The VBTP-MR armored personnel carrier is jointly developed by Italian Iveco and Brazilian MoD. In Portuguese the VBTP-MR stands for a Wheeled Medium Armored Personnel Carrier - Basic Platform. This project was originally called Urutu III. A contract was signed to develop this 6x6 APC in 2007 and it's mock-up was revealed in 2009. Development should be completed in 2011. It is worth mentioning that Iveco already designed and manufactured a number of military vehicles. It will replace the ageing EE-11 Urutu, developed by Engesa in the 1970s. This new armored vehicle will be manufactured in Brazil.
Armor of the VBTP-MR provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle can be fitted with add-on composite armor for improved protection. This armored personnel carrier has a V-shaped hull, which provides protection against landmines. Interior is fitted with a spall liner.
Several options of weapons are proposed for this armored personnel carrier. It might be fitted with remotely controlled 7.62-mm, 12.7-mm machine guns or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. Variant with 30-mm cannon and anti-tank guided missiles is also proposed.
Vehicle has a crew of two and is designed to transport 9 troops. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via the rear doors or roof hatches. The VBTP-MR is fitted with modern battlefield management systems, which is used for navigation, positioning, mission planning. It also displays nearby friendly units.
Some sources claim that the VBTP-MR is based on Italian Iveco SuperAV amphibious armored personnel carrier. Vehicle is powered by Iveco Cursor 9 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 383 hp. Engine is located at the hull front. This engine will be produced in Brazil by Fiat. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension. This APC is fully amphibious. Modular side floats can be added for improved floatation. Baseline APC can be airlifted by the C-130 Hercules.
Brazilian Army also issued operational requirements for a number of derivatives of the VBTP-MR. This new family of vehicles will include command vehicle, technical assistance vehicle, armored ambulance, 120-mm mortar carrier, fire direction vehicle and 8x8 version for Brazilian Marines.