The e-bikes give the Ukrainian military a vital edge in the conflict. Fast and agile, they are much quieter than gasoline-powered motorcycles and ideal for moving anti-tank weapons into position.
Ukraine has modified the bikes to carry next-generation light anti-tank weapons (NLAWS), with pictures on social media showing them “modified with a crate on the back and a huge missile launcher poking from the back.”
According to VICE, most of the e-bikes are ELEEK and Delfast brand bikes. The Delfast can reach 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, allowing soldiers with NLAWS to move into position, fire at a target, and flee within moments.
The silent, quick machines are also excellent for performing guard patrols without alerting enemy forces.
Reports have also emerged of the electric bikes being used to transport medical supplies and giving snipers an extra edge in stealth and mobility.
Ukrainian CEO of Delfast Daniel Tonkopi shared quotes from Ukrainian soldiers on his Facebook page illustrating their gratitude for how useful and versatile the e-bikes are.
“The bike was great and can really work for mobile groups,” a soldier said, according to Tonkopi’s translation. “Plans to use it for aero driving tours and with equipment for work on tanks.”
Special Ops Wave of the Future?
Ideal for reconnaissance, countries around the world have been developing “stealth” electric bikes for their special operations forces for up to a decade.
The Royal Australian Army recently began trials of an e-bike prototype, with soldiers crediting it for their “improved performance” in battlefield information gathering.
Corporal Thomas Ovey of the Light Horse Infantry (Queensland Mounted Infantry) said, “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.”
Less cumbersome and conspicuous than armored vehicles, the Australian army has developed the bike — which has a top speed of 90 kilometers (56 miles) per hour — as a detachable part of its Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle.
The UK Army has also been testing an e-bike for military airdrops, the “Sur-Ron Firefly,” for use by paratroopers.
With a top speed of 45 miles (72 kilometers) per hour, developers believe the electric motorcycle will give troops greater speed and mobility when parachuting into conflict zones.