Defense Systems and Technologies

Course Description

This course develops students understanding of interdependence between science and technology, industry and defense sector in the NATO and EU member states. Emphasis is placed on the role of strategic planning, organizational management, and interdisciplinary cooperation in the development of complex defense systems. The success of large and complex projects in the defense sector considerably depends on their financing models, which are described in more detail. The importance of human potentials in managing complex defense-related projects is analyzed, as a prerequisite for efficient application of diverse engineering knowledge and skills in the design and development of complex defense systems. Human-in-the-loop interactive simulator projects are presented, which are applicable to training and evaluation of personnel, as well as hardware-in-the-loop simulators for testing individual components of a defense system during design and development. Using examples of developed simulators, like a fighter airplane simulator and missile system simulator, various introduced concepts of organization and project managment and systems engineering are illustrated.

General Competencies

Through theoretical lectures and practical work on analysis of special cases, the students will adopt knowledge and skills in applying diverse engineering disciplines to design, development and implementation of complex defense systems based on state-of-the-art technologies.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain economic and technological importance of defense sector in NATO and EU member states
  2. Explain the principles and aims of system engineering by analysis of complex defense systems
  3. Describe the role and importance of complex defense system life-cycle management
  4. Explain importance of system architecture in the development of complex defense systems
  5. Describe key characteristics of humans for successful operation of complex defense systems
  6. Recognize the values and limitations of modeling and simulation

Forms of Teaching


There are 15 weeks of classes. First cycle consists of 7 weeks of lectures, followed by midterm, while second cycle consists of 6 weeks of lectures, followed by final exam.


There are two exams during the semester - midterm and final exam.

Laboratory Work

Demonstration of the system for pilot stress and fatigue monitoring during flight and during simulator practice. Demonstration of the simulator for air defense missile system and flight simulators like Pilatus, MiG-21, etc. Demonstration of various systems for multimodal elicitation and estimation of emotional states.


Consultations take place after lectures or at times agreed upon by students and teachers.


Student's independent work includes development of particular functionalities of defense systems and technologies, as well as writing up the report, in consultation with the teachers.

Internship visits

Visits to various companies in the field of defense systems and technologies.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Seminar/Project 0 % 50 % 0 % 50 %
Attendance 0 % 10 % 0 % 10 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 20 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 20 %
Exam: Written 0 % 40 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Introductory lecture. “Defense Systems and Technologies” as a part of the world economy based on knowledge and high technologies.
  2. Arms and military equipment industry in EU and NATO. Presentation of proposed topics for student projects.
  3. Strategic importance of technology sector in modernization of arms and military equipment industry and economic growth in the Republic of Croatia. Students' selection of proposed projects.
  4. Strategic planning and organizational management in the area of defense systems and technologies.
  5. Financing models for complex “Defense Systems and Technologies”. Offset agreements, countertrade, venture capital, licenses, coproduction…
  6. Principles of Systems Engineering in design and development of complex “Defense Systems and Technologies”.
  7. Interaction of complex defense systems with users and environment. Human factors in the area of defense and security.
  8. Midterm exam.
  9. Hardware- and software-in-the-loop simulations.
  10. Interactive simulations of complex defense systems in virtual environment. Fighter airplane simulator, simulators for guided missile systems.
  11. Systems for multimodal regulation of cognitive-emotional states in training, evaluation and selection of personnel for complex defense tasks.
  12. Evaluation of effects of training by analysis of neural activations obtained with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of brain.
  13. Helicopter Mi-171 simulator project. Simulator for armored vehicle AMV 8x8.
  14. Dual use of technologies created in the course of development of complex “Defense Systems and Technologies”.
  15. Final exam.

Study Programmes

University graduate
Computer Science (profile)
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)
Control Engineering and Automation (profile)
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)
Electrical Engineering Systems and Technologies (profile)
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)
Information Processing (profile)
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)
Software Engineering and Information Systems (profile)
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)
Telecommunication and Informatics (profile)
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)


Alexander Kossiakoff, William N. Sweet (2002.), Systems Engineering Principles and Practice, Wiley-Interscience
US Department of Defense (2012.), Defense Acquisition Guidebook,
Defense Acquisition University (2001.), Systems Engineering Fundamentals, Defense Acquisition University Press

Associate Lecturers

Laboratory exercises