The U.S. Army's Better Boot Infantry Squad Vehicle Just Hit A Huge Milestone

Back in 2020, General Motors won the $214.3 million contract to develop a new infantry vehicle for the U.S. Army. The Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) has now been approved to go into full production by the Army, according to a GM press release. 

Three-hundred ISVs have already been delivered to the U.S. Army's famed 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions, and now with the new decision, the Army wants 2,593 total of the truck that the armed forces have dubbed the "better boot" in light of its versatility and capability. According to the U.S. Army, the ISV is capable of quite a few things, including quickly carrying up to nine fully equipped soldiers with its 3,200-pound payload.

Additionally, it can be carried by a UH-60 Blackhawk and shimmy inside a CH-47 Chinook. The little truck has a modular design and is built out of 90% commercial parts, borrowing its general architecture from the off-road-focused Chevy Colorado ZR2. It's powered by a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo diesel engine.

The Army's new Chevy-based infantry vehicle

The new approval means that the U.S. Army will have a new compact vehicle at its disposal in areas where the aging Humvee platform might not be the best fit. Using what is essentially a regular pickup truck with some combat-ready modifications has a fair share of benefits. John Hufstedler, the product director for Ground Mobility Vehicles, explains: "Leveraging a commercial vehicle and the world-class manufacturing capability of GM Defense has helped compress the time it takes to field a modernized capability meeting Infantry Soldiers' needs."

The ISV has already undergone all manner of army testing including reliability tests and testing in the field. It has also passed tests where it was loaded into a helicopter and tests where it was dropped out of the back of a plane at low velocity. GM likely doesn't test ZR2 Colorados in the same way. Rigorous trials in the field where soldiers who would be driving the vehicle day after day also offered input.