There is a lot of snow in Canada, which might explain why the Canadian military is currently test driving a $620,000 stealth snowmobile.
The snowmobile is part of the military’s plans for clandestine operations in the Arctic.
Creating a stealth snowmobile isn’t a simple undertaking. To keep noise levels down while still providing speed, the stealth snowmobile features a hybrid-electric engine. Researchers also need to create a system that features high battery endurance while maintaining professional level acceleration levels.
Officials have named the stealth snowmobile “Loki” after the Norse shape-shifting god.
A public tender for the stealth snowmobile was first posted by the National Defense research and development agency two years ago. The agencies original public listing gave very few details, only noting that the snowmobile must be silent.
The project moved forward at a time when Canada’s Conservative government was promising to boost Canada’s military strength in the Far North. While most of Canada’s plans to fortify those forces in the Far North have failed, the snow mobile project and its $620,000 price tag continues moving forward.
The stealth snowmobile may be the only advanced Canada sees in the Arctic for nearly a decade. Officials in the country have cut off Arctic mobility funding for eight years but have promised to continue with its silent snowmobile plans.
The snowmobile has been tested on “varying snow conditions” at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.
Redacted information obtained under the Access to Information Act revealed the following information:
“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.”
In order for the stealth snowmobile to receive full production support, it must perform at levels very close to traditional gas-powered snowmobiles while operating silently or close to silent.
While some information about Canada’s silent snowmobile is available, most reports have been highly redacted to protect trade secrets.