The Institute for Maritime Technology (IMT) is the South African Navy's scientific and technology support service. It allows the Navy to make the best possible use of naval resources through sound scientific and technologically based understanding of its systems.

IMT was founded by the SA Navy, in collaboration with staff of the National Electrical Engineering Research Institute of the CSIR, at the end of 1975. It was structured as a civilian organisation for reasons of professional effectiveness and placed under administration of the Armaments Board (later to become part of Armscor).

Initially work undertaken was aimed at naval operational research and the establishment of underwater technology. Over the years, capabilities have been developed to meet the growing demands of not only the SA Navy and other members of the maritime community, but also that of the other Services of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Today the Institute for Maritime Technology is a multi-disciplinary division of Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd specialising in technological research and development, as well as specialised products and services. IMT's core competencies relate to the following areas of expertise:

  • Environmental characterisation
  • Sensors and signatures above water
  • Underwater Sensors and signatures
  • Naval systems sub-surface
  • Underwater security
  • Naval systems above water
  • Integrated signature management

IMT's expertise and experience in the area of underwater sensors and signatures provided the opportunity for the development and commercialisation of the Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detector.

Capabilities developed over a number of years with regard to acoustic measurements and analysis, specifically enabled IMT to develop the Railsonic solution for broken rail detection.