The subject of Military Technology involves the study of how technology and technological systems affect and are influenced by military activities.
Military Technology belongs to the design sciences, which means that the subject has utilitarian aims and encompasses what military effects are possible using a particular technology and under what conditions they are possible.
Military Technology also studies what new military capabilities might be provided by newly developed technology and through different uses of existing technology. Military Technology addresses various ways in which technology can contribute to meeting the basic warfighting capabilities (effect/firepower, protection, sustainability, intelligence, mobility and command and control).
Research and education
Military Technology involves research and education in the utility of technology for military purposes. Examples of issues being studied are:
- new opportunities for command and control and intelligence offered by new advances in telecommunications and information technology
- the effect of materials technology on the capabilities of firepower and protection
- the effect of navigation technology on the capabilities of firepower, command and control and mobility.
Assessment of the potential utility – or the measurement of real utility – of technology for a particular purpose, its capability contribution, requires contributions from several fields of knowledge. In order to assess both opportunities and limitations, we need not only an understanding of the purpose of the use of technology and the military effect that the technology is expected to provide, but also knowledge about the technology's characteristics and associated methods.
In addition, there is a need for an understanding of the context in which the technology will be used, i.e. under what conditions – e.g. in what physical environment – the technology should function. This also includes how well the technology is adapted to users, and how well users are trained.
Military technology in its entirety
All this means that several perspectives are needed to deal with military technology in its entirety. The scientific, mathematical and technological perspective contributes to increased understanding of the technological characteristics, opportunities and limitations. The military profession's practical perspective, law, behavioural science and knowledge of the political and ethical criteria contribute to understanding the conditions and the context in which the technology is to be used.