GM Defense LL, which is a subsidiary of General Motors (GM), recently made its first delivery of the company's Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to the U.S. Army. The ISV is a light and agile all-terrain troop carrier designed to transport up to nine infantry personnel and their equipment. This is the first major award and delivery for GM Defense since it was re-established in 2017.
The vehicles were delivered as part of a $214.3 million contract awarded to GM Defense by the U.S. Army in June. GM Defense will manufacture a total of 649 ISVs as part of the contract, as well as support production of up to 2,065 vehicles with additional authorization over 8 years.
"One hundred and twenty days from contract award to delivery is a significant milestone, and I am very proud of the team for this accomplishment," said David Albritton, President of GM Defense, in the press release announcing the delivery of the ISVs. "We’re leveraging General Motors’ engineering prowess and immense manufacturing capabilities to bring transformative solutions to the military vehicle market. Our initial success with the ISV shows our commitment to our customer and highlights our unique right to win in the military mobility market."
Developing the right design for the mission
The ISV is based on the design of GM's Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 truck architecture. Ninety percent of the components used are proven, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) parts which helps ensure their reliability. Weighing 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kg), GM Defense says the ISV was specifically engineered to meet military requirements and provide rapid ground mobility. Doing so ensures the safety of military personnel in the various environments in which they may be operating.
GM Defense says the vehicle is light enough to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, making air transport from one destination to another easier for the U.S. Army.
A rollover protection system (ROPS) on the ISV further helps to ensure the safety of military troops by keeping them securely in the vehicle should there be a rollover incident. In addition, the use of COTS parts makes it easy to get spare parts if necessary and minimize downtime which is especially critical for military personnel who are often working in dangerous locations.
"During Soldier testing, the feedback we received was paramount in delivering a vehicle that met Soldiers’ needs, while maximizing safety and performance and taking their comfort into consideration," said Mark Dickens, GM Defense Chief Engineer, in the press release announcing delivery of the ISV. "The production ISV we’re delivering today is an evolution from our original prototype design, and it’s certainly a vehicle that is a source of pride for the team."
GM Defense partnered with Ricardo on the development of the ISV. Ricardo lead the Integrated Product Support (IPS) portion of the project which included technical manual development, new equipment training, provisioning, total package fielding, and field service support. The company also collaborated on technical areas such as safety, reliability and cybersecurity.
"The ISV will showcase the speed at which the Army can rapidly produce, field, and sustain new equipment by leveraging a proven commercially available vehicle and the global supply chain infrastructure of General Motors, supported by Ricardo," said Chet Gryczan, President of Ricardo Defense, in Ricardo's press release announcing the partnership with GM Defense.
"Ultimately, our combined goal is to provide the best-in-class product and sustainability to help ensure our warfighters have confidence with the ISV throughout its lifecycle on and off the battlefield," said Albritton.
According to GM Defense, the ISV will provide the U.S. Army with manufacturing efficiencies, ease of maintenance and a well-established global supply chain.