This is a compulsory module for the Guided Weapon Systems MSc but can also be taken as a Short Course for Credit

Applications from those wishing to attend this module as a Short Course for Credit will be reviewed by the Guided Weapon Systems MSc Course Director 

Comprehend the systems design principles of all major classes of modern missiles in the land, sea and air domains, and the parametric trade-offs associated with missile system design.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 24 Mar - 04 Apr 2025
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£4,450 - Short Course for Credit fee 
    Concessions available

Course structure

Classroom lectures and tutorials. Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)-directed study.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Compare, contrast and evaluate the technology associated with the various in-service worldwide missile systems in use in the land, sea and air domains and the differing approaches to their design requirements;
  • Assess the suitability of a set of missile system operational requirements;
  • Critically assess the key parameters affecting the performance of a guided weapon system (specifically regarding the fields of propulsion, aerodynamics, warheads, control, guidance and autopilots), and analyse the inter-linked parametric trends between missile subsystems;
  • Apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to design and defend a GW concept that satisfies specified requirements;
  • Assess the importance of electrical power supplies (EPS) in a GW and justify the role of intelligence and performance enhancement for a GW EPS.

Core content

  • Systems Design: Multi-disciplinary optimization of all relevant GW system and sub-system technology areas, datalinks.
  • Sea Systems: – Naval attack, naval defence, torpedo systems, underwater sonar, underwater propulsion, tutorials.
  • Land Systems: Guided shells, rockets & mortars, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, anti-tank GW, surface-air missiles, ballistic missile defence, tutorials.
  • Air Systems: Air-air weapons, aircraft/weapon integration, stores carriage & release, air-surface weapons, UAV-mounted GW and UCAVs, tutorials.
  • Missile Power Supplies: Importance of Electrical Power Supplies (EPS) in a GW, role of intelligent and performance enhancement of EPS for a Guided Weapon system, power generation and distribution for a Guided Weapon, EPS design in association to switching characteristics.
  • Guided Weapon EPS Design: A MATLAB based tutorial exploring the critical EPS design factors for an air-launched guided weapon system. To consider the EPS performance enhancement and key realisation constraints within the context of GW systems.
  • Guided Weapon Parametric Study: Introduction to the parametric study exercise with reference to background theory. Introduction and demonstration of supporting software.

Upgrade to a professional qualification


Dr David Galvao-Wall


A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available

Location and travel

Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is a Cranfield School based at the Ministry of Defence establishment on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders.

Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is 7 miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network.

Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

All visitors must be pre-booked in at reception by the person they are visiting on the campus.

How to apply

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

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.