This module will help students comprehend the systems design principles of all major classes of modern missiles in the land, sea and air environments. It will introduce students to the theoretical design of guided weapon subsystems and demonstrate how these subsystems form the overall guided weapon system.

This module is only offered as part of the Guided Weapon Systems MSc.

What you will learn

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


  • apply the theory and applications phase taught material to a real-life overall missile system design,
  • comprehend the technology associated with the various in-service worldwide missile systems in use in the land, sea and air environments.


  • assess the most appropriate method for conceptualising the design of a missile system to match a set of design requirements,
  • evaluate and compare different missile system approaches to design  requirements.

Core content

Module topics:

Systems design

  • multi-disciplinary optimization of all relevant GW system and sub-system technology areas.

Sea systems

  • naval attack, naval defence, torpedo systems, underwater sonar, hydrodynamics, underwater propulsion, tutorials.

Land systems

  • guided shells, rockets and mortars, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, nuclear, chemical and biological warheads, 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.

Who should attend

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


The Guided Weapon Systems MSc is fully accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society and Institution of Mechanical Engineers.



A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available for the Guided Weapon Systems MSc.

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.

For further location and travel details

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.