TFM and DefensePak are delivering their new WP1800 riot control vehicle to the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), and have also sold the locally made vehicle to an export client.
The JMPD recently acquired two of the vehicles, with another two planned. The first was delivered in December 2015 and the second in February 2016.
Another three vehicles have been sold to an undisclosed export customer and the South African Police Service will be given a demonstration at the beginning of October.
Stuart Russell, Business Development at DefensePaq, told defenceWeb he sees significant growth in the requirement for public order policing in South Africa and Africa, especially as riot control technology is badly out of date and there is a pressing need to move from the Nyala to something more sophisticated. TFM is offering the WP1800 for sale or lease as well as training in a turnkey solution.
The WP1800 is based on a commercial MAN chassis with a Mercedes engine and has space inside for eight people. It is fitted with crowd control equipment that includes a grenade launcher and acoustic device supplied by sister company DefensePaq.
The Stark non-lethal grenade launcher can be fitted to vehicles or buildings and comes in ten, 15 and 30 shot models. It has a reloadable magazine and can rotate 70 degrees. Effective range is 400 metres firing 37/38 and 40 mm less lethal ammunition, low and high velocity grenades. It incorporates a night vision camera.
The Storm long range acoustic device incorporates a colour TV/thermal imager and laser as well as sound. Pre-recorded audio messages can be broadcast. It has a range of around two kilometres and can disorient people.
TFM was established in 1966, specialising in truck customisation, maintenance and repair but entered the armoured vehicle industry in the late 1970s, manufacturing the Casspir armoured personnel carrier. Now the company specialises in the importation, manufacture, supply and support of specialised truck bodies, mainly for the commercial industry although it also manufactures ambulances, armoured vehicles and components. Its WP1800 crowd control vehicle is the first non-commercial vehicle in recent times.
TFM falls under holding company Ritam, which includes Johannesburg based security company DefensePaq in its holdings. Companies in the Ritam group include TFM Ritam Engineering, Kwane Capital, Kwane Fleet Services, Plant and Aviation, Ritam Agriculture and Kwane Power.