GM Defense delivers first infantry squad vehicles, explores military batteries


DETROIT — General Motors’ defense subsidiary, which delivered its first Infantry Squad Vehicle Tuesday to the U.S. Army, could soon use GM’s electrification development for various military applications.

The truck delivered Tuesday is the first major product for GM Defense since it was reestablished by GM in 2017. The original GM Defense, which helped U.S. combat efforts beginning with World War I, was acquired by General Dynamics in 2003.

“There’s a re-learning process for the company to get back its skill. This represents a fantastic cornerstone program for us to do just that,” David Albritton, president of GM Defense, told reporters Tuesday.

The vehicle, based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, can transport nine soldiers and their equipment. Despite coronavirus-related challenges, GM developed the vehicle in just four months after it was awarded a $214.3 million defense contract in June. GM Defense said it will build 649 of the vehicles through 2024 and will support production of up to 2,065 vehicles with additional authorization over eight years.

The truck is made up of 90 percent commercial, off-the-shelf parts, including Chevy Performance race components, and was engineered for rapid movement. It is light enough to be sling loaded from a UG-60 Blackhawk helicopter and can fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to be transported by air.

The first 27 vehicles will be built at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds, and GM Defense plans to use a plant in Mooresville, N.C., for higher-volume production.

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