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Brazil to add 81 mm mortar to Guarani AFVs

The Mrt Me Acg 81 mm mortar was developed by the Brazilian Army's Technological Center, and is being produced at the War Arsenal of Rio de Janeiro. (Victor Barreira)

The Brazilian Army plans to progressively convert 182 of its more than 550 IDV VBTP-MSR Guarani 6×6 amphibious armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) into 81 mm mortar carriers.

The effort intends to increase fire-support troops' mobility and protection, while also safely transporting mortar and related equipment inside a vehicle, the army said. The kit must be easy to install, utilise, and remove, according to the requirements.

The project, run by the Manufacturing Directorate, would develop and then produce, at the War Arsenal of Rio de Janeiro (Arsenal de Guerra do Rio: AGR), an adaptation and transport kit to accommodate the army's Morteiro Médio Antecarga (Mrt Me Acg) 81 mm medium muzzle-loaded mortar.

A total of 182 VBTP-MSR Guarani personnel carriers equipped with the W&E Platt MR550 ring mount with protection shield could be converted to transport the mortar and a minimum of 60 high-explosive rounds by 2026, according to the army. The vehicle's crew will be composed of a driver, commander, gunner, and two ammunition loaders.

Two prototypes of the mortar transport kit will be produced by AGR, General Tales Eduardo Areco Villela, director of the Manufacturing Directorate, told Janes . Gen Tales Villela said that AGR will fund production of the two kits between January and February 2023, and that the Army Evaluations Center (CAEx) will test two vehicles equipped with the prototype kits.

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