In 2019, GM Defense – a subsidiary of General Motors established in 2017 – was awarded $1 million by the U.S. Army to develop prototypes of an Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) for testing, evaluation and down selection for the production contract. Today, the U.S. Army announced that GM Defense has been awarded with the production contract to build, field and sustain the new ISV, which is derived from the award-winning Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize pickup truck.
Designed to provide rapid ground mobility, the ISV is a light and agile all-terrain troop carrier intended to transport a nine-Soldier infantry squad moving throughout the battlefield. But the ISV must also be light enough, weighing 5,000 pounds or less, to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for air transportability.
The total production ISV contract award value is $214.3 million for the initial Army Procurement Objective of 649 units, while the approved Army Acquisition Objective is 2,065 vehicles.
The GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle is based on the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck architecture that leverages 90 percent commercial off-the-shelf parts, including the dual spool-valve dampers (DSSV dampers) from Multimatic as well as Chevrolet Performance suspension components. In fact, the chief engineer of the project, Mark Dickens, told GM Authority that the vehicle is a Colorado ZR2 “from the waist down.”
The durability and performance of these parts have been proven in the exacting Best in the Desert race series, where the Colorado ZR2 is one of four vehicles to compete in 11 consecutive races (out of a total of 434 rivals). This enables GM and GM Defense to “deliver an ISV with world-class manufacturing efficiencies, ease of maintenance and a well-established global supply chain.”
Additionally, all GM ISV models will be equipped with “an occupant and cargo superstructure,” while being powered by a 186-horsepower 2.8L I-4 LWN turbo-diesel Duramax engine, and six-speed automatic transmission. As GM Authority exclusively reported last year, the small diesel will have a different tune than the production model since it doesn’t have to meet emissions requirements.
“Winning this Army award is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of our GM Defense team and their production of a fantastic vehicle. We are confident the GMD ISV will meet and exceed all of our customers’ requirements,” said David Albritton, president of GM Defense. “It’s indeed an honor to leverage our parent company’s experience as one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers to design, build and deliver the best technologies available to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and our allies.”
GM Defense has partnered with Ricardo Defense after the U.S. Army awarded three contracts worth $1 million each to industry providers to develop the ISV prototypes. Ricardo Defense’s role includes supporting key product logistics and fielding requirements of the GM Defense ISV, as the vehicle is officially known.
“The entire Ricardo team is proud to continue our work with GM Defense on the ISV contract, and to provide our infantry troops in harm’s way with this highly-capable, and much needed vehicle,” said Chet Gryczan, president of Ricardo Defense. “Being awarded the ISV program is a testament to Ricardo’s success in developing and delivering key integrated product logistics and life-cycle sustainment plans for our customers’ top priorities. The ISV will showcase the speed at which the Army can rapidly produce, field and sustain new equipment by leveraging a proven commercially available vehicle and the global supply chain infrastructure of General Motors, supported by Ricardo.”
- All photos except for top three are copyright GM Authority