Ammunition and Effects - Overview *Online course*

Course aim

This one-day course is based on the previously–advertised 1-day course on bombs, bullets, blast and fragments. The course aims to look at the traditional threats such as conventional ammunition that could pose harm. Importantly, this course will look at the effects of such devices on the target as well as ammunition construction.

Attendees will receive a set of notes covering the lecture content.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

After completing this course, the student will be able to: 

  1. Identify different types of gun-fired projectiles and their respective effects on a target.
  2. Describe how a shaped-charge-type projectile operates and the resultant effect on a target.
  3. List the various ways of how explosives can function.

Who should attend?

Anyone requiring an introduction to the risks and effects associated ammunition threats facing personnel in a warzone or where terrorism is anticipated including (and not limited to): design engineers; civil engineers; city planners; material scientists; systems engineers; project managers; serving officers (including police); business managers.



Day 1: A science or engineering background is helpful but not necessary.

Course Outline 

Day 1 

Light weapons and bullets

Overview of light weapon gun systems | How they function | Propellants | Cartridges | Bullet design | Bullet effects | Penetration mechanics.

Larger calibre projectiles

Overview of tank guns | Recoil | Projectile types | Projectile effects.

Explosives I (introduction)

Detonation | Examples of explosives | Effects of blast on people and structures | Engineering principles to protect building occupants from blast | Case studies

Shaped charge and explosively-formed projectiles (EFPs)

History | Design | Operation | Integration into warheads | Lethality


Paul has over 20 years of experience studying the impact behaviour of materials. He has recently moved to Canberra, Australia from the UK to take up the post of Professor of Impact Dynamics at UNSW Canberra. Before taking this position he was Head of the Centre for Ordnance Science and Technology at Cranfield University’s Shrivenham campus (at the UK Defence Academy). He has published extensively, appeared in several documentaries and presented his research work at numerous symposia. He has published two books on protection technologies with the most recent called ‘ARMOUR: Materials, Theory, and Design’ (CRC Press). 


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