Desert Wolf fitting RDM grenades to Skunk UAV


Desert Wolf is working with Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) to fit its less lethal grenades to its Skunk crowd control unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Hennie Kieser, Managing Director of Desert Wolf, told defenceWeb that his company is working with Denel on the venture and will demonstrate the system with RDM grenades to the South African Police Service (SAPS) before year end.

The Skunk was originally armed with four paintball guns but Desert Wolf moved away from this setup in 2015 as there is a risk of eye injury with paintball rounds. The aircraft is only armed with grenades now.

These are dropped from an assembly that allows individual grenades to be selected and delivered with pinpoint accuracy.

Using the FLIR Quark sensor, full night flight capability comes as standard with the Skunk, also giving the ability to see through dense smoke.

RDM makes a wide variety of grenades, amongst its other products, including a range of 40 mm ammunition but the grenades for the Skunk are the hand thrown type. The company’s hand grenade range includes screening smoke, high explosive fragmentation, illuminating and coloured smoke (red, green, yellow and blue). Its less lethal range includes Thunder Flashes, stun and CS grenades. The M1A3 stun grenade produces, after a 1.5 second delay, two loud reports and bright flashes .5 seconds apart while the M0906 anti-riot grenade emits a dense cloud of CS irritant smoke for 10 to 30 seconds.

Production of the Skunk is underway at Desert Wolf’s facility outside South Africa. Last year the company sold 100 units and this year 30. Desert Wolf is currently executing a contract for an African customer.

A number of proposals have been submitted for India and one for a customer in the USA.

The Skunk multirotor, armed with four paintball markers, cameras and a loudhailer, was unveiled at the IFSEC security exhibition in Johannesburg in May 2014, where it generated a considerable amount of interest both locally and abroad.