General Motors’ subsidiary GM Defense recently scored a major 10-year, $300 million contract from the U.S. State Department. GM Defense will supply the Diplomatic Security Service with a new generation of armored Heavy-Duty Sport Utility Vehicles (aka Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban) under this agreement.

The contract starts off with an initial $25 million order for vehicles, training, and engineering services. This contract marks an exciting shift in how armored vehicles are produced.

Innovative Design and Production

Unlike traditional models involving aftermarket vehicle armor additions, GM Defense bakes protection into the core design and factory production of the new Heavy-Duty SUVs. This innovative method aims to enhance drivability while accelerating manufacturing timelines to bring vehicles into service faster.

GM Defense- Leveraging The Automaker’s Capabilities

Under GM defense head Steve duMont, the subsidiary leverages General Motors’ vast manufacturing infrastructure and renowned engineering chops. This enables large-scale production of a customized, high-quality vehicle supported by a comprehensive factory warranty. GM’s approach delivers better efficiency, durability and value over adding armor after production.

“This is a very important program for GM Defense as it showcases our ability to leverage the proven commercial platforms and world-class engineering and manufacturing processes of GM to provide a first-of-its-kind vehicle for the Department of State,” said Steve duMont, president of GM Defense. “Everyone on our team has committed to partnering with the State Department to ensure we deliver the best vehicles to support their mission. We look forward to continuing this partnership and bringing this exciting new platform to other U.S. government and allied defense and security customers around the world.”

The  Army’s GM Defense Supplied new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).
U.S. Army previously awarded GM Defense LLC, $214.3M production contract to build, field, and sustain the Army’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).

Purpose-Built Features

GM Defense constructed a specialty body-on-frame platform for the vehicle to handle the extra armor weight while delivering top-tier performance. The SUV still shares most components with existing Tahoe and Suburban models, ensuring reliability. Advanced manufacturing techniques specially adapted for low-volume, high-quality production meet the State Department’s needs.

Showcasing Exceptional Performance

Demonstration drives at West Virginia’s Summit Point racetrack displayed the exceptional handling and maneuverability baked into the prototypes. This event underscored GM Defense’s commitment to delivering elite vehicles optimized for diplomatic security missions.

Exciting Possibilities

For GM truck enthusiasts, this contract signals General Motors growing capability to serve specialized sectors like defense. It also suggests future civilian trucks could adopt innovative features and technologies from these custom production runs, similar to how Chevrolet Performance develops future off-road technologies from it’s partnership with Chad Hall Racing.