The Army has approved transitioning GM Defense’s [GM] Infantry Squad Vehicle into full-rate production, the service said on Tuesday.

After returning to the defense market in 2017, GM Defense secured a $214.3 million production deal in June 2020 to build the Army’s new lightweight air-droppable ISV, based on the ZR2 variants of the company’s Chevrolet Colorado midsize truck.

GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle. Photo: Matthew Beinart.

“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 wrote in a statement.

GM Defense has delivered more than 300 ISVs to the Army to date, with the service adding that three brigade sets totaling 177 have been fielded so far and two more brigade sets are on track for fielding this June. 

“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 U.S. Army program office customer,” Steve duMont, president of GM Defense, said in a statement. “Achieving the ISV full-rate production decision strengthens our credibility and amplifies the success of our manufacturing processes.”

The Army did not place a new order for ISVs to coincide with the full-rate production decision, a GM Defense spokesperson confirmed to Defense Daily, adding the company doesn’t anticipate changes in the production volume through this September.

“Achieving full rate production affirms the engineering and manufacturing processes that support the Infantry Squad Vehicle are meeting our U.S. Army customer needs and that production can be scaled to meet increased demand in the future. This important milestone adds credibility to the ISV program and validates our continued efforts to successfully deliver advanced commercial technologies to soldiers,” the spokesperson said.

The Army noted reliability testing concluded earlier this year, which completed the ISV production qualification test period.

“The ISV has been rigorously tested, including production qualification testing and transportability certification, which included low-velocity air drops and helicopter sling loading,” the Army said.

GM Defense noted its interest in exploring variants of the current nine-passenger ISV, which has included previously showcasing a five-seat, heavy gun-carrier version that could be geared toward potential Special Operations customers (Defense Daily, Oct. 11 2021). 

“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 company wrote in its statement.

At a ceremony for the opening of its ISV production facility in Concord, North Carolina in May 2021, GM Defense showcased an all-electric version of the ISV that functions as a concept demonstrator for the company’s interest in exploring advanced battery technologies for potential future applications (Defense Daily, May 4).