Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New custom stealth dirt bikes made for Navy SEALs and Green Berets

When the U.S. military is looking for a custom bike, they look to DARPA. This time, they needed a stealthy dirt bike that could handle rough terrain… and maybe a few other tasks SEALs and Green Berets might need during an operation. Two potential models were the frontrunners for DARPA's project. The Silent Hawk, designed by Logos Technology, and the Nightmare, built by LSA Autonomy. They are both hybrids, capable of running on lithium-ion batteries or a variety of fuels, including JP-8, propane, or even olive oil.

Both are about as loud as a garbage disposal while running on fuel and about as loud as an indoor conversation when running on batteries. The differences are where it gets interesting. The Nightmare weighs 400 pounds while Silent Hawk weighs 350. Those extra 50 pounds go toward generating additional horsepower for the Nightmare's all-wheel drive. Silent Hawk was built with a battery pack that has a higher density and active cooling system to keep lithium-ion batteries from exploding.

The two bikes can also provide power to external devices, including medical equipment, blue force trackers, and communications gear. Bikes — especially dirt bikes — aren't new to the military. Veteran and active bike enthusiasts have been building their own custom bikes for years. One retired Marine Corps First Sergeant even founded a vocational therapy non-profit centered on building custom dirt bikes, called Warrior Built.

Dirt bikes and motorcycles are also a reliable means of communication in large-scale combat. It was used as recently as the Millennium Challenge Exercise, where a Marine General was able to take on an entire carrier group maintaining comms using messengers on dirt bikes.

Chapter IX Commo Sergeant comment: In 1995 the 5th Special Forces Group in conjunction with the Special Warfare Center Force Modernization began development of the Desert Mobility Vehicle System (DMVS) which was comprised of five components: the Desert Mobility Vehicle (DMV); the Desert Mobility Trailer; the Desert Mobility Motorcycle; a vehicle mounted GPS unit; and, a On Board Water Generation Unit. 5th SFG sent two "A" teams to Fort Bliss, Texas to develop and test candidate items from Commercial Off The Shelf products to Custom developments. For the Desert Mobility Motorcycle, the unit tested several motorcycles - Honda XR-250R, Honda XR-350R and Yamaha TT-550. Night rides, sometimes 100 miles in duration, wearing night vision goggles and sometimes wearing chemical MOPP suits were common. The role of the motorcycle was to deploy a commo package from a vehicle Laager Site (LS) in order to make communications with higher and allow the LS to maintain a safe distance from possible enemy RDF capability. The motorcycles were also used for route reconnaissance and surveys of possible chemically contaminated areas - hence the chemical MOPP suits. One of the main disadvantages of the motorcycle is that over rough terrain it required two hands to operate and engine noise could give the rider away and keep him from hearing other vehicles or noises. Easily ambushed or having a wreck were common worries, so a Telonics Transmitter was attached to the handlebars with a suspension line tether from the rider to a magnet on the telonics transmitter. If the rider fell off motorcycle the tether would yank the magnet off the transmitter, turning it on and sending a signal to the main body well behind the motorcycle section and letting the main column know that the rider was separated from his bike.

Article from Business Insider

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