTP-MR prototype, called "Guarani", was also presented. The vehicle is about to be displayed in Latin America & Air Defence (LAAD), the largest military fair in Latin America, which opens on April 12, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro. After being displayed at LAAD the prototype of the "Guarani" will go to the Brazilian Army’s proving ground, in Marambaia (RJ), for a period of testing.
The creation of “Iveco Veículos de Defesa” is a further extension of the rapidly growing Iveco activities in Brazil. Since 2007 the company has created a product development centre, a new plant for heavy trucks, a new parts distribution centre and has launched six new truck product families. Moreover, during the past four years Iveco's sales have increased five-fold in Brazil.
"With ‘Iveco Veículos de Defesa’ we can both better serve our customer and partner, the Brazilian Army, as well as develop new products for the military segment for Brazil and for export", said Marco Mazzù, President of Iveco Latin America.