In a move to enhance its inherent mobility, the United States Army selected the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 high-performance commercial pickup truck to form the basis of its "Infantry Squad Vehicle" (ISV). Beyond the need for a highly-mobile, cross-country-capable vehicle, the Army requirement called for an air-portable, lightweight combat vehicle capable of ferrying up to 3,200 of cargo, carry nine combat-equipped passengers, and be sling-loaded under the belly of a Sikorsky UH-60 "Black Hawk" series multi-mission helicopter. Furthermore, the design would also have to fit into the hold of the CH-47 Chinook tandem twin-rotor transport helicopter as both helicopter types currently see considerable service in large numbers. To round out the requirements, the design would also be air-transportable/air-droppable from a low-flying Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" tactical high-winged transport.
This Colorado ZR2 offshoot competed successfully against offerings from Oshkosh-Flyer Defense and SAIC/Polaris (all three were given prototype contracts in 2019). Selected in 2020, the winning design will be produced by GM Defense LLC (the division established in 2017) in collaboration with Ricardo Defense and may number into the thousands before the end of its procurement period - the service seeks as many as 2,065 of the type for its airborne divisions - the initial batch covers 649 vehicles for the 82nd Airborne.
The contract currently totals $214.3 million for General Motors for an initial 1,070 trucks with the aforementioned 649 vehicles confirmed form the lot. Production will run into 2024.
The United States Army has received at least four of the trucks for hands-on evaluations.
The ISV retains roughly 90% of parts commonality with its street-borne brethren and features enhancements to its design for military service including helicopter hookups, equipment stowage, heavy-duty roll bar, and an improved suspension/chassis for the rigors of frontline operation. Power is still through the commercial-grade 4-cylinder 2.8 liter turbo-diesel engine offering 186 horsepower and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission system. The same Multimatic DSSV spool-valve damper technology used in the civilian model also gives the ISV the needed cross-country capability the service was looking for.
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December 2020 - GM Defense has begun setup of the North Carolina factory in preparation for serial production of its ISV for the United States Army.
GM Defense / Chevrolet; Ricardo Defense - USA Manufacturer(s)
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