The U.S. Department of State has awarded GM Defense a contract for the next generation of armored Heavy-Duty Sport Utility Vehicles (HD SUVs), so diplomats will be getting an upgrade. These HD SUVs, intended for the Diplomatic Security Service, will have armoring built right into the original production process—a departure from the more common practice of aftermarket modifications.
In addition to improving vehicle performance, this strategy, according to GM Defense, simplifies build efficiency and expedites delivery to end users.
The HD SUV features a customized body-on-frame chassis with a suspension designed to handle more weight and performance requirements. The body, interior, and powertrain of the vehicle are largely composed of commercially available parts. This 10-year, up-to-$300 million deal is a major step toward creating a reliable and effective armored vehicle for diplomatic use. It comes after a development and validation contract.
GM Defense President Steve duMont expressed excitement about bringing this ground-breaking platform to additional U.S. government and allies defense and security customers throughout the world. He highlighted the company's capacity to leverage tried-and-true commercial platforms and engineering processes. The Secret Service appears to be a possible benefactor of this cutting-edge diplomatic conveyance, although no specifics were provided.