June 29 (UPI) -- GM Defense was awarded a $214.3 million contract to build the U.S. Army's first Infantry Squad Vehicles, the Defense Department announced.
The General Motors subsidiary will build the first 649 vehicles, of over 2,000 sought by the Army, by 2028, according to a Pentagon contract announcement.
The ISV, based on the Chevrolet Coronado ZR2 pickup truck, is designed for rapid ground mobility.
The vehicle can carry a squad of nine soldiers and can be sling-carried by UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters or carried within a C-47 Chinook cargo plane. Ninety percent of the vehicle's parts are of the commercial, off-the-shelf variety, officials said.
The contract, announced on Friday, includes installation kits, ancillary hardware and logistics support. The company beat two other firms for the contract.
"Winning this Army award is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of our GM Defense team and their production of a fantastic vehicle. We are confident the GMD ISV will meet and exceed all of our customers' requirements," David Albritton of GM Defense said in a press release.
A plan for an Army light infantry vehicle dates to 2015, but was spurred by a demand from Congress, under the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, to arrange a design competition.