Friday Morning – Quiet …. Snow Zone Ahead
Leave it to our friends in Canada to recognize the need to design, develop, and produce a …. stealth snowmobile. Two years ago the government put out a proposal seeking ideas and designs for such a creature to help in maintaining national security in the vast Arctic zone that falls within Canada's borders.
Ever since dictator-wannabe Vladimir Putin took control of the Russian government (and military) there have been occasional intrusions by Russian navy vessels within the Arctic passageways, and that no doubt is what set the alarm bells ringing in Ottawa.
Canadian Press has recently acquired some early documents via their Access to Information Act that give a few hints of what they're hoping to come up with. After putting the proposal out in March 2011, a Waterloo, Ont., firm won the initial bid to develop the prototype at a cost of $620,000 (Can.). The CP reports:
The Canadian military has been secretly test-driving a $620,000 stealth snowmobile in its quest to quietly whisk troops on clandestine operations in the Arctic.
The Canadian Press has learned that soldiers have taken the new hybrid-electric snowmobile prototype on trial runs to evaluate features such as speed, noise level, battery endurance and acceleration.
The Department of National Defence even has a nickname for its cutting-edge, covert tool: "Loki," after the "mythological Norse shape-shifting god."
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The Canadian Press obtained a report that offers a behind-the-scenes peek at how soldiers ran the prototype through "informal" tests in February across varying snow conditions on Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.
"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," says the heavily redacted report, acquired under the Access to Information Act.
In one test, military personnel used sound-meter readings to compare the prototype's noise performance against two gas-powered snowmobiles.
Another trial saw the machine driven at a steady speed on a mix of flat terrain and hilly snow-covered roads until batteries died.
Soldiers wielding a radar gun also tested the stealth snowmobile's acceleration as it raced 100 metres down a flat, snow-packed track.
"The prototype must be at least nearly as capable and reliable as a standard internal combustion snowmobile, while providing a significant noise reduction," the report said.
"For military purposes, it is not enough for a snowmobile to operate quietly."
Check out this CBC video report before the spooks get antsy and get it pulled:
So far, they have refused to release any images showing what the sneaky snowmobile looks like, but thousands of Canadian hunters are checking their internet connections every day hoping to get a clue.
We need to check our equipment every day, too. So let's get started while the streets are still clear here and I'll get some stealth coffee going for us. See you back in the day room in a few minutes.
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