General Motors Defense is one of three companies that has been selected to develop a new ground mobility vehicle (GMV) for US Army infantry forces, with the government to award the lucrative contract to the manufacturer that develops the prototype best-suited to the military’s needs.
According to Defense News, the three companies were given a task assignment under the National Advanced Mobility Consortium to deliver and test two GMV prototypes each. Under the agreement, each of the companies received $1 million to develop the prototypes, which will later be put to the test at the US Army’s Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland. Once testing is complete there, the prototypes will be sent off to Fort Bragg in North Carolina to be evaluated by soldiers.
In a statement, GM Defense confirmed its GMV would be based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Colorado ZR2 Bison trucks and said the vehicles would be “supplemented with both custom and commercially available parts proven by Chevy performance engineering in more than 10,000 miles of punishing off-road development and desert racing in the Best of the Desert Racing series.”
A couple of years back, GM debuted the Colorado ZH2 Concept – a hydrogen fuel cell truck based on the Colorado that was developed to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles on military missions. The vehicle was the result of a collaboration between GM and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Shortly after, official renderings surfaced of a Silverado-based ZH2 prototype that the company had designed for the US Army and search and rescue medics, further indicating it was interested in such ground mobility projects.
It sounds like GM Defense’s new infantry mobility vehicle will be similar to the Colorado ZH2, though it is likely that it will come with a diesel or gas engine rather than the ZH2’s experimental hydrogen powertrain. It will be up against the Polaris DAGOR (below), a purpose-built infantry mobility vehicle developed in conjunction with Science Applications Internal Corporation (SAIC), and an unnamed new vehicles developed by partners Oshkosh Defense and Flyer Defense.
Defense News notes this is a major step forward for the US Army, which been trying to find a new GMV ever since its released its Army Combat Vehicle Modernization Strategy in 2015.
The US Army’s Combat Support & Combat Service Support branch recently released the results of a survey that indicated the new GMV should provide mobility for up to nine infantry soldiers and their associated equipment and should also be transportable by CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and via low-velocty airdrop, Defense News’ report says.
Source: Defense News