The Shadow knows hybrid tech and Rat Patrol styling

Grunts go green with General Dynamics Shadow RST-V hybrid recon ride.

Army Technology

From Basra to Kabul, no environmentally aware burkha babe is going to be able to resist this 4x4, turbo-charged, hybrid, diesel-electric recon hotrod.

Created by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS,) the Shadow RST-V (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle) boasts stealth, survivability and low mileage. That's big, considering that about half the military's money--and a third of its manpower--is devoted to hauling stuff around, 70 percent of that stuff being fuel.

The aluminum-bodied RST-V seats four (seating by Oregon Aero), does 70 mph and has a 470-mile range. Bulletproof windows and armor are optional. Weaponry includes your standard machine gun and grenade launcher, topped off by the Javelin anti-tank missile mounted on the roof. Recommended are the radar/laser warning receivers, likewise the GPS.

The electric stealth mode not only makes for a quiet ride, it also reduces the heat signature, allowing you to elude the infrared.

Narrower than a jeep, the Shadow still has a Hummer's cargo capacity, thanks to a patented, folding suspension system. It also puts out 30kw of electric power; enough to fire up a decent base camp at Burning Man. Did we mention it's a hatchback?

In the works since 1997, the RST-V should be ready in time for Iran.

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    The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at Disclosure.


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