US Army shows off its latest Stealth Bikes
The US military machine or, to put it more accurately, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (aka DARPA), has just shown off its latest two developments in the field of motorcycles. Unlike the sort of hairy-chested beasties that we love to hear roaring around race tracks, these new offerings have been designed for stealth operations, when noise could in fact be life-threatening. In true US military tradition, the bikes have both been given emotive names; the first is known as the Silent Hawk (pictured above) and is from Logos, and the second is called the Nightmare (below) and was designed and built by LSA Autonomy. Both bikes have a lot in common beyond the fact that they were funded by the US Army.
The bikes were unveiled at the National Defence Industrial Association’s Special Operations Forces Conference that has just been held in Tampa, Florida, and both bikes feature state-of-the-art hybrid multi-fuel engines that can burn anything from kerosene to cooking oil, or even good old-fashioned petrol.
In addition to running on conventional and perhaps not so conventional fuels, the bikes can be switched from loud mode to silent, in which the bike then operates off a battery. According to reports, the bikes make about 80 decibels of noise in loud mode, which is similar to a kitchen appliance; whilst in Stealth Mode, it emits about 50 decibels, which is about as loud as a normal conversation.
DARPA stated that the bikes can travel for about an hour over rough terrain in silent mode, which should be enough time to get away from your enemy, and have awarded grants for the further development of the project. Both companies have announced that they anticipate having an operational prototype within the next 18 months, but in the end there will only be one winner.