In an announcement that was released late yesterday, the Army has revealed that it has selected GM Defense, LLC to produce the all new Infantry Squad Vehicle (aka ISV) which is designed to help motorize the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams.
The ISV is based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, and it’s the second time that the Colorado has served as a base for an Army focused vehicle. Back in 2016, the Colorado was the base platform for the radical ZH2 concept which was a glimpse into what a futuristic hydrogen fuel cell powered military pickup would look like. As for the ISV, the Army revealed that it would derive about 90 percent of its parts from commercial off-the-shelf components. This allows the ISV to have a tremendous amount of value both in terms of scale, as well as hitting certain production targets.
A key goal for the ISV is for it to give brigades the ability to move up to nine soldiers and their equipment across restrictive terrain. The ZR2’s sturdy architecture is certainly up to the task, with the Army releasing a photo of a prototype ISV powering its way through a mud pit. A second image revealed that the ISV will also be able to handle desert environments. The ISV was also designed for maximum flexibility, with the vehicle having the ability to not only be delivered to the field either by traditional air drop, but also via helicopter. Power will comes from the ZR2’s optional 2.8 liter turbodiesel four cylinder which is paired with a six speed automatic. The ISV also comes equipped with long travel Multimatic DSSV dampers, long travel rear leaf springs, jounce shocks, and other components designed to help the ISV cope with combat duty.
“The Infantry Squad Vehicle meets the challenges we’ve faced to give our IBCT Soldiers greater mobility and increased survivability,” said Chris Stone, the Maneuver Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate’s deputy Army capability manager – Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Fort Benning, Ga. The CDID is the Army’s proponent for generating and validating the operational need for the Infantry Squad Vehicle.
The Army was also quick to point out a few of the basic traits and features that the ISV will deliver to brigades that receive them in this table below.
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.
According to Steve Herrick, the Army’s product lead for Ground Mobility Vehicles PEO CS&CSS , GM Defense will now undergo the next step in the process, with the firm delivering eight ISVs to the Army’s Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland within the next four months. “Following delivery, our program office, along with Army testers, will execute an aggressive and tailored testing plan,” he revealed.
The $214,297,869 contract is a big victory for GM Defense, LLC with the Army intending to purchase 649 vehicles after the testing regimen is completed.