Ballistics Course

Much can be done in the design of (military) ships, vehicles and aircraft to provide an adequate level of resilience against relevant threats. You can learn all about it in this ballistics course organised by TNO Defence, Safety and Security from the Netherlands.

Breaking up of a bullet due to oblique impact


  • Designers of naval vessels
  • Survivability experts
  • Naval shipyards
  • Armoured vehicle designers and manufacturers
  • Aircraft designers and manufacturers
  • Equipment suppliers
  • University post-graduates
  • University lecturers
  • Managers of new building projects
  • Technical project officers
  • Technical procurement officers
  • Classification societies


The main purpose of the course is to understand the basics of designing against gunfire and fragment threats. After the course participants will able to specify requirements, to design themselves and to assess and evaluate technical solutions.

Fragment impacts on a ship


Ballistic threats are very diverse not only by caliber, nose shapes and material composition, but also due to a large variation in impact velocities and impact angles. Also the armour systems show a wide variety in material composition and thickness, as well as their built up (multi layered, spaciation and orientation). As a ballistic impact event is an interaction between a threat and an armour system the number of possible interaction conditions are practically infinite.


This course will provide a logical division of the threat types. Targets will be described by their failure mechanisms, instead of by the different armour materials (metal, ceramic, fiber materials, etc). This provides a strong basis for the understanding of penetration mechanisms and modeling. The most important failure mechanisms of projectiles and armour materials (plastic deformation, fracturing and shear banding) will be described. Using finite element codes and engineering modelling the projectile-target interaction can be quantified. It allows the design of armour systems to stop a specific threat.


  • Ballistic threats: bomb fragments, bullets, long rods, shaped charge jet
  • Penetration mechanics: impact pressure, projectile and target response
  • Failure mechanisms: plastic deformation, cracking and shear banding
  • Modeling: FEM, Engineering models
  • Fragment ejection from warhead: Split-X, Gurney theory
  • Behind armour effects: debris, spall
  • Ballistic testing: equipment, prodedures, diagnostics, do's and don'ts
  • Test methods: V50, norm tests
  • Protection solutions: ceramics, armour, composites


The recommended level of education is a degree in a technological study like engineering or a military academy. The
course is given in English.


The Ballistics Course will take place on 13 and 14 January 2016 in Madrid, venue to be determined.


Cost per person are EUR 1500 excluding VAT. Price includes a hard copy of course proceedings and USB stick.


If you are interested as a participant or co-organising party, please send an email to Rogier van der Wal.


TNO preserves the right to cancel the course no later than 23 December 2015, should the number of participants not reach the required minimum. Paid registration fees will be refunded.

Structural Dynamics