The U.S. Department of State has awarded GM Defense a contract to develop and validate next generation large support utility commercial vehicles (SUVs) for future fleet production in support of the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. As part of the total development contract valued at $36.4 million, GM Defense will create a purpose-built heavy-duty Suburban, building 10 vehicles over the next two years.
Leveraging General Motors’ commercial vehicle architecture designed for full-size pickup trucks and large SUVs, GM Defense will use significant commercial-off-the-shelf parts, including the body, exterior, propulsion, interior, and brakes for the vehicle. The 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.
GM Defense will use advanced manufacturing tools and techniques, including fixtureless assembly and flexible fabrication, to support increased efficiencies and quality in low-volume production of the new chassis and frame. The advanced manufacturing techniques will help to reduce overall program costs and offer greater flexibility and responsiveness to address future customer needs.
GM Defense will deliver the vehicles in two phases, the first delivery of which will be next spring. A production contract to build a fleet of 200 Suburbans per year for nine years is expected to succeed the completion of the development contract in or about May 2023.