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Army vehicles are officially in production at Concord, and a NASCAR team has helped.
GM Defense, a subsidiary of General Motors, on Tuesday celebrated the opening of its 75,000 square foot manufacturing plant near Charlotte, where the vehicles of the US Army’s infantry squad will be manufactured. Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will be the first to receive vehicle deliveries, the Observer previously reported.
The plans will produce all-terrain troop carriers called infantry vehicles. ISVs are strong enough to carry nine soldiers, but have a chassis light enough to be used in a race car.
The 5,000-pound ISV is light enough to load from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for airlift, according to GM Defense.
“This is great news for our community, as well as our entire region, which includes Fort Bragg,” said Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08). Ted Budd (NC-13) and Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, R-NC, were also on hand for the opening of the facility.
The Agile ISVs are part of a $ 214.3 million contract from the military that GM Defense won last June.
The Concord plant will produce 649 independent software vendors in the first three years, GM Defense chief engineer Mark Dickens previously said. But total production is expected to be 2,065 vehicles with additional funding approval over eight years.
GM will hire about 20 technicians and plans to hire more with increased demand to build more independent software vendors.
About independent software vendors
The ISV architecture is based on GM’s 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 mid-size truck design and includes Chevrolet Performance racing components.
Part of the vehicle’s agility comes from its association with nearby Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick developed a chassis strong enough to carry nine soldiers, but light enough, it could have been used in a racing car.
GM Defense has also worked with Ricardo Defense, who leads integrated product support, including manual development, equipment training and technical field support.
“This vehicle will help soldiers from the infantry brigade combat teams who are marching everywhere,” said Steve Herrick, Army Product Manager.
A new leader of GM Defense
The company also appointed Steve duMont as chairman of GM Defense.
DuMont led Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies company, and held various leadership roles there for over 13 years. He was also an air force officer and attack helicopter pilot in the army.