GM Defense Awarded $214 Million U.S. Army Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) Contract

GM Defense LLC was awarded a $214 million firm-fixed-price contract by the U.S. Army for acquisition of the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).

The contract includes 649 vehicles, installation kits, ancillary hardware and logistical support. The U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) at Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-20-D-0066). Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 24, 2028.

The U.S Department of Defense has also announced another contract, worth $8.58 million, for initial delivery of Infantry Squad Vehicles and integrated product support. Work locations and funding for this contract will also be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 24, 2021.

The ISV program provides the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) an additive lightweight vehicle to move Soldiers and their equipment quickly over complex and difficult cross-country terrain. ISVs will provide greater mobility to IBCTs, as they are designed to move across restrictive terrain, allowing Soldiers to close on objectives with less fatigue and greater readiness. The Army can deliver the vehicle to the field by airdrop or helicopter, which increases the flexibility of Soldiers on the move.

The ISV’s basic operational capabilities include:

+ Nine-man squad carrying capability
+ Payload of 3,200 lbs.
+ External sling load by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter
+ Internal load/external lift by CH-47 Chinook helicopter
+ Low-velocity air drop by fixed-wing C-130 or C-17 transport aircraft
+ Exceptional mobility over all terrains.

The delivery of the vehicles is slated to begin with the Army’s 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, as the designated First Unit Equipped next winter.

This is the second important production contract award for Army light tactical wheeled vehicle modernization programs of record in the last year. The Army announced in June 2019 the production contract of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. JLTV is modernizing the Army’s and U.S. Marine Corps’ light tactical wheeled vehicle fleets with a leap-ahead balance of payload, performance and protection.

GM Defense ISV

GM Defense’s ISV is based on the Chevrolet Colorado midsize truck architecture and its ZR2 and ZR2 Bison variants, supplemented with both custom and commercially available parts proven by Chevy Performance engineering in more than 10,000 miles of punishing off-road development and desert racing in the Best in the Desert Racing series.

GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV)
GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) concept proposed for the U.S. Army’s ISV program. GM Defense Photo.

Applied to ISV, Colorado’s architecture undergirds an occupant and cargo superstructure powered by a 186-horsepower, 2.8L diesel powerplant, and six-speed automatic transmission.

GM’s solution to the Army’s next-generation transportation challenge features 70 percent commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components, including high-performance parts developed and proven by Chevy Performance engineering 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.

GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV)
GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) concept proposed for the U.S. Army’s ISV program. GM Defense Photo.

U.S. Army Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) Program

Through the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) program, the U.S. Army is seeking a lightweight expeditionary all-terrain vehicle that is essential to increase speed in combat and provide the ability to be transported by helicopter into austere locations.

The ISV must be light enough to be sling-loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and versatile enough to carry up to nine soldiers and all of their gear at highway speeds on pavement and off-road under extreme conditions with a payload capacity of 5,000 lbs.

The ISV will provide enhanced tactical mobility for Army Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) to move quickly around the battlefield, including the ability to execute medium distance insertion operations, providing commanders greater freedom of movement and freedom of action.

Other than the GM Defense’s ISV proposal, the other two proposals for the program were Oshkosh Defense-Flyer ISV and SAIC-Polaris DAGOR.

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