This course can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

The aim of this course is to provide a general overview of guided weapon systems and technology.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,925 Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:


  • describe the elements that make up a guided weapon system,
  • discuss the principles involved and the design constraints on guided weapon airframe, propulsion, warhead, control and guidance systems and how these subsystems interact with one another,
  • explain the principles of radar, IR and laser technology and how these technologies are used in guided weapon systems.


  • develop a preliminary guided weapon design.

Core content


  • introduction to the ‘missile’ and the system; constituent parts of the missile and how they integrate into the complete system; the threat and how it can be countered.


  • the need for guidance; types of trajectory; system characteristics and classification; command, homing and navigational guidance systems.


  • polar, Cartesian and roll control; aerodynamic and thrust vector control; actuation systems; instrumentation; accelerometers; rate and position gyroscopes; acceleration and velocity control; roll rate and position, latax and altitude autopilots.

Aerodynamics and aerostructures

  • airframe materials and structures; factors affecting aerodynamic lift and drag; aerodynamic stability principles.

Electro-optics and infrared systems

  • introduction to the principles of infra-red and electro-optic detection, surveillance and tracking systems, seeker technology and countermeasures.

Radar STA

  • introduction to the principles of surveillance, tracking and acquisition radar systems.

mmW seekers

  • introduction to the principles of millimetric wave (mmW) seekers.


  • reaction thrust, propellants, jet propulsion, rocket and air-breathing engines.


  • overview of warheads for guided weapons for attack of armour, airborne targets and ground installations; safety and arming; types of fuze, matching and countermeasures.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 credit points can be put towards either the Gun Systems Design MScMilitary Aerospace and Airworthiness MSc orMilitary Vehicle Technology MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

This course is suitable for those individuals who require a general overview of guided weapon technology and design.



A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available and must complete the course for credits only. 

Location and travel


How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.