It may not hit the battlefield yet, but the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that General Motors recently unveiled at the Association of the U.S. Army conference held in Washington, D.C. shows much promise.
The stealth truck is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that runs far quieter and cooler than conventional automobiles. A souped-up version of the Chevy Colorado, the truck is designed for dependable off-road performance, complete with bigger tires, enhanced suspension, and so on.
Developed in partnership with the Army’s Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), the new truck hums nicely in a quiet way and carries a low thermal signature.
General Motors and TARDEC’s working relationship spanned four years. The latter entered into a formal agreement with GM a year ago to create the technology demonstrator. The two entities have closely collaborated to ensure that the ZH2 will meet military requirements. Photographs of the new Chevy truck has gone viral.
With Stealth Features But Not Combat-Ready
GM Senior Project Engineer Christopher Colquitt said that the ZH2 “is not a combat vehicle,” adding that it is not armored and would not stand up well against an improvised explosive device. Nonetheless, the truck’s stealth features were deemed most appropriate for SOF (special operations forces) missions.
TARDEC Director Paul Rogers noted the importance of having the ability to position oneself at a point of advantage on the battlefield, without exposing oneself. GM and Army officials expressed optimism that the hydrogen fuel cell system will have applications beyond a single demonstrator.
Across the world, government-funded science organizations that provide technology support for defense and security requirements have been mulling over the future possibility that the Army may have a requirement for vehicles with varying degrees of autonomous capability. That means, in part, hardening such autonomous vehicles against electronic attack.
Photo Source: Chevrolet/Twitter