“The prototype must be at least nearly as capable and reliable as a standard internal combustion snowmobile, while providing a significant noise reduction. For military purposes, it is not enough for a snowmobile to operate quietly.”
It would be great to have some videos of the machines purring but that would defeat the purpose of the secret testing the Canadian military has been performing on the $620,000 stealth snowmobiles they are considering for Arctic operations.
The National Post reports soldiers have taken the prototype hybrid-electric snowmobile (codename Loki) on trial runs to test out the speed, noise level, battery endurance and acceleration. Here’s a portion from a heavily redacted report on the project:
“These experiments compared Loki against commercially available snowmobiles already in use, testing a wide variety of the snowmobiles’ characteristics, including speed, towing capacity, endurance, mobility, usability, and of course, noise emissions.”
The Canadian Defence Department has a total fleet of 963 snowmobiles and 310 small all-terrain vehicles. They are actively replacing their fleet and hope to find a quieter or more stealth option for their service personal:
“Whether it flies or goes on the sea or anywhere else, if it’s quieter it’s advantageous to any military.”
…hopefully through the demand of the Canadian government, advancements are made in low emission/stealth snowmobiles and eventually find their way to the civilian market place.
Imagine maintaining the serenity of a backcountry experience because you are aren’t spitting out exhaust and brapping just get up the hill. Lets hope this happens.