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US special forces will receive a DARPA Pentagon-financed development, a new bike called the SilentHawk stealth motorcycle. As reported on drivespark.com, the concept was initiated based on the need for a ‘silent’ dirt bike that would allow special forces to operate near-silently for elongated periods while moving small numbers of troops over hostile territory.
With a range of 270 km, the stealth motorcycle weighs 158 kg and can sprint to a top speed of 128 km/h. The motorcycle utilizes a hybrid engine and has off-road capability and can run on multiple fuels, including jet fuel. When the bike is running on conventional fuel, the SilentHawk recharges its batteries and any electronic devices such as radios, GPS devices or tablets that are connected to the motorcycle.
Logos Technologies, which manufactures military tools such as drones and sensors, and Alta Motors, which produces electric bikes, have partnered to build the SilentHawk. To tackle different kinds of rough terrain, the motorcycle is equipped with a two-wheel drive system and has a large 53-centimeter wheel at the front and a 48-centimeter wheel at the rear for efficient off-road capability. The hybrid system allows the rider to transform the bike to be quiet in the electric mode. The chain drive makes the loudest noise, and in normal operation, the motorcycle is as loud as a vacuum cleaner.
When the bike is quiet, it makes noise close to 55 decibels, close to the noise we make while having a normal conversation.
Currently, the bike is in a prototype phase and is under development. Some of the potential applications might include traveling over rough terrain quietly and quickly along with the ability to airdrop the bike at any location. The final prototypes are expected to be ready by this year-end, and if DARPA approves the build, it would be moved to production.