The U.S. Army has awarded GM Defense LLC a $1 million contract to develop its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) for prototype testing and evaluation. Following recent field tests at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the Army selected GM Defense’s ISV for further assessment of two prototypes to begin this fall.
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.
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.
“Our ISV entry is a fully-integrated platform that leverages decades of GM’s engineering, manufacturing and quality expertise at scale to provide the most cost-efficient, reliable and effective answer possible to meet and exceed the Army’s demanding requirements,” said GM Defense President David Albritton. “We’re very proud of the opportunity to move forward in this competition and continue our development of a vehicle that will enable Army units to move around the battlefield with greater ease and reliability.”
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 U.S. Army, on August 23, named three companies to develop prototypes for the program – the Oshkosh Defense-Flyer team (Flyer 72/ GMV 1.1), GM Defense, and SAIC-Polaris team (Polaris DAGOR). The scheduled delivery date for all three competing teams is Nov. 13, at Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland for the initial assessment.
Upon their arrival at the Maryland Proving Ground, all designs will compete in several performance, operational, and characteristics tests. Evaluations are scheduled to run through December. Following their early trials, the vehicles will be moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to undergo their second round of testing. Once there, they will be subject to operationalized assessments through a series of tests on how effective the prototypes work for Soldiers.
The Army plans to down-select one company for production in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2020. In total, the U.S. Army plans to procure 651 vehicles (including two prototypes) and associated hardware and services between fiscal years 2020 and 2024.