Thousands will be made.
The US Army has provided a full-rate production decision for the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) according to GM Defense. This means in a major win for the company, the ISV will continue to be built for the military after GM Defense originally won the $214.3 million contract to develop the light carrier in 2020.
The vehicle, if you haven't seen it before, is a lightweight beast. Weighing only 5,000 pounds, it is meant to transport a nine-soldier infantry squad in various scenarios around the world. GM based the vehicle on the outgoing diesel Colorado ZR2 and made it practically unrecognizable with the help of Hendrick Motorsports.
"I'm proud of the GM Defense team for reaching this important milestone in the Infantry Squad Vehicle program and am thankful for the close relationship we maintain with our trusted U.S. Army program office customer," said Steve duMont, GM Defense president. "Achieving the ISV full-rate production decision strengthens our credibility and amplifies the success of our manufacturing processes."
The Army wanted it to be as lightweight as possible to be easily transferable, and GM delivered. The vehicle features few body panels and is little more than a frame, roll cage, drivetrain, and seats. This means it's light enough to be sling-loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
The vehicle also features 90 percent commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) parts, meaning that no matter where it is used, parts will be easily available in case something needs to be fixed or altered; critical in combat situations.
GM has since grown the personnel carrier ISV into a family of vehicles capable of tackling all sorts of situations like fire support, command and control, electronic warfare, and more. So far, GM says that it has delivered more than 300 vehicles to the US Army, with many being fielded by the Army's 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The Army has plans to acquire 2,593 of the vehicles over time.
It's great news for GM and a major win for the defense division. On top of this contract, the US military has started looking into the possibility of utilizing EV vehicles. Last year, it test-drove a GMC Hummer and Canoo EV, eventually asking GM to produce an electric prototype on existing DOD architecture.
Then GM Defence signed a memorandum of understanding between themselves and the defense governing body of the UAE to electrify and autonomize its military further. The company's Ultium architecture appears to be a hot commodity, and as GM's Defense department grows, we imagine we'll see even more impressive military endeavors in the near future.
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