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GM Wins $214 Million Contract to Make Army Truck Based on Chevy Colorado ZR2

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General Motors Defense has officially won a $214.3 million contract to build, field and sustain the Army’s new expeditionary Infantry Squad Vehicle, or ISV. 

The American automaker’s military product division joined forces with Belleville, Minnesota’s Ricardo Defense to develop an $1 million ISV prototype based on the off-road-trimmed 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, which ultimately bested designs by OshKosh Defense and Flyer Defense. 

GM’s final ISV features 90 percent commercial off-the-shelf parts, including a Multimatic dual spool-valve dampers and Chevrolet Performance suspension. These components were previously proven when the mid-size pickup emerged as one of four vehicles out of 434 competitors to complete 11 consecutive events in the North American Best in the Desert race series. 

Propulsion comes from Chevy’s stock 186-hp, 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel and six-speed automatic transmission. That pedigree likely factored into to the U.S. Army Contracting Command–Detroit Arsenal’s decision. The new ISV is light enough to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, and agile enough to transport a nine-soldier squad across a treacherous battlefield.

“The entire Ricardo team is proud to continue our work with GM Defense on the ISV contract, and to provide our infantry troops in harm’s way with this highly-capable, and much needed vehicle,” said Chet Gryczan, president of Ricardo Defense. 

“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.”

Assuming the Army is satisfied with 649 initial ISVs, a final order of 2,065 vehicles has been approved.