It’s been true for a long time that when the world dials 9-1-1, the armed forces of the United States are ready to respond, immediately, anywhere. Rapid mobility is an essential consideration in any sort of armed deployment. In the past, the American military relied primarily on the AM General-built HMMWV, the fabled Hummer, a nameplate that eventually ended up in the portfolio of General Motors. The Humvee, as the guys and girls in green called it, was a breakout star of the first Gulf War. Fast forward nearly 30 years and we can a few things: The Pentagon now divides its lightweight troop-mobility inventory among several types of vehicles, especially those resistant to mines and improvised explosive devices. Moreover, the Hummer’s back, being marketed now by GMC as a high-dollar, mega-power EV pickup. And lately, GM is back in the military business. This vehicle is its first such product since GM Defense was revived as a corporate subsidiary in 2017.
The angular item you’re viewing is GM’s newly introduced Infantry Squad Vehicle, just being delivered to the U.S. Army under a $214.3 million contract that will see GM Defense directly manufacture 649 of the fighting vehicles, while providing production support for an additional 2,065 units over the next eight years. The ISV will carry up to nine troops and their gear. It was designed to be slung below the Army’s prime medium-lift helicopter, the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, and can fit comfortably inside the cargo hold of the twin-rotor, heavy-lift Boeing CH-54 Chinook. Despite its no-nonsense looks, the ISV is a heavily civilian-based vehicle, based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize pickup architecture. About 90 percent of its components are production-based, including some sourced from Chevrolet Performance. The vehicle also has enhanced rollover protection. What’s most impressive is that GM delivered the ISV to the Pentagon within 120 days after winning the contract to build it. It’s cool that the private sector can match the military’s go-anywhere, can-do credo.