GM Defense gets US$36.4-M contract to build heavy-duty Suburbans for US gov't

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GM Defense LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors, has been awarded a US$36.4-million contract by the US Department of State.

The said agreement between the US government and the American automotive multinational corporation involves the development of next-generation, large support utility commercial vehicles for future fleet production in support of the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

As part of the total development contract, GM Defense will create a purpose-built, heavy-duty Suburban, 10 units of which are expected to be built in the next two years.

The heavy-duty large SUV, said GM, will feature a new and unique body-on-frame chassis and suspension. The newly developed platform has been designed and engineered to specifically support increased government vehicle performance requirements with a higher payload capacity and greater ground vehicle weight.

“We’re excited to be developing a fully-integrated, purpose-built HD Suburban in partnership with the US Department of State. The Chevrolet Suburban has been an iconic name in commercial transportation since 1935. Our development contract win speaks to our long-standing legacy of exceeding transportation capabilities and our new, HD Suburban will deliver government-specific advanced mobility solutions to meet the needs of DSS,” said GM Defense President Steve duMont.

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GM Defense will leverage General Motors’ commercial vehicle architecture designed for full-size pickup trucks and large SUVs, and use significant commercial-off-the-shelf parts.

According to the Detroit-based automaker, GM Defense will be selecting components for their government, purpose-built HD Suburban which includes the vehicle’s body, exterior, propulsion, interior, and brakes.

GM Defense will also be using advanced manufacturing tools and techniques, including fixtureless assembly and flexible fabrication, to support increased efficiencies and quality in low-volume production of the HD Suburban’s new chassis and frame.

The vehicles will be delivered in two phases, the first of which will be in the first and second quarter of next year. GM also expects a production contract to build a fleet of 200 HD Suburbans per year for nine years to succeed the completion of the development contract in or about May of 2023.

GM Defense is no stranger to building purpose-built vehicles. In fact, the company’s subsidiary was awarded a US$214.3-million contract to produce the expeditionary ISV — a light and agile all-terrain troop carrier developed for the US Army that can transport a nine-soldier infantry squad moving throughout the battlefield.

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And while the US Department of State’s personnel carrier is based on the Chevy Suburban, the US Army’s ISV was based on the Chevrolet Colorado.

Photos from General Motors

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