Army’s New Infantry Squad Vehicle: ISV Design, Features, Tech

  • The U.S. Army has accepted its first new Infantry Squad Vehicle.
  • The ISV is made by General Motors and based on the Chevy Colorado ZR2.
  • The new vehicle is much lighter and lacks the armor of infantry fighting vehicles, but allows troops to cross the battlefield more quickly.

    The U.S. Army has formally accepted the first of hundreds of new Infantry Squad Vehicles (ISVs) designed to transport soldiers to and from the battlefield. The ISV, built by General Motors Defense, is based on the Chevy Colorado ZR2 off-road mid-sized truck. The ISV trades protection for speed, allowing paratroopers and other light forces to reach their objectives faster than walking.

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    Here’s GM Defense’s promo video showing the ISV in action:

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    The Army was handed the keys to the first four ISVs on Tuesday at GM’s Milford Proving Ground in Michigan. The vehicles, painted Army green, are the first of an initial order of 649 placed in May 2020. The Army ultimately wants approximately 2,065 ISVs over the life of the program, replacing the iconic Humvee with frontline ground troops.

    The ISV is designed to carry a full squad of nine infantry soldiers. The vehicle is air-droppable from aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III, can ride inside a CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter, and can be carried slung underneath a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. The ISV is designed to give troops like the U.S. Army’s airborne, mountain, light infantry, air assault, and Rangers a faster alternative to walking.

    The ISV is based on the 2020 Chevy Colorado mid-size truck, and uses 90 percent of the same parts. It’s powered by the Colorado’s 186-horsepower, 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, and six-speed automatic transmission. Cross-country performance is provided by the ZR2 off road package, including Multimatic shocks and other Chevrolet Performance suspension components. There’s seating for an entire nine soldier squad and the cab and passenger section is covered with a roll cage.

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    ISV sacrifices protection for mobility, a decision that’s sure to be controversial in the coming years. The vehicle is completely unarmored, which is why it’s light enough to be carried by helicopter. The idea is that the extra mobility will allow Army troops to move out quickly from their landing zone or through rough terrain, stealing a march on the enemy and taking their objectives faster.

    This tradeoff leaves troops completely exposed to all forms of

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