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Military Technology Transfer

Military technology transfer means the conversion of military technologies to civilian use. Civilian items that are the result of military technology transfer are known as spin-offs.

Introduction

Throughout history, military technology has been the driving force of technological advancement. It would be impossible to create a comprehensive list of civilian items that are the result of military technology transfer because it is everywhere and such a list would be endless. The types of goods that are the result of military technology transfer are also surprising unless one considers that militaries must be concerned with all aspects of life. Nearly anything imaginable could be the result of military technology transfer. Military advancements not only affected ordnance and munitions technology, but also, food, clothing, shelter, transportation and the entire industries that produce them. Although the effect of military technology transfer is usually more noticeable after a major war, it seems that it has actually accelerated in the past few decades.

M. D. Shore, S1/c, operating a forklift truck at the Navy supply depot at Guam, Marianas. 06/08/1945.

M. D. Shore, S1/c, operating a forklift truck at the Navy supply depot at Guam, Marianas. 06/08/1945.
Photo: Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Naval Photographic Center.
National Archives and Records Administration.
Still Picture Branch, College Park Marylnd.

Military technology has not only influenced the material existence of modern society, but it has also played a significant role in molding the social structures of modern industrial societies. While politics and economics are not the purpose here, the effect of military technology upon these aspects of life are evident.