back to article US special forces buy electric stealth golf carts

The US Air Force (USAF) is trialling battery-powered off-road vehicles for use by its special-forces ground units, according to reports - and you can buy one yourself for just $100,000 plus shipping. A blog post at Wired flagged up the interesting move by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) this week, though it …


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  1. Chris Collins

    Airborne plug socket?

    Perhaps at night helicoptors with long extension leads hanging out could be flow in to charge them up.

    Would not a quad bike or some such be cheaper and more practical in this situation? Being stuck in the desert for five days waiting for the full five bars would suck.

  2. Andy Crofts


    -Why not give em some of those Mars rovers? Seem to go for years on a couple of AA batteries...

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Simple solution

    All that is needed is for Strategic Airlift forces to drop replacement battery packs along the planned secret route of the commandos. A patrol zone can then be established over the battery pack deployment sites using C-130 Specter gunships so as to deter the enemy from attempting to illegally charge their mobile phones, radios and other electrical equipment, using the battery packs.

  4. Chris

    Comes with Optional Portable recharge or Solar.

    I can just see the advertising :

    And for Night ops, these ultra silent buggys come with not One but Two covert pedalling machines, which at an estimated cycle rate of 10km an hour will provide a full recarge in about 6 hours.!! And you can plug your Sat phone in to charge as well ( recharge time increased to 8 hours if this option is used!)

    For Daytime recharge, just unfold the 15 m2 solar panel, and a full recharge will be yours in just 2 hours ( camaflage depending) *

    * no responsibility is taken for your discovery by enemy elements should they detect your panels during this time.

  5. Fluffykins Silver badge

    If it's a stealth buggy............. come it shows up so well in the photo?

  6. Rich Bryant

    Re: Simple solution

    Yeah, handy for any passing Bedouin with low charge on his iPod, too.

  7. Dan P

    All that's necessary is...

    ...a blast from a Matrix style EMP weapon and the troops are buggered. Well thought out Special Ops guys!

  8. Stephen

    @All that's necessary is...

    Same as any other vehicle then?

    But seriously, only 50 miles! Typical American car then...can't do corners and drinks more petrol* than Jerremy Clarkson.

    *That's gas for our American bretheren.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Bring back the Mini Moke. Jack the suspension up, take out the engine, fit pedals and a Sturmey Archer dynohub, and presto, unstoppable military power, limited only by how much Kendall mint cake the soldiers can carry. Once upon a time there were bicycle soldiers, who pedalled themselves around; perhaps new technology could make a battery-charged wind-up pedal-powered war machine.

  10. David Eddleman

    Ground troops?

    "AFSOC doesn't have any "troops" as such, being mainly an organisation providing air support to other US spec-ops arms such as Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Delta Force, MARSOC and all the rest of them."

    Yes they do. They have their own branch of special operations troops, dubbed "HALO" (High Altitude Low Orbit), so named after the gear they use.

  11. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    More likely a combi-drive....

    Not necessarily a bad idea if they mated it with a small cobustion engine (OK, I mean small in European terms, not Yank terms!) like the old VW air-cooled unit already used in their buggies, they could have a light and relatively fast petrol or oil-burner for cruising, and then switch to electric drive for the sneaky bits. I think this idea has been around for ages with naval craft, especially coastal boats like MTBs, so they could sneak in quietly close to shore or unsuspecting shipping. It doesn't have to be anything as exotic as a true hybrid drive, and it could be built with "off-the-shelf" tech today.

  12. Morely Dotes

    Scoffers, you show your ignorance

    Those of you who have never participated in behind-the-lines rescue ops may be startled to learn that the team is usually inserted within 10 miles of the downed airmen they are there to rescue. Fifty miles' range is superb for a vehicle which makes very little noise, has no olfactory signature, and won't burn with enthusiam in the event the fuel tank is pucntured (since it has none, as such). they can get in much faster than walking, load up the injured onto a self-propelled carrier, and get out to the evac site. This vehicle *will* save lives.

    And even without the solar kit, a EV can go a few more miles on a "flat" battery if it's allowed to site a couple of hours. Try doing that with an empty fuel tank.

    National Electric Drag Racing Association

    Charter Member #100

    I will say I'd rather have the Navy come after me if I happen to need divers, however. Still, even a zoomie in a blue suit is better than no help!

  13. Ian Sargent

    Ahhhh, the good old days before Star Wars

    This article just made me think of the six wheel buggy used on a kiddies program from back in the 60/70's - The Banana Splits......

    If I remember correctly the vehicle was even amphibious.

    Now if the military could be talked into dressing up as the Banana Splits as well then if they were caught they could say they were just filming a children’s program.

    GREAT cover story!!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you seriously expect more than 50 miles with a tube frame!

    Think about it

  15. John

    10 miles a day with full sun is great for remote operations

    I used to work in some pretty remote parts of Alaska. We paid $500 a hour to have fuel flown in. I would have killed for one of these. No gas, no transmission - it seems ideal for a remote operation if you ask me.

  16. James Spragg


    You've got it all wrong, if you are an air force general then is a normal club car a fitting way to approach the 19th hole, uncle Sam would understand, a general needs dignity, gravitas and a flaming big gun mounted on it.

  17. Anonymous

    Nice BMP

    Wasting my bandwidth like that! You know I only have 15 seconds a month.

  18. Remy Redert

    Combustion problems

    So instead of a petrol bomb, we'll set our soldiers on a Lithium ion battery. Remember what happened quite a few times to laptops and cellphones, in particular when the battery was damaged? Yeah, this thing will do about the same thing after a few of those (highly conductive) bullets go into it. In fact, it's probably more likely to go up in a ball of flame then a petrol tank, seeing as how the Mythbusters testing that twice and only in the second case, with a near empty fuel tank, did they produce any kind of fireball at all.

  19. Fred

    Think Tank

    Bet the govts read el reg regulary for new ideas and ways to mod their shit. And some one else gets the credit...

  20. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @Ground troops?

    "dubbed "HALO" (High Altitude Low Orbit)"

    Hate to be a pedant but I think you'll find that's actually "High Altitude Low Opening", and they're so named for the fact that they jump out somewhere slightly below the normal cruising altitude of a commercial jet and then don't open their parachute until they're about to go splat.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Battery pack

    Hope they don't use those Sony batteries or they might get hotter than any combustion engine does...


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You've all got it wrong

    Clearly the US policy is no longer "We'll only invade if it has oil", but "Well only invade if it has leccy".

    You watch, they are planning an all out assult on Tokyo or Hong Kong, think of all those pretty lights they can recharge from...

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