Cranfield University academics joined MoD representatives and business partners to officially open the refurbished Weapons Hall, at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham, this week.

Ian Wallace, Cranfield’s Pro-Vice Chancellor at Shrivenham said: “We are delighted to open the enhanced Weapons Hall. It’s a good example of how working closely with our partners can create a unique specialist facility. At Cranfield we pride ourselves on postgraduate learning to meet the needs of business, government and the wider society.”

On taking up his post at the Defence Academy Lt Col Charlie Barker, SO1 Lethality, saw a dated building with the potential to become a modern teaching facility.  

At the opening event, Lt Col Barker said: “The refurbishment of the Guided Weapons Hall was long overdue, but with a bit of team work and enthusiasm it was turned around in 12 months. It has been transformed into an inspiring workspace for staff and students alike. It sets the benchmark for what can be achieved with close collaboration between the MoD, Cranfield University and Serco.”

The Weapons Hall houses a state-of-the-art computer classroom in a mezzanine area with four large, touch-screen terminals used to enhance the overall learning experience and a variety of other modern AV teaching aids including a display-linked zoom camera for illustrating internal missile workings.

The main hall houses a wide selection of complete missiles systems, including air-air missiles such as AIM-9 Sidewinder, Skyflash and Meteor, surface-air missiles including Sea Dart, Rapier and Blowpipe and anti-ship missiles such as Exocet, Sea Eagle and Harpoon. There are also a wide variety of components taken from real missiles, which are suitable for demonstration and practical purposes including control actuators, gyroscopes, sensors, with all the necessary electrical and pneumatic facilities present. 

The whole facility has been designed and developed with flexibility and expansion in mind; it is hoped and expected that much of the existing legacy equipment will eventually be replaced or supplemented with hardware from more modern missile systems.

It is hoped that students on the Guided Weapon Systems MSc, which will soon be offered as a part time course, will benefit from this new facility, as well as students on many of the other Cranfield courses taken at Shrivenham.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.