Navy SEALS and Green Berets Getting New Custom Stealth Dirt Bikes Designed for Covert Ops
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is currently examining two dirt bikes that might end up in the hands of special operators, like Navy SEALS and Green Berets. Named the Nightmare and the Silent Hawk, the vehicles are hybrids, capable of running on lithium-ion batteries, propane, jet fuel, and even olive oil.
The Nightmare is built by LSA Autonomy while the Silent Hawk was designed by Logos Technology.
Both of the dirt bikes are particularly stealthy, producing only about as much noise as a garbage disposal when running on fuels, according to a report by We are the Mighty. And, when the battery is used, the vehicles are no louder than an indoor conversation.
While both options are quiet, they do have some differences. The Nightmare comes in at about 400 pounds while the Silent Hawk only weighs 350. The additional 50 pounds on the Nightmare is largely associated with the extra horsepower it can generate for its all-wheel drive functionality.
The Silent Hawk features a battery pack with a higher density and active cooling system, a method for keeping the lithium-ion batteries for accidentally exploding. That feature is not on the Nightmare.
However, both dirt bikes have the ability to power other devices, such as communications equipment or medical devices.
DARPA began examining the potential of stealth dirt bikes through a competition in 2014. The vehicles have significant potential on the battlefield, providing a smaller option that can potentially navigate more challenging terrain.
This was demonstrated during the Millennium Challenge Exercise, when a three-star Marine Corps General used dirt bike riders as couriers to disperse messages, allowing him to successfully take on a carrier group, who were expecting him to rely on satellite and cell phones for communication, which can be monitored, and defeat significantly more advanced technology.
Motorcycles and dirt bikes aren’t new concepts for the military, as the first large-scale deployment of motorcycles during a war was in WWI. Many service members also enjoy them on their personal time, some as enthusiasts, others hobbyists, and often even for daily commutes.
Which stealth dirt bike will be selected has yet to be determined. Additionally, there is no set timeline regarding when they may end up in the hands of US troops.