The Canadian military is looking to making snowmobiles, like these two in Alberta, stealthy, and a are testing some. Why? Because they are Canadians. (Source: Scott the Hobo)
Sometimes, despire the hardest efforts by people to persuade otherwise, a country's stereotypes just plays out on their own. Such is the case with Canada, that cold polite northern neighbor of America that just plays into wackyness, especially those that reflect the cold: Today, research was uncovered concerning the development and testing of a stealth snowmobile for use in the Canadian military. The Canadian government is developing a stealth snowmobile as part of their provisions to improve Arctic operations.
The snowmobile, a Canadian invention, is itself an important vehicle for Canadians that do not live in populated areas during the winter months, and is apparently a useful tool in military operations around the Arctic Circle. Those snowmobiles, which run on gas engines, tend to be very loud, and a person could easily hear them from a distance, even during a snowstorm. The idea for a stealth snowmobile that runs quietly in comparison could prove useful in moving troops very quickly and efficiently without detection, especially given that the cold temperatures of the tundra make it difficult for bigger troop carriers to function at all, and the low mobility of walking through ice and snow on foot.
The stealth snowmobile, code-named "Loki" by the Canadian military, has since been developed and tested, relying on a motor similar to those used in hybrid cars. Among the tests the stealth snowmobile needed to take, which used standard snowmobiles for comparison, included battery life, terrain capabilities, and racing against other snowmobiles, a true Canadian tradition if ever there was one. Soldiers even used a radar gun to test the snowmobile's speed down an ice track.
However, while the price of researching and testing the stealth snowmobile cost only about US$600,000, which is pennies (or not, since there are no more Canadian pennies) compared to the billions spent researching new jet fighters and other equipment, the question is: Why does anyone need a stealth snowmobile in the first place? While the near-permanent opening of the Northwest Passage and Arctic Ocean in recent years may open up trade, resource, and territory disputes with the Americans and Russians, the use of a stealth snowmobile seems incredibly silly, especially since Canadians tend to be nice people. It almost sounds like a spy movie device, especially when it comes from those wacky Canadians. If the Canadian military's only useful contribution to military technology is a stealth snowmobile, then it is only fitting into stereotype.