The U.S. Army today announced it has selected GM Defense, LLC, Detroit, Mich., to produce the Infantry Squad Vehicle, or ISV, to motorize Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. It is based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 architecture, which will derive 90 percent of its parts from commercial-off-the-shelf components. Delivery of this modernized capability is slated to begin with the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, as the designated First Unit Equipped next winter. The contract is valued at $214,297,869 and the U.S. Army intends to purchase 649 vehicles.
The ISV program provides IBCTs an additive lightweight vehicle to move Soldiers and their equipment quickly over complex and difficult cross-country terrain. The U.S. Army can deliver the vehicle to the field by airdrop or helicopter, which increases the flexibility of Soldiers on the move. ISVs will provide greater mobility to IBCTs, as they are designed to move across restrictive terrain, allowing Soldiers to close on objectives with less fatigue and greater readiness.
This is the second important production contract award for Army light tactical wheeled vehicle modernization programs of record in the last year. The Army announced in June 2019 the production contract of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. JLTV is modernizing the U.S. Army’s and U.S. Marine Corps’ light tactical wheeled vehicle fleets with a leap-ahead balance of payload, performance and protection.
The ISV’s basic operational capabilities include:
Â· Nine-man squad carrying capability
Â· Payload of 3,200 lbs.
Â· External sling load by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter
Â· Internal load/external lift by CH-47 Chinook helicopter
Â· Low-velocity air drop by fixed-wing C-130 or C-17 transport aircraft
Â· Exceptional mobility over all terrains.
The comprehensive team responsible for bringing the ISV program to production contract award involves not only Army acquisition professionals, but also relevant stakeholders representing the Army’s funding and testing communities, Army Futures Command, and Forces Command. Soldier evaluation via user-acceptance efforts has been a key element of the ISV program from the outset, and has helped compress the time it takes to field a modernized capability that meets infantry Soldiers’ needs.
The Infantry Squad Vehicle program has focused on meeting the Army’s emphasis on enhancing Infantry Soldier mobility and survivability by rapidly fielding modernized capabilities. Our product management team for Ground Mobility Vehicles undertook a great challenge to develop a strategy using experimentation and technical demonstrations to streamline the ISV acquisition process. Using normal acquisition processes, it could have taken as many as 36 months.
The ISV acquisition strategy was structured to promote the highest level of competition possible, including affordability. Due to competition, the program office will realize a reduction from the original independent government cost estimate for the program. This provides best value to American taxpayers. What’s more, a senior Army officer who has commanded at all levels in an IBCT was tapped to serve as the ISV program’s Source Selection Authority.
The U.S. Army’s product lead for Ground Mobility Vehicles, PEO CS&CSS, the next steps in the ISV program include GM Defense delivering eight ISVs to Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland within four months. The U.S. Army will conduct tailored production qualification testing to address the vehicles’ ability to meet the performance specifications in areas not previously tested. The ISV will also undergo transportability certification, which includes low-velocity air drop and helicopter sling loading. Next summer and fall, the Army will hold an initial operational test and evaluation.