The United States Army has approved the GM Defense ISV for further evaluation that will begin November 13 at the Amberdeen Test Center in Maryland. The other military contractors that were selected were Oshkosh Defense and Flyer Defense LLC. Each company received $1 million from the government to build the vehicles. The GM Defense ISV conducted field tests at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While it may not look like it, the vehicle pictured above is heavily based of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and American Expedition Vehicles upfitted ZR2 Bison, with 70 percent of its makeup consisting of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components. Some of which are directly from Chevy Performance.
Under the hood is a production 2.8L Duramax diesel engine from the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, providing 186 horsepower, and is mated to GM’s six-speed automatic transmission. Again, like the production based pickup truck.
The GM Defense ISV had to meet several capability requirements, such as being light enough to be sling-loaded and lifted by a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, as well as small enough to fit inside the twin-rotored CH-47 Chinook helicopter. It also needed to be able to carry up to nine soldiers with all of their gear at highway speeds, both on and off the pavement.
The US Army plans to acquire approximately 650 ISVs beginning as soon as 2020.
Other components that make up the GM ISV included Chevy Performance engineered hardware such as long-travel Multimatic DSSV dampers, long-travel rear leaf springs, jounce shocks, front upper control arms, steel driveshaft, underbody skid plates and ball-spline half shafts. Most of these parts are available either on the Colorado ZR2 Bison or as Chevrolet Performance race components. A closer look also reveals that the wheels appear to be accessory parts from American Expedition Vehicles.
The U.S. Army had planned on holding a rapid competition similar to this one back in 2016 to replace their aging GMVs, but the plan never got off the ground. Congress stepped in and mandated the Army to move forwards with their plans in the FY18 defense policy bill, leading to the current competition. It’s still unclear how much the awarded defense contract will be worth. The Army Requirements Oversight Council approved an Army procurement object for 649 Infantry Squad Vehicles with an objective requirement of 2,065 ISVs in February 2019.
The ISVs are expected to be additions to infantry brigade combat teams and are not planned as full replacement vehicles currently in operation, according to previous reports.
GM Defense otherwise serves as the R&D hub for much of the hydrogen fuel cell technology being developed by General Motors.