GM Defense is developing an infantry squad vehicle for the US Army. Image courtesy of GM Defense LLC.
ISV will have the capacity to transfer nine soldiers. Image courtesy of GM Defense LLC.
The ISV can be operated in all terrains. Image courtesy of GM Defense LLC.
The minimum ground clearance of the ISV will be 0.34m. Image courtesy of GM Defense LLC.

GM Defense is developing a next-generation flexible and all-terrain infantry squad vehicle (ISV) to provide rapid ground mobility for the US Army. It will have the ability to reposition operations by providing freedom to soldiers for movement and action.

Based on Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck architecture, the ISV is integrated with multiple commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components.

The GM Defense ISVs are being procured under the US Army’s ISV programme, which aims to provide Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) a lightweight vehicle with increased speed during combat operations.

The first vehicle is expected to be delivered to the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

GM Defense infantry squad vehicle development

The US Army approved a procurement objective and plan for the purchase of 649 ISVs in February 2019. In August 2019, the army awarded a $1m contract to Oshkosh Defense/Flyer, GM Defense, and SAIC/Polaris each for the development of ISV prototype.

GM Defense received a $214.3m contract from the US Army Contracting Command–Detroit Arsenal for the development of ISV in June 2020. The contract includes manufacturing, fielding and sustainment of the ISV.

The US Army will initially acquire a total of 649 vehicles, while the approved Army Acquisition Objective for GM Defense ISVs is 2,065 vehicles.

The vehicles will further undergo transportability certification, including low-velocity air drop and helicopter sling loading, before being evaluated and testing by the US Army.

GM Defense partnered with Ricardo Defense for supporting key product logistics and fielding requirements of the ISV in 2019. Ricardo Defense will lead the ISV integrated product support (IPS) elements of the contract including technical manual development, new equipment training, provisioning, total package fielding, as well as field service support.

Design and features of ISV

The ISV will feature an occupant and cargo superstructure. It can accommodate up to nine soldiers including driver. The driver will have a visible distance of 5m from the vehicle’s front.

The infantry squad vehicle will have an overall length of 5.26m, width of 2.07m, and height of 1.87m. It will have a payload capacity of 3,200lb and kerb weight of up to 5,000lb.

The components of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 vehicle have been upgraded to provide improved mobility in off-road conditions. The upgraded components of the ISV will include dampers, springs, jounce shocks, air induction system, and cooling system, driveshaft, underbody skid plates, front upper control arms, ball-spline front drive axles, and 0.89m diameter tires.

The on-board electronic controlled systems will offer optimal performance and overall capability by controlling the functions of the engine, transmission, transfer case, locking front and rear differentials, and power steering.

The minimum ground clearance of the vehicle will be 0.34m. The approach angle, breakover angle and departure angle will be 46.1˚, 26.4˚ and 42˚ respectively.

The vehicle is air transportable by the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter on an external sling or carried internally by the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. It also supports low-velocity airdrop by C-130 or C-17 aircraft.

GM Defense ISV’s engine

Located at the vehicle’s front portion, the engine compartment will be easily accessible through a single-piece hood and fender.

The infantry squad vehicle will be powered by a 2.8l General Motors LWN Duramax turbo-diesel engine which generates an output of approximately 186hp at 3,400rpm and a torque of 369lb-ft at 2,000rpm.

The engine will be coupled with a GM Hydromatic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle will be fitted with Magna MP3025G transfer case or two-speed GM Autotrac NQ6 with 2.62 low range.

The ISV will offer extreme off-road mobility and transportability and will support missions in desert and rocky terrains.


The ISV’s front suspension will feature ZR2 Short/Long arm with Chevy Performance long travel Desert Racing suspension with jounce shocks and Multimatic dynamic suspensions spool valve (DSSV) dampers. The rear suspension will include ZR2 Hotchkiss with Chevy Performance long travel Desert Racing suspension with jounce shocks and DSSV dampers.

The front axle will feature Colorado ZR2 Dana M190 w/electronic locking differential, while the rear axle is fitted with Dana M220 w/electronic locking differential.

The Multimatic DSSV dampers use precision spool valve technology for providing damper predictability, accuracy and repeatability. The dampers also reduce jolts to passengers and deliver the ultimate in-wheel and vehicle control.

A third spool valve will provide extra damping for off-road conditions for achieving control and comfort during high-displacement wheel movement as well as high-impact compression cycles.