The subtle buzz of a battery-powered motor is all you will hear from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment’s (Queensland Mounted Infantry) (2/14LHR [QMI]) trial stealth reconnaissance e-bikes. The regiment is assigned to 7th Brigade based in Brisbane and is equipped with the M1A1 Abrams tank and the ASLAV reconnaissance vehicle. Corporal Thomas Ovey was one of the first soldiers to pioneer the new capability as part of 2/14LHR’s (QMI) A Squadron trial, and explained the advantages the e-bikes provided when gathering information on the battlefield. The ASLAV is to be replaced in Australian Army service by the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle under LAND 400 Phase 2.
“It allows us to do safe-handing of information, whether that’s information people have found on the battlefield, or even if one of the troops takes photos on their phone and wants to send it back to headquarters. They’ll call us up, we’ll get the stealth bikes out, head down there and grab the information. It’s a lot quicker. We cover more ground much faster, and it saves time instead of waiting for troops to come to us when they’ve found something. It’s easier to punch out the e-bikes and return. It helps us achieve a lot with our reconnaissance work, sighting routes for the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle, including reconnaissance of creek lines so we can determine whether we can get the vehicle through,” Corporal Ovey said.
With a top speed of 90km/h and range of 100km, the stealth reconnaissance e-bikes have improved the regiment’s capability to scout for information while remaining under the detection threshold, usually deploying as a detachable element of the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle. The footprint is minimised due to less power, less noise, and you’re not kicking up much dust that could be seen by enemy force. It’s much more effective than a standard motorbike. The e-bike also brought some unexpected work benefits. A trial report on the potential employment of the stealth reconnaissance e-bikes capability in the combat brigades will be provided by the end of the year.