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GM Defense wins contract to build super Chevy Suburban for diplomats

HEAVY-DUTY SUBURBANS FOR U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES (GM Defense/Released)

The U.S, Department of State has just recruited the Chevy Suburban to help it protect important diplomats.

General Motors subsidiary GM Defense LLC said Wednesday it won a $36.4 million contract from the state department to develop the next generation large support utility commercial vehicles for the department’s Diplomatic Security Service. The DSS is the federal law enforcement and security arm of the department.

GM Defense will create a purpose-built heavy duty Suburban and make 10 of them over the next two years. GM Defense will start delivering the vehicles next spring. A production contract to build a fleet of 200 heavy duty Suburbans per year for nine years is expected to succeed the completion of the development contract in May 2023. The value of that contract has not been released.

“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 Steve duMont, president of GM Defense.

GM Defense will use GM’s commercial vehicle architecture designed for full-size pickups and SUVs and other off-the-shelf parts, including the body, exterior, propulsion, interior and brakes for the government’s heavy duty Suburbans, duMont said.

The heavy duty Suburban will feature a new and unique body-on-frame chassis and suspension, designed to specifically support increased government vehicle performance requirements with a higher payload capacity and greater ground vehicle weight than a regular Suburban.

GM Defense will use advanced manufacturing tools and techniques, which duMont said will help to reduce overall costs and provide flexibility for future needs.

GM formed GM Defense in 2017. Last year, the U.S. Army awarded GM Defense its first major contract of $214.3 million to build the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).

The ISV is based on the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup and uses 90% commercial components. It is designed for rapid ground mobility and carrying a nine-soldier infantry squad through the battlefield.

GM Defense has located its factory in Concord, North Carolina, and delivered the first ISV last October. It will make 649 ISVs, which it will deliver by fiscal year 2024, and it will support the production of up to 2,065 vehicles as it gets additional authorization over the eight-year contract.

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