Military Science
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Department for Military Technology

  1. ​​The Department of Military Technology strives to give you, the prospective student, an overview of the academic content of Military Technology as well as its application possibilities in the working environment.


  2. General  Military Technology, as currently presented at the Military Academy, is actually considered an engineering discipline, with a sound scientific foundation that constitutes the basis for the study of the theory of flight.  The course runs over a period of two academic years in which the student is gradually guided from the basic principles of physics to a point where he will be able to do performance as well as stability and control analysis on different flight vehicles.  The course also allows you to study Information Warfare with Electronic Warfare as its main focus.

  3. Objective:  The course aims to give the student the necessary analytic capabilities to analyse and evaluate the mechanics of the aircraft, within certain specifications.

  4. Curriculum:  Military Technology is an integral course that is divided into eight half-semester subjects over the two years of study :

    Military Technology II (presented in the second year of study), is devoted to the exploration of those aspects of Physics that have a bearing to Aeronautics, namely Statics & Strength of Materials and Fluid Mechanics.  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 covered. Additonally, one also has the opportunity to do a module in Information Warfare.  During this year of study we strive to give the student a sound foundation of basic knowledge that could be built on as he progresses through the course.  To achieve this goal, emphasis is placed on the components that give insight and is enhanced by means of applications.  This necessitates that Physics and Mathematics be simultaneously studied with Military Technology.

    Military Technology III (presented in the third year of study), 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 (based on Gas Dynamics).  After successfully completing the latter courses of Military Technology the student really comes to grips with the mechanics of the aircraft as an entity.  During the second semester, Propulsion and Aircraft performance are studied.  The course is concluded with the study of the Stability and Control of aircraft.  Instead of focusing on Aircraft Mechanics, you may opt to focus on Electronic Warfare, in which case you will do a module in Radar and one in Electronic Communication. During this final year of study, the student is expected to do much of the work on a basis of self-study.  Second year Mathematics is a prerequisite for Military Technology III.

  5. Modus Operandi  Throughout the two years of study, six lectures of 40 minutes each are presented per week as well as one practical of two and a half hour.  Projects and homework form a large component of the work and are done on a regular basis.

  6. Evaluation  A class mark for the semester is attained by means of two tests, one 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.


  7. 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 sufficient technological and scientific background to successfully complete the theoretical phase of advanced courses (e.g. Test Pilot) with little difficulty.
  • Acquire the ability to speak the language of the scientist and engineer which will enable him to efficiently communicate with specialists and by doing so, widen his applicability within the SANDF (e.g. as on projects).
  • Appreciate the importance of setting objective specifications and able to provide criteria for evaluating aircraft since he has the necessary background to the working, control and ability of the aircraft as well as the latest developments in the aeronautical industry.
  • The ability to pursue a post graduate degree in Technology, which is presented with the close co-operation of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Stellenbosch.

    1. To successfully complete the course in Military Technology it is necessary to work hard and conscientiously and it is impossible to pass this course if it is tackled half-heartedly.  Aeronautics as such does not require unique abilities but rather an interested and motivated student.  You can nevertheless be assured that it is a very interesting and challenging field of study.  Since Aeronautics is part of the applied sciences, the subject lends itself to the combination of pure sciences such as Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science. 

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