The U.S. Department of State has given GM a contract to develop Suburban HD SUVs for the department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The contract is valued at $36.4 million, and GM Defense, a subsidiary of General Motors, will create ten vehicles over the course of the next two years with the expectation to increase production further after the completion of the first contract.
GM Defense Suburban HD: The Details
GM Defense is expected to keep with the design of the T1 Chevrolet Suburban, but will utilize a new body-on-frame chassis along with new suspension to support the higher payload capacities and curb weight that comes with the territory of armored vehicles. The vehicles are expected to be branded as GM Defense vehicles in lieu of “Chevrolet.”
With the low volume production required for the GM Defense Suburban HD, General Motors will use advanced manufacturing tools and techniques, including a fixtureless assembly along with flexible fabrication, which will reduce costs and offer greater flexibility to address future needs. The GM Defense Suburban HD will not be sold to the public. Though if somebody wants something close, Inkas Armored Vehicles does currently offer an armored T1 Chevrolet Suburban package.
“We’re excited to be developing a fully-integrated, purpose-built HD Suburban in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. The Chevrolet Suburban has been an iconic name in commercial transportation since 1935. Our development contract win speaks to our long-standing legacy of exceeding transportation capabilities, and our new, HD Suburban will deliver government-specific advanced mobility solutions to meet the needs of DSS,” said Steve duMont, President of GM Defense
The defense contracting arm expects to deliver the vehicles in two phases, with the first ones arriving next spring. After completion of the contract around May 2023, a fleet of 200 Suburban HD armored vehicles per year is expected to succeed the first ten.