All hail the new Loki

No. Not that Loki.

We know he is a god and loves ruling and all… but we don’t do that here.

Here we mean the Loki, a new type of security drone on the market; and South African security companies can get their hands on it.

Or new-ish, if you want.

Because the Loki range of tactical security and surveillance drones is not exactly new – the first edition, the Loki Mk1 is about five years old now – but the manufacturer says this kid on the block feels this new because it was born out of listening to the concerns of stakeholders in the security industry, who asked for a drone with custom features for sneaking indoors.

The result was the Loki Mk2, a rugged small unmanned surveillance vehicle designed by Sky-Hero, a Belgian manufacturer of tactical devices, mainly multicopter drones for surveillance and security; in conjunction with several of the world’s top counter-terrorism enterprises.

Made as a marked improvement on the Loki Mk1 surveillance drone, the Mk2 was designed to respond to the needs of anti-terrorism and Special weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams who usually have to burst in and catch crime syndicates unawares. Obviously, prior reconnaissance is needed on such missions; and according to Dean Polley, the Loki Mk2 was designed with exactly that in mind.

Dean is the CEO of SSASS Holdings, the South African distributor of the Loki Mk2.

“The Loki Mk2 is a rugged, purpose-built sUAS intended to act as a scout for close-quarter, confined space, and indoor missions,” Dean says. “It provides police officers, soldiers and security personnel with immediate capabilities to detect, reduce and clear threats in complex terrain such as dense urban areas, confined spaces and underground passages.”

And speaking of working in confined spaces where internet connectivity might be non-existent, this new drone has analogue radio signals installed, which enables it to work in GPS-denied environments.  

“The Loki Mk2 requires no internet service, no GPS, no phone or tablet connection, and has no forced software updates, making it mission capable in seconds from virtually anywhere. By utilising an analogue-based communications system, the connection between the sUAS and Stand-Alone Ground Controller has no lag or freezing issues, preventing crashes and ensuring real-time intelligence.”

Other features that the new drone boast of include its 150-degree low-light camera, which can stream video back to the operator in real time and, with optional accessories, also stream to the cloud or to mobile displays. The new autopilot has been developed to ease the control without the need for training, and the precise position-holding ability of the drone in GPS denied and low light environments allows the operator to perform their mission with complete peace of mind.

“Operators had to spend a lot of time thinking about flying it (the Loki Mk1),” says Jon Becker, CEO of Aardvark Tactical, the Loki drone North American distributor; who added that the new edition now allowed surveillance teams to do their work without worrying about the drone.

It can take care of itself.

And that applies to its physical build too; the Mk2 has shielded rotors, which allow it to bounce it off walls and ceilings; fly it into attics, crawl spaces, under duct work; and even fly under furniture without the danger of it falling into pieces.

“We’re really excited about the capability the Loki Mk2 can bring to our law enforcement agencies, military special forces, mine security and private security companies in this market,” Dean says. “Although consumer sUAS systems certainly bring enhanced capabilities, there is nothing on the market that is purpose-built for tactical operations like the Loki Mk2. This system allows a pilot to put a camera almost anywhere, which prevents having to put an operator in harm’s way. I’m sure that this system will improve the effectiveness of operations and save countless lives.”

Un the USA, the Loki Mk2 costs a little under $10,000, and for that, clients get a ruggedised Pelicase housing two drones, one remote control, six batteries, two chargers and power cables, two sets of spare propellers and a set of propeller guards.

You can get more about the Loki Mk2 and where to purchase it in South Africa, here.


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