The United States military currently has the means to conduct airdrops of Humvees using C-17 and C-130 transport planes, with the vehicles attached to a platform with honeycomb and sheets of lumber placed between axles and frames for protection. In 2020, the Army awarded General Motors a contract to build a new airdroppable light utility vehicle.
The United States Army has carried out extensive airdrop testing of its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), with the tests taking place at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
According to an Army news release, the tests were conducted by troops from the 2nd Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, with the forces involved working with Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate.
Test officer James Cochran said the airdrop testing, which took place between late March and late June, demonstrated that the vehicle was “effective and suitable for an infantry squad equipped…to perform low-velocity airdrops as well as airdrops utiliSing the dual row airdrop system with the ISV.”
Based on GM’s Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck platform, the 5,000 pound ISV has a 3,200 pound (1,500 kg) payload capacity, can carry up to nine crew, and has a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine pumping out 275 horsepower. Ninety percent of the vehicle is said to be made of commercially-available parts and it has an automatic transmission.
The Fort Bragg testing was carried out using standard low-velocity drops from…