With the likely goal of protecting dignitaries and other government personnel from a range of threats, the U.S. Department of State awarded a contract to GM Defense for its Heavy-Duty armored Sport Utility Vehicle, or HD SUV.
The contract for the GM HD SUV has a $300 million ceiling and is set up as a “10-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) full-rate production” agreement per The General’s announcement.
The production contract follows an earlier $25 million initial task order to GM Defense. The first contract saw the automaker deliver 10 prototype vehicles starting in 2021, leading to further evaluation, training, research and development to reach the finalized State Department purchase the company obtained today.
GM Defense president Steve duMont described the contract as a “very important program” for The General’s defense subsidiary, because it “showcases our ability to leverage the proven commercial platforms and world-class engineering and manufacturing processes” for a specially designed vehicle fulfilling specific government needs.
While it is based on the Chevy Suburban, the GM HD SUV is not a Chevrolet-branded vehicle because it is not commercially available. Any logos that appear on the vehicle will by GM Defense badges, not the familiar Bow Tie. The vehicle is built from the ground up with a reinforced chassis and protective armor rather than being a vehicle produced for commercial sale that is later converted into the HD SUV.
While featuring a special chassis and armor elements, the vehicle is otherwise built mostly with commercial off-the-shelf parts. It is said to be motivated by a choice of both gasoline and diesel engines, which speculatively may include the naturally aspirated 5.3L V8 L84 gasoline unit, the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 L87 gasoline unit, and the 3.0L I6 LM2 turbodiesel Duramax.
In conclusion, duMont suggested the contract is just the first of a possible series of orders for the GM armored HD SUV, noting the automaker anticipates “bringing this exciting new platform to other U.S. government and allied defense and security customers around the world.”