US Army takes delivery of first Infantry Squad Vehicle

Harry Lye 28 October 2020 (Last Updated October 28th, 2020 14:21)

General Motors Defense has delivered the first Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to the US Army, 120 days after being awarded a $214.3m contract for 649 vehicles.

US Army takes delivery of first Infantry Squad Vehicle
GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV). Image: GM Defense.

GM Defense based the ISV on the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 truck, with 90% of the vehicle’s components coming as commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) parts. The vehicle features a custom-built rollover protection system as well as a 186 horsepower 2.8 litre Duramax turbo-diesel engine.

The vehicle is designed to carry nine personnel and is small enough to fit in the back of a CH-47 Chinook or to be sling loaded onto a UH-60 Blackhawk for flexibility in deploying.

The contract constitutes GM Defense’s first significant contract award and delivery since reforming the subsidiary in 2017. The vehicle will be used by Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, with the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division receiving the first of the vehicles.

GM Defense will build the 649 ISVs by the end of 2024. The US Army plans to buy 2,065 vehicles.

GM Defense president David Albritton said: “One hundred and twenty days from contract award to delivery is a significant milestone, and I am very proud of the team for this accomplishment.

“We’re leveraging General Motors’ engineering prowess and immense manufacturing capabilities to bring transformative solutions to the military vehicle market. Our initial success with the ISV shows our commitment to our customer and highlights our unique right to win in the military mobility market.”

GM Defense ISV contract followed a period of prototyping kicked-off by the US Army in 2019. An Oshkosh Defense-Flyer team and a SAIC-Polaris team took part in the prototyping phase. The army began earnestly looking to develop a new ISV in 2018.

GM Defense chief engineer Mark Dickens said: “The value we bring to our Army customer is our willingness to listen and adapt.

“During soldier testing, the feedback we received was paramount in delivering a vehicle that met Soldiers’ needs, while maximising safety and performance and taking their comfort into consideration. The production ISV we’re delivering today is an evolution from our original prototype design, and it’s certainly a vehicle that is a source of pride for the team.”

For the contract, GM Defense signed a teaming agreement with Ricardo Defense which will lead product support for the ISV. Ricardo Defense’ work will include training, manual development, and field service support.

Ricardo Defense president Chet Gryczan said: “The success of the ISV program within 120 days is a true testament to the hard work and determination of a great partnership between GM Defense and Ricardo Defense.

“Ricardo Defense is proud to be leading the creation and integration of critical ISV logistics products to ensure a successful transition of the ISV to the Army’s inventory.”