A lot of what the new contract between the U.S. Department of State, the sprawling agency that conducts American diplomacy, and GM Defense LLC, a General Motors subsidiary, is necessarily out of public view. Even routine transportation for an ambassador or other ranking State Department dignitary can be a very dangerous proposition in some parts of the world. The State Department has awarded GM Defense a $36.4 million contract to create a new Heavy Duty version of the Suburban, aptly named the Suburban HD, with an initial package of 10 such vehicles to be delivered within two years.
The agreement calls for GM Defense to deliver up to 200 copies of the Suburban HD to the Diplomatic Security Service, the State Department’s protective arm, through 2023. Why does the government need to spend more than 35 million bucks on big Chevrolet SUVs? Because if you’re attentive about such matters, you already know that the Suburban, with its nearly bulletproof powertrain and chassis – sorry, that may not have been the absolutely best description – has long been a world leader in the realm of specialized dignitary and VIP transport. You’ll notice that a whole row of law enforcement Suburbans typically tag along in the wake of the presidential limousine, for instance. Armoring, weaponry and communications systems can be laded aboard its expansive, go-anywhere platform in just about any configuration your unclassified intellect can imagine.