Later this month Desert Wolf will sign an agreement with a delegation from Oman that will cover the manufacture of Skunk riot control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Black Widow trailers and Scorpion vehicles in that country.
Hennie Kieser, Director of Desert Wolf, told defenceWeb that his company will start manufacturing in Oman within the next few months, after joining forces with an engineering company in Muscat. In addition to the Skunk and other products, Desert Wolf’s fixed wing Bateleur UAVs will also be built in the Middle Eastern country.
“The usage will be mostly for protecting and patrolling borders, gas pipe lines and other infrastructure in and around that region,” Kieser said. “Having a manufacturing and marketing footprint in Oman will be a huge benefit for Desert Wolf, specifically if we can say ‘Manufactured and Supported’ from Oman.”
Kieser said he hopes to sign a very similar agreement in Brazil when at LAAD (14-17 April), as Desert Wolf had positive meetings with a Brazilian company at IDEX in February and will “continue and hopefully conclude while we are there.”
Desert Wolf is seeking to establish manufacturing facilities that can build at least a thousand Skunk UAVs a month, in response to massive demand for the riot control vehicle, which is being developed into a whole family that can be used for a variety of duties, such as search and rescue, surveillance, LIDAR scanning and lifeguard.
The Skunk octocopter, armed with four paintball markers, cameras and a loudhailer, was unveiled at the IFSEC security exhibition in Johannesburg in May last year, where it generated a considerable amount of interest both locally and abroad.
The Skunk has evolved into the new Skunk II, which is bigger and better. It features two high definition colour cameras, a thermal camera for night operations, spot/strobe lights, eye-safe pulsating lasers, speakers, police sirens and flashing blue lights and four paintball markers.
Desert Wolf is currently producing the Skunk II in South Africa with a maximum capacity of 50 units per month. Desert Wolf will only start selling the next generation Skunks as soon as it can establish production facilities. The original idea was to build the UAVs in South Africa at the rate of ten to thirty a month but because of the massive demand, a foreign partner had to be found.
Picture: The Skunk II.