Local surveillance company Desert Wolf is selling trailer licenses rather than building them itself as it shifts focus from manufacturing trailers to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) following the overwhelming response to its Skunk riot control aircraft.
The Skunk octocopter was unveiled at the IFSEC security exhibition in Johannesburg in May this year, where it generated a considerable amount of interest both locally and abroad. Hennie Kieser, Director of Desert Wolf, initially planned to produce several hundred a year at most but the market demand for the aircraft is over a thousand a month. As a result, Desert Wolf is focusing heavily on this platform and is seeking to establish manufacturing facilities that can cope with such high demand. The company is also re-designing the aircraft with various improvements and will offer it for a variety of duties, from search and rescue to lifeguard.
Desert Wolf specialises in high mobility surveillance solutions and started out by selling surveillance trailers but the need for greater mobility expanded the company’s product range, leading to the addition of vehicles (the Scorpion) and unmanned aerial vehicles like the Bateleur.
Kieser said UAVs were a disruptive technology like the Internet and cellphones and are becoming increasingly widely used the world over. In order to focus on the UAV side of the business, Desert Wolf will be halting the manufacture of surveillance trainers. However, Kieser plans to sell manufacturing and sales rights for the trailer business.
“The plan is to stop building trailers in South Africa but we will sell licenses around the world.” Keiser said he wanted to sell trailer licenses as soon as possible and had interest from Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Columbia. India is very keen on the trailers, as it has a huge market for military, camping, security and mining trailers.
Desert Wolf stainless steel trailers are in use with the South African Police service and have been bought by oil companies, municipalities, airports, research institutions, the South African National Defence Force, British Defence Force and United Nations amongst many others.
Desert Wolf will be promoting trailer and sales manufacturing rights at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition next week but the main focus will be on UAVs. The company will also be promoting FLIR Systems cameras at the show – Desert Wolf is the agent and distributor for FLIR Systems’ military products in southern Africa.