Megaray, the Johannesburg company which designs and markets long range searchlights systems, is changing the way lighting systems are used in the international private and government defence and security sectors and is selling hundreds of units to global customers.
According to Grant Cornish, International Sales Manager at Megaray, the security and defence sectors are the main focus markets for Megaray. However, Megaray has also been known for its various ventures in the private sector.
Over the past few months Megaray has sold several hundred units to various defence units around the world. “We sell a lot of units to the navy which aids them in search and rescue,” and combatting ship piracy. Cornish also said that, “Megaray has proven itself on the border security front and many other applications.”
Some of Megaray’s customers include Vietnam, the US military, Royal Navy, Taiwanese Navy and South African Army. “While we’re very busy we’re hardly scratching the surface,” he told defence Web.
Megaray was present at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2013 in Abu Dhabi last month. The company said that it had received a large number of orders at the show. Megaray has been at several editions of IDEX over the past few years, with great success.
“We are actually very busy. The orders are coming in from all around the world,” said Leonard Friedland, the Managing Director of Megaray. Customers “are starting to understand what light can do. As a non-lethal technology, it’s one of the most useful,” Friedland said, pointing out that if you take away someone’s ability to see, that person becomes useless and is no longer a threat. “A blind soldier is no soldier.” Cornish added that, “We are not there to promote violence – we are there to stop it.”
Megaray specialises in the manufacture of high powered military grade searchlights aimed at defence forces, police services, game rangers, energy companies, bridge inspectors etc. The company has developed three main products, including the 5 km range MR4300 searchlight, the smaller 3 km range MR2175 and compact handheld or tripod mounted 3 km range MR175 M2. Infrared lenses are also incorporated with the units for covert or semi-covert use.
The MR2175 can be mounted on weapons, including .50 calibre guns and mini-guns, while the MR4300 can be remote controlled in conjunction with CCTV surveillance up to 5 km from operator. Megaray’s products are certified for military use with an MSN number and have been tested by Gerotek and SABS in South Africa.
One of the biggest features of Megaray’s products is its strobe system. It has been medically proven that a light strobing at around 8 Hz disorients and disables, as the aroused human brain operates at 8 Hz, causing an oscillating effect and disorientation. Cornish said the company’s products are “soft weapons” and can be used for crowd control, counter-piracy and counter-sniper applications, or search and rescue, for example.
Friedland said that Megaray was founded in 1986. His company initially manufactured night vision equipment but in the 1980s began producing searchlights for Armscor for South African police and military use. The searchlight design was sold to Avitronics but was later bought back by Megaray. The company will shortly release its Megaray 3000 series, designed for vehicle mounts but featuring a clip on handle and all other characteristics of the various models produced by Megaray that include ship and gun mountings, and will include remote control feature as with the MR4300 range, and also covert and semi-covert lenses allowing the unit to be used as a mobile, handheld, weapon-mounted unit.