Military Science
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Department for Military Technology


    ​​The Department of Military Technology are the sole department at the Military Academy providing prospective students the opportunity to learn and master engineering-based module content. The Military Technology modules are presented at second- and third-year undergraduate, as well as post-graduate levels. The undergraduate modules were originally targeted towards aspirant and qualified SAAF aircrew members. A need for a more generic course content was however identified, and a recent program change has allowed Military Technology to be a favoured choice amongst students from all arms of service.

    With the core content of Military Technology being in essence based on Engineering principles, these modules require prospective students to have a sound understanding of mathematical and physics principles. Therefore, Military Technology is only presented from the second-year level, ensuring that prospective students are well versed in first year level Mathematics and Physics.


    The Military Technology course aims at providing aspirant students with a sound engineering-based background in various principles of flight, radar and electronic warfare principles with the purpose of equipping them for future applications in these roles.


    Military Technology II (presented in the second year of study), is devoted to the exploration of the basic engineering aspects. The first semester covers Statics & Strength of Materials and an introductory course in Fluid Mechanics, and in the second semester, a continuation course in Fluid Mechanics and a course in Numerical Methods is presented. During this year of study the student is provided with a sound foundation of basic knowledge that is built on in the third year of study. To achieve this goal, emphasis is placed on the components that give insight and is enhanced by means of applications. This necessitates that Mathematics be simultaneously studied with Military Technology.

    Military Technology III (presented in the third year of study), caters for two main streams, namely the legacy stream in Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics, as well as an additional stream in Radar and Electronic Warfare. This additional stream allows non-aircrew members to continue their Military Technology studies past the second-year level. The stream in Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics focuses on Fluid Mechanics and in particular on the theory of wing sections and wing design. Firstly, subsonic flow is considered which is followed by supersonic flow phenomena (Gas Dynamics). During the second semester, basic propulsion and aircraft performance are studied. The course is concluded with the study of the stability and control of fixed wing aircraft. The alternate 3rd year stream focusses on Radar and Electronic Warfare. An introductory module in Radar is completed in the first semester. In the second semester, and advanced course in electronic communication and electronic warfare concludes the third year.

    Throughout the two years of undergraduate study, weekly contact sessions include lecture time, tutorials, and some practicals. Practicals include a wind tunnel practical at the Engineering Faculty in Stellenbosch. MATLAB™ projects and homework form a large component of the work and are done on a regular basis.

    A class mark for the semester is attained by means of two tests (A1), a project and various assignments. The final mark obtained by the student is calculated by taking into account the class mark and the mark obtained in the writing of a formal examination (A2).


    The advantages offered to students who successfully complete the course in Military Technology are as follows:

  •  The acquisition of an analytical ability to analyse and solve a wide range of technologically orientated problems in a systematic and logical method.
  • Acquire the ability to easily understand and communicate with scientists and engineers, broadening his/her applicability within the SANDF (e.g. as part of a project team).
  • Appreciate the importance of setting objective specifications and able to provide criteria for evaluating operational systems with the necessary background in the working, control, and ability of such systems.
  • The ability to pursue a post graduate degree in Technology, which can be presented in conjunction with the Department of Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University


The successful completion of the course in Military Technology will require hard work and dedication but will provide the aspirant student with a very interesting and fulfilling journey. The course does not require any unique abilities but rather an interested and motivated student.

After completion of this course in Aeronautics you might agree with Robert H. Goddard: "I began to realise that there might be something to Newton's Laws after all."