A classic American car company is back on the battlefield.
GM Defense, a subsidiary of General Motors, this week delivered its first Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to the U.S. Army, marking a major milestone for the company in its revived partnership with the Pentagon. It’s the first major vehicle delivery since GM Defense was reestablished in 2017, the company said.
The vehicle, based on the architecture of the commercial Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck, weighs about 5,000 pounds and 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 company said in a press release. It is able to transport nine soldiers and their equipment, and about 90% of the vehicle is made of commercial off-the-shelf parts.
“The value we bring to our Army customer is our willingness to listen and adapt,” Mark Dickens, GM Defense chief engineer, said in a statement. “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. 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 won the $214 million contract in June and the company turned around its first vehicle in about 120 days.
For GM, the completion and delivery of the ISV once again gives it a foothold in the military. The company’s GM Defense brand was sold to leading Pentagon contractor General Dynamics in 2003 for about $1.1 billion.
The company says it will produce at least 649 of the ISVs.