Designed in Collaboration With Special Forces Units
After five years’ R&D and testing, Belgian drone developer Sky-Hero is launching the LOKI Mk 2, a tactical intervention drone intended specifically for indoor use. Fulfilling the expectations of special and security forces – fast handling, self-contained technology, manoeuvrability, precision, day/night observation and evolution capability, with a sturdy, light design – LOKI Mk 2 builds on the success of the Mk 1 version, which is already in service in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Inspired by an approach from the Belgian Special Units Division in 2015, Sky-Hero developed the LOKI Mk 1 which, in demonstrations to the ATLAS network of European special forces units the following year, accomplished a series of practical trials in far less time than any of the competing solutions. LOKI Mk 1 has subsequently equipped the special forces of the countries identified above – with the FBI deploying the model to all 56 bureaus and all three hostage rescue teams.
The close relationship with customers means Sky-Hero has established a comprehensive knowledge base regarding the user’s requirements, preferences and operational procedures. A series of training events for FBI drone operators at Quantico is testimony to the strong and growing relationship the company has developed. In the words of the Chief Inspector of the Belgian special units, “the LOKI 1.0 has made a major contribution to the success of many tricky operations over the past few years. There is no doubt that without the drones and the equipment developed by Sky-Hero, certain situations in which we were involved could have ended tragically and the task of the special units would have been significantly more complicated and dangerous. The equipment developed by Sky-Hero is deployed more or less systematically during our operations, and is essential when the danger level rises.”
Over 1,000 LOKI Mk 2 have been pre-ordered by new and existing customers since its appearance on the market last summer. Yves Coppye, one of the company’s founders, explains that “We have sacrificed a great deal to get where we are today and the recognition of our customers backs up my convictions. Sky-Hero is currently unrivalled in the field of tactical intervention drones and we aim to equip civil protection forces on every continent.”
Improvements to LOKI Mk 2 include: the remote control, which has been entirely redesigned, offering a much better experience; a computer-controlled position maintenance ability, even in the dark and in the absence of GPS signals, compared with the Mk 1’s base stabilisation profile; easier guidance; and a reduction in the basic drone piloting training course to just 15 minutes.
The DSU confirms “The LOKI Mk2 is the result of long collaboration between Sky-Hero and the intervention unit of the Belgian police special forces. Operational specialists were consulted from the outset on the design of LOKI 1.0, so that the features and the necessary compromises were as closely adapted as possible to the actual situation on the ground, the missions and the needs of the operators. Initially used during anti-terrorist operations, the deployment of Sky-Hero systems has become widespread in most of the missions.”
Sky-Hero is currently working to diversify its portfolio, seeking to strengthen its various divisions (mechanical, electronic, software, administrative) and enter the field of computer vision, a branch of artificial intelligence that enables machines to analyse, process and understand images.