New Spec Ops Dirt Bikes Combine Stealth And Speed

Gear
Army Photo by 1Lt. Tyler N. Ginter

U.S. special operations could be getting some ultra-stealthy new wheels.


First introduced at a national defense industry conference in May as the winners of a DARPA competition, these two futuristic dirt bikes — the Nightmare by LSA Autonomy and the SilentHawk by Logos — are the perfect mix of stealth and strength, capable of traveling up to 80 miles per hour while keeping their noise levels around 55 decibels — about as loud as an indoor conversation or an electric toothbrush.

The dirt bikes are similar but not identical. Weighing in at 400 pounds, the Nightmare is the larger and more powerful of the two. Both models are designed to travel long distances and carry multi-fuel engines that can run on anything from gasoline and jet fuel to olive oil. The motorcycles also have an electric mode powered by lithium batteries for even stealthier operations. But most impressive is the fact that the bikes essentially function as mobile generators.

The SilentHawkPhoto courtesy of Logos Technology

The Nightmare can generate 13 kilowatts of power, which could be used to power battlefield communications, observation and combat outposts, water purifiers, medical equipment, and other vital machinery. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, though. The SilentHawk is just as powerful as the Nightmare, even though it’s 50 pounds lighter — a key trait when stealth is paramount. The smaller bike can also generate up to 7.5 kilowatts of power and has a travel range of 170 miles per trip.

DARPA has funded both to phase two of development. If and when they move beyond the development stage, these motorcycles could give American commandos a major edge on the battlefield. Their compact size, strength, and versatility paired with their two-wheel drive features make them the perfect all-terrain vehicles for stealthy missions, especially in places like forests and dense urban environments where wider vehicles can’t maneuver well. And their utility isn’t limited to the battlefield. The SilentHawk and Nightmare could also be used by first responders during and after natural disasters when energy is scarce.

Silent motors are invaluable assets, but there were serious concerns about the lithium batteries, because they’ve been known to explode. But Logos’ lead engineer, Alex Dzwill, made sure to address those concerns in a recent interview with Defense One, explaining that, like the Nightmare, the SilentHawk is equipped with the same sophisticated multi-cell chamber system used in Tesla cars that ensures the battery won’t explode if a single cell fails.

Considering they just received development grants from DARPA and are only prototypes, the SilentHawk and Nightmare aren’t America’s all-terrain vehicles of the future just yet. But when you consider the grit, ingenuity, and versatility these motorcycles bring to the table, it seems inevitable that these bikes, or ones like them, will eventually hit the dirt, giving American commandos yet another option for maneuvering quickly and quietly through the austere environments in which they typically operate.

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Oh, honey, that Axis of Evil getup is so 2002. You need to get with the times and try on this little number called a Wolf Pack of Rogue States, designed by Mike Pence.

Yes, the Axis is Evil is out, and the Wolf Pack of Rogue States is so, so in.

The vice president mentioned the latest and greatest phrase to describe anti-American super-villain states during a conference in Washington on Wednesday, and clearly, they must all be running around the desert together looking for strippers and cocaine.

The Hangover! Alan's wolfpack speech in Vegas hahaha www.youtube.com

Enter Pence:

"Beyond our global competitors, the United States faces a wolf pack of rogue states. No shared ideology or objective unites our competitors and adversaries except this one: They seek to overturn the international order that the United States has upheld for more that half a century."

According to Pence, the Wolf Pack includes Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Notably absent: China and Russia, the two states that actually have a shot at seeking "to overturn the international order."

As Daniel Larison notes at The American Conservative, the Wolf Pack crowd's "ability to 'overturn the international order' is practically nil, and it isn't even certain that most of them desire that outcome. If North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are our main adversaries, we are as secure as can be and we have very little to worry about."

Pence's wolf pack phrase follows another tried by National Security Advisor John Bolton back in November, when he labeled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as a "troika of tyranny" and a "triangle of terror," which make for interesting death metal band names, but seem kind of lame in comparison to the infamous 2002 "Axis of Evil" phrase from David Frum.

But perhaps they can consult with Stitch Jones, the Ayatollah of Rock-and-rolla, for some better branding.

Heartbreak Ridge - Stitch Jones meets Gunnery Sergeant Highway www.youtube.com


Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn – whom President Donald Trump has called "a U.S. Military hero" – will face an Article 32 hearing in March after being charged with murder for allegedly killing a suspected Taliban bomb-maker.

On Dec. 18, the convening authority for Golestyn's case decided to hold the preliminary hearing in connection with the Feb. 28, 2010 incident, Army officials have announced. The proceedings are slated to start on March 14 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

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In the city of Savannah, Georgia, an Army veteran and entrepreneur has a plan to end veteran homelessness in his community. It starts with building a village of tiny homes.

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The new Marines of Delta Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, conduct a motivational run at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, January 10, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/ Lance Cpl. Jose Gonzalez)

Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Coming to recruit training near you: American-made standard-issue sneakers.

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