Guided Weapons - Warheads, Explosives and Materials - GWS-WEM

Technology School
5 days

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on planned dates for this course.


About this course

This short course is a module from the Guided Weapons System (GWS) MSc course. It is delivered by Cranfield University on behalf of the Technology School, Defence Academy.

This course will help you to understand the importance of warheads and explosives within the context of guided weapon (GW) systems.  You will gain knowledge in materials, material properties and specific failure modes for GW systems and be able to critically select the warhead, explosive and materials for a specific GW design.

What you will learn

You will learn about:
  • blast – air/underwater effects; Hopkinson scaling
  • fragmentation –fragment types; velocity (Gurney approach); penetration (Milne-de Marre)
  • shaped charges – penetration; performance; effects of cone shape and thickness
  • safety and arming/fusing systems
  • warheads for attack for armour, ships, hard targets
  • burning and detonation – gun/rocket propellants; burning/detonation process of propellants and explosives
  • initiation of explosives – to burning by direct heat, electrical, percussion, stabbing; to detonation by shock, burning
  • military high explosives – insensitive high explosives; shock-wave in explosives
  • composites – components; effects of fibre orientation; manufacturing processes
  • high-temperature materials – for air frames, nozzles; insulation in rocket motors
  • corrosion and stress corrosion cracking. Material’s failure principles – fracture toughness, fatigue, creep

How will this course help my career?

Those from the military or defence environment who want to learn about the principles of military guided weapon systems in the areas of warheads, explosives and materials.

Before you attend

Pre-requisites: degree in engineering, science or mathematics; students with other qualifications such as HND in an appropriate discipline may be accepted.

Can I attend this course?

This course is suitable for the following type(s) of applicant.
  • Industry
  • Internationals
  • Military
  • MOD Civil Servants
  • Partners Across Government (PAG)

How will I learn?


How will you be assessed?

Individual course work and an exam.

10 credits from this course may be credited towards the Guided Weapons MSc.
This course may also be offered as a MSc level credit-rated short course to suitably qualified applicants. Following successful completion of the credit-rated short course, 10 credits can then be put towards the MSc in Military Electronic Systems Engineering (MESE) or the MSc in Guided Weapons Systems (GWS).