General Motors Infantry Squad Vehicle Completes UAE Summer Trials

GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle
GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle driving on sand at UAE Armed Forces Summer Trials.

General Motors Defense in early March announced its Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) had successfully completed the rigorous Summer Trials conducted by the United Emirates (UAE) armed forces.

These trials typically follow the IDEX defense exposition in mid-February. These evaluations are conducted in Abu Dhabi in two phases, a 2000 km (1,243 mile) mobility phase followed by a two-day maintenance evaluation phase:

  • The first had the ISV move over a preset course covering highways, soft sand and dunes, and rugged rocky terrain all in temperatures has high as 56 degrees Celsius (132 degrees F).
  • In phase two the ISV was required to demonstrate its abilities for ease of maintenance and repair, as well as the capability to be recovered in field conditions.

The Summer Trials are considered one of the most important difficult field tests and are viewed by potential customers as a reference in their acquisition decisions.

The GM ISV was selected in a lengthy competition by the US Army to fill its requirement for an air and helicopter liftable light tactical vehicle to provide enhanced ground mobility to its light infantry units. It is intended to embark an infantry squad of nine soldiers and carry them from a drop-zone or other assembly area to an objective area. The idea is to move quickly to maintain the initiative and then dismount to maneuver on foot against the objective.

GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle
GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle

The ISV provides this capability by utilizing a vehicle configuration based on the commercially proven Chevy Colorado ZR2 pick-up truck. It is powered by the commercial Duramax 2.8 litre turbocharged diesel engine linked to the GM Hydro-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicles also apply motorsport suspension technology which is also already offered in the ZR2. The ZR2 Dana chassis with electronic locking differential is also utilized allowing the ISV to share ninety percent parts commonality with the commercial Colorado. This attribute offers advantages in simplifying support, parts, and logistics. The ISV contract was awarded by the US Army in June 2020 for 649 vehicles with full production being approved in 2023.

GM Defense President Steve duMont indicated that the trials ‘“demonstrated that we can successfully deliver a highly capable off-road vehicle that can meet the needs of defense and government customers in the UAE and throughout the region… Our Summer Trial achievements are a key step forward in our planned growth in the region”.

In fact, in February GM Defense signed a cooperative agreement with the UAE’s acquisitions arm Tawazun Council. This step would facilitate potential adoption and delivery of the ISV to partners in the region should they so choose. The GM Defense production line is active with over 300 ISVs already delivered to the US Army.

by Stephen W. Miller