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The U.S. Army has commissioned three teams to develop an Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV). Team one consists of Flyer Defense and Oshkosh Defense, team two SAIC and Polaris, team three is General Motors. Each team received an order worth €0.9 million. All teams are members of the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC), an industry association that brings together medium-sized and large companies.

The ISV is to be designed as a light, all-terrain expedition vehicle capable of carrying up to nine soldiers and their combat equipment. The main task is the fast transport of the soldiers on the battlefield. High speed in the terrain, achieved by a powerful engine will be a characteristic feature of the ISV. Since the vehicle must be air-transportable, the weight limitation will not allow a high protection class. The presumably open vehicle will have a roll cage as safety cell to protect the crew in the event of an accident involving overturning or rollover. At the same time it can be used as a carrier for reconnaissance equipment and weapons for self-protection.

Flyer Defense has the Flyer 72 in its programme, which fulfils numerous features of the ISV. With its 145 kW diesel engine, the Flyer can be accelerated up to 156 km/h. The engine can also be used for self-protection. It offers space for new soldiers, including a seat for a gunner. With a total weight of around five tons – about half of which is available as payload – and compact dimensions, the vehicle can be transported in or under helicopters such as CH-47 or CH-53K. Machine guns with calves between 30mm and 5.56mm can be integrated as armament. In the team, Flyer Defense will be mainly responsible for the construction. Oshkosh Defense will be responsible for the preparation for series production.

SAIC and Polaris will offer the DAGOR (Deployable Advanced Ground Off-road) Ultra Light Combat Vehicle (ULCV) developed and built by Polaris. The maximum speed of the 3.5 ton DAGOR A3 is 140 km/h, which can be reached with a 140 kW diesel engine. The payload of 1.4 tons can be used to transport up to nine soldiers and their equipment. Ring and pivot mounts are available for the integration of machine guns. The DAGOR can be transported as an internal or external load with CH-47, CH-53K and other helicopters of the same carrying capacity.

General Motors has not yet announced its participation in the ISV programme.

The three development teams will each produce two ISV prototypes to U.S. Army specifications and deliver them for comparative testing later this year. A supply contract is expected to be signed in spring 2020. The U.S. Army has announced a demand of 651 vehicles. The vehicles will be delivered between 2020 and 2024.

Gerhard Heiming