General Motors’ wholly-owned subsidiary GM Defense became one of three finalists to produce a new squad carrier for the U.S. military. Called the Infantry Squad Vehicle (or ISV), the truck the Army ultimately ended up going with is based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Last week, the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal officially notified GM Defense that it won the contract to produce these vehicles.
The initial part of the contract awards GM Defense $214.3 million to procure 649 ISVs over the next five years, with more to come later. Out of 434 competitors, the ISV is one of four vehicles to complete the race for the military contract. In designing a solution, GM Defense partnered with Ricardo Defense, with the latter supporting product logistics and fielding requirements as necessary to build the vehicles. According to GM Defense, the final version of the ISV is “90 percent commercial off-the-shelf parts.”
As it’s based on the Colorado ZR2, that includes Multimatic dual spool-valve dampers, as well as Chevrolet Performance suspension components. As for the powertrain, GM Defense stuck with the 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine with 186 horsepower, a slight bump from stock.
The Army’s requirements for a light squad vehicle
The GM Defense ISV is meant to “provide rapid ground mobility” in the form of a nine-soldier infantry carrier. The contract requirements called for the vehicle to weigh no more than 5,000 pounds. It also has to carry those nine soldiers and their gear at highway speeds and extreme conditions. Its footprint is small enough to fit within a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, and it can be hauled underneath a UH-60 Blackhawk.
If the truck in the photo above looks familiar, we actually covered it at SEMA last year. Thanks to GM’s experience desert racing the Colorado and the team’s work in converting the truck into a squad carrier, this will be a new face of lightweight troop transport. Check it out in greater detail in the video below!