Chevrolet’s desert-proven ZR2 just got a serious endorsement from the U.S. Army. GM Defense LLC and its Chevrolet-Colorado-ZR2-based entry have been awarded the production contract to supply the U.S. Army with 649 Infantry Squad Vehicles (ISV).
The ISV must be able to transport an Army infantry squad made up of nine soldiers and their gear over all sorts of terrain and the race-bred Colorado ZR2 platform offered exactly what the U.S. military needed. Even with its taller roll cage used to protect the four passengers seated in the rear, the GM Defense ISV still fits in the cargo bay of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. It’s also light enough to be carried via sling by a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.
Like the Colorado ZR2 on which it’s based, the GM Defense ISV uses Multimatic dual spool-valve shocks and the same 2.8-liter turbodiesel and six-speed automatic transmission that’s optional across the 2020 Colorado lineup. The ISV adopted some of the Chevrolet Performance suspension upgrades available for the ZR2 as well. All told, 90 percent of the ISV’s parts are available commercially. That kind of supply chain and easy parts availability will make it easy to maintain the fleet of ISVs.
GM Defense was among the three competitors that were contracted to build entrants for testing. Oshkosh Defense and Flyer Defense teamed up for one entrant, while SAIC and Polaris formed the third. Flyer, in partnership with General Dynamics, already produces the Flyer 60 and Flyer 72 Light strike vehicles, named after their overall width, which are used by United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Polaris entered a version of the DAGOR, an ultra-light combat vehicle that is larger than the company’s commercial side-by-sides, which is also built in military configurations.
The contract to supply and service the initial 649 ISVs is worth $214.3 million, and Ricardo Defense will help provide some of the logistics necessary. The U.S. Army eventually plans to field a total of 2065 ISVs.