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Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, part of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, are the first to receive the new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV). The ceremonial handover on 27 October 2020 marks the beginning of equipping the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) with a total of 2,065 ISVs.

In June 2020, after one year of development and competition, the U.S. Army awarded General Motors and Ricardo a €190m contract to deliver a first batch of 650 ISVs. Delivery has now begun 120 days after the contract was signed, with the first lot to equip 11 ICBTs with 59 ISVs each. The first vehicles will be used to carry out operational tests in the troops, among other things to analyse their suitability for deployment and to ensure that the documentation is complete. If the test results are positive, the remaining series production will be released, which should be completed by mid-2028.

Existing Vehicle Design

The ISV is based on General Motors’ 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 small truck with a total weight of approximately 2.8 tons, also known as a pickup. Together with Ricardo Defense, the troop transporter has been developed using about 90 per cent of the original parts. An important difference from the civilian version, apart from the open cabin with seats for nine soldiers, is the use of heavy-duty chassis components that have proven themselves in numerous off-road races. Low weight and compact dimensions allow the vehicle to be transported as sling load from the UH-60 BLACK HAWK or internally in the cabin of a CH-47 CHINOOK.

The infantrymen sit in three rows and are protected by roll bars while the soldiers can carry light weapons. The rear row of seats can be replaced by a luggage compartment and the vehicle is powered by a 140 kW Duramax diesel engine with six-speed automatic transmission. The initial vehicle is specified with a total weight of 2.1 tons plus 615 kg payload.

Gerhard Heiming