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Full Rate Production Of GM Defense ISV Announced

GM Defense ISV [© GM Defense: Vincent Knakal]

GM Defense receives US Army approval to begin full rate production of the ISV (Infantry Squad Vehicle) based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

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Press Release, Washington DC, 06 April 2023: GM Defense LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors, said today it obtained approval from the US Army to begin full-rate production of its Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV). GM Defense won the initial $214.3 million contract to develop the light and agile all-terrain troop carrier to transport a nine-Soldier infantry squad and their equipment in June 2020.

“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 US Army programme 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. By working in close collaboration with our customer, we have delivered more than 300 vehicles to the warfighter to date, fielding to the Army’s 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.”

GM Defense ISV at IDEX 2023 [© Bob Morrison]

The ISV is based on the award-winning Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 mid-size truck architecture and leverages 90 percent commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) parts, including Chevrolet Performance race components. At 5,000 pounds, the expeditionary ISV is light enough to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for air transportability. The vehicle’s high percentage of COTS parts provide global defence and government customers flexibility and optionality to outmanoeuvre threats and support mission requirements as they evolve.

“Our flexibility during the pursuit of the ISV helped us win the early stages of the contract award and has since played a pivotal role in delivering the best value solution to the US Army,” said Rick Kewley, GM Defense vice president of Product Development and Advanced Engineering. “Not only did customer feedback make the ISV better at an accelerated pace, but it also helped us bring to bear the engineering and manufacturing expertise from our parent company, General Motors, to add new capabilities while fulfilling the Army’s design and performance requirements. We remain confident in our ability to meet higher production quantities in the future.”

GM Defense ISV at IDEX 2023 [© Bob Morrison]

GM Defense has demonstrated the adaptability of the ISV by expanding the initial nine- passenger troop carrier into a family of vehicles. The GM Defense-produced ISV variants offer configurable vehicles adapted for a broad range of mission profiles, including fire support, command and control, electronic warfare, counter-unmanned aircraft systems, reconnaissance and logistics, and casualty evacuation.

The ISV was the first major award for GM Defense since the subsidiary was re-established by its parent company in 2017.

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GM Defense ISV [US Army photo]

PEO CS&CSS News Release, Detroit Arsenal, 04 April 2023: The US Army’s Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) programme was approved by the Program Executive Officer for Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS) on March 30 to transition to Full-Rate Production, or FRP. This green light represents a major Army acquisition programmatic milestone in ‘motorizing’ Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, Security Force Assistance Brigades, as well as Army Ranger units. The Army Acquisition Objective currently stands at 2,593 ISVs.

The Army in June 2020 selected GM Defense LLC to produce the ISV. Based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 architecture, the ISV derives a high percentage of its parts from commercial-off-the-shelf components. The Army’s newest light tactical vehicle is dubbed a “better boot,” and its basic operational capabilities include:

  • Nine-Soldier squad carrying capability
  • 3,200-lb. payload
  • External sling load/external lift by UH-60/CH-47 helicopters
  • Low-velocity air drop by fixed-wing C-130 and C-17 transport
  • Exceptional mobility over a wide variety of terrain.

John Hufstedler, product director, Ground Mobility Vehicles, PEO CS&CSS, said, “The comprehensive team responsible for bringing the ISV programme to a full-rate production decision not only involves Army Acquisition professionals assigned to our PEO, but also relevant stakeholders and collaborative partners representing the Army’s funding community, Army Futures Command, Army Forces Command, Army Materiel Command and the testing community.

“Soldier touchpoints, developmental testing and operational testing have been key elements throughout the ISV programme,” Hufstedler continued. “Leveraging a commercial vehicle and the world-class manufacturing capability of GM Defense has helped compress the time it takes to field a modernized capability meeting infantry Soldiers’ needs.”

The ISV has been rigorously tested, including production qualification testing and transportability certification, which included low-velocity air drops and helicopter sling loading. Developmental and operational testing enable units to train while offering feedback to the requirements and acquisition communities. This is aimed at improving a system’s utility and operational effectiveness in Soldier’s hands, as well as suitability for the environments in which Soldiers train and fight. Reliability testing concluded earlier this year, which completed the ISV production qualification test.

To date, the Army has accepted more than 300 ISVs and has fielded three brigade sets of 59 vehicles, for a total of 177. The programme is on track to continue to meet fielding plans, with two Brigade sets fielding this June.

Source: Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support

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