The U.S. Army is about to test three trucks that are aiming to become their newest ride for paratroopers. The truck, known as the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), is a lightly armored truck that will jump with airborne troops out of airplanes and allow the soldiers to quickly move off of the drop zone.
This vehicle will prioritize speed over armored protection. Since paratroopers are limited to the speed they can walk, the squad vehicle will change this, giving the paratroopers newfound mobility. The ISV will allow the paratroopers to land at a drop zone farther from enemy defense, but still quickly converge on a bridge, highway interchange or enemy airport
There are three companies in competition for the Army’s ISV contract, which is good for at least 651 vehicles. Oshkosh Flyer Defense has produced the Flyer ISV, which offers a roll cage, machine gun mount and the ability to carry 5,000 pounds. Oshkosh-Flyer has already built the U.S. Special Operation Command’s Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 and the A-GMV, which is the current interim infantry squad vehicle.
The second vehicle is the Polaris Defense DAGOR. This vehicle features a turbo diesel engine, can run for 500 miles on a tank of gas and can haul up to 4,000 pounds.
The third competitor is built by General Motors Defense. Their ISV is based on the Chevy Colorado mid-size pickup truck. This vehicle is 70 percent of the commercial vehicle or commercial parts. This ISV can carry nine occupants or up to 3,200 pounds.
The Army will choose a winner sometime in 2020, with an initial contract for 651 vehicles. These three competitors must provide two test vehicles to the Army this fall, and they will make their decision based on what is provided. Each of these vehicles has its benefits, and some of the competitors have already worked with the military, making this an interesting competition.