Qualification - Artillery/Weapons

South African National Defence Force (1994 - Present)
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:14 pm

Qualification - Artillery/Weapons

Postby LouisaE » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:31 pm

Hi there,

I have always been curious as to what the qualifications are of those who operate and design weapons in the Defence Force. Are they qualified engineers (chemical, mechanical, electrical...) or are they trained during a development programme?

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:50 pm

Re: Qualification - Artillery/Weapons

Postby ctgbuff » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:39 pm

The Defence procurement usualy works like this:
The Army/Navy/etc. would need a new weapon (This need arises from expert users in the filed, i.e. soldiers themselves that sees what other armies are using, etc.) and then set about defining the parameters of such a new weapon system (eg. caliber. range, weight, etc.). At this stage the soldier types communicate with their procurement agency which is Armscor. The input up to this stage is by experienced users of previous weapons that got trained on these, as well as specialists in the field, such as the Director of Artillery, etc. Along the way there will be, depending on the system/weapon qualified mechanical/chemical/electronic engineers's input as well. See, especially the old SADF had several engineers employed in their ranks. Armscor will then initiate the next phase of deciding whether the system will be bought on the open market or if it is going to become a Denel function of developing and manufacturing the new weapon. Within Denel you have engineers qualified as mechanical/chemical/ etc. engineers as no SA university qualifies weapon enginerrs, or such like. Denel and the several other private initiatives provides their engineers with in service orientaiions/training as to how eg. a mechanical engineers training fits into the weapons manufacturing market

OK, this is but a short summary of how the system operates. To summarise, when a new system/weapon needs to be procured, it arises from more practical experience by using on f such weapons and this is then put through a system of questions and research until engineers do the final development. Even at the last stagesbefore accepting the final product for manufacturing the user of it, the sodier side, gets invited throughout the development stages to give practical input. (This must go here, that there, this is to flimsy, that is to smaall, etc.)

Hope this gives you a clearer answer to your question.

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