Electric Motorcycles and NLAW Missiles: How Ukraine Kills Russian Tanks

Some ingenious – and exceptionally brave – Ukrainians have taken the “crotch rocket” concept to a new extreme by using British-built Next Generation Light Anti-Tank (NLAW) launchers from their Delfast electric motorcycles. Known for being one of the first successful mass-produced electric motorcycles, Ukrainian company Delfast successfully set a Guinness World Record, covering a distance of 228 miles (367 km) on a single charge.

Now his motorcycles are used to deploy soldiers near enemy vehicles and defensive positions.

Meet Delfast

The e-bike maker got its start via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in 2017 when it managed to raise initial funding in a single day for the production of the first series of e-bikes. The company has since introduced two models, the Prime and the Top – the former is the longer-range model capable of reaching speeds of 34mph (55kph), while the Top has pedal assist and tops out at around 15 mph. (25km/h).

Neither would fall into the category of street-legal crotch rockets such as the Japanese Kawasaki Ninja or the Italian Ducati 1199 Panigale, but Delfast e-bikes were designed to go off-road and are therefore well suited to hit-and-run. strikes against Russian military columns. The e-bike’s long-travel suspension and ability to haul heavy loads has made it particularly useful for navigating forest or “dirt” trails where trails are non-existent.

Because they are electric, the bikes are also much quieter than similarly sized two-stroke gasoline dirt bikes. This can allow a team of two to close in on an enemy unit, use the Portable Rocket Launcher, and get away quickly.

“Delfast, a #Ukrainian company making e-bikes, donated a batch of e-bikes to Ukrainian forces capable of carrying NLAW anti-tank launchers,” Heuvelrug Intelligence (@HillridgeOSINT), an open-source military analyst group, tweeted earlier this week while sharing images of Delfast bikes.

Another local Ukrainian company, ELEEK, has also reportedly supplied its country’s armed forces with quiet and powerful electric motorcycles for use on the battlefield. These electric bikes were requested to be used by sniper teams and then used in the same way. The ELEEK can allow teams to get into position, take the killing blow, and then exit much faster than would be possible on foot.

The military go green

According to a report by Electrek, which covers everything related to the world of electric vehicles (EVs), e-bikes are already being adopted by the military around the world. In 2018, the Norwegian army tested a fat tire e-bike with its border guard units. Named for their oversized tyres, fat tire bikes can cut through snow and sand more easily than most typical mountain bikes – while a motorized bike can ensure a soldier doesn’t get tired from the trip downhill. before.

NLAW missile firing. Image credit: Creative Commons.


Ukrainian Navy with NLAW ATGM. Photo: Maritime Command.

New Zealand and Australia have also used e-bikes in military trials, while several special forces units in Europe and the Middle East have tested high-powered e-bikes for use in the field. The use of bicycles in warfare dates back to the early days of two-wheeled pedal vehicles, but e-bikes are proving to be a major game-changer for quick strike teams and snipers.

Today’s editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He writes regularly on military hardware and is the author of several books on military headgear, including A gallery of military hairstyles, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing author for Forbes.

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