Air Mission Systems Engineers

Job Details

Do you want to influence future UK Military Air Systems?

Do you want to work across a wide range of the most advanced military systems in the world, from F-35 to Typhoon, to our next generation combat aircraft, or new unmanned systems?

Could you help ensure our aircraft work effectively together and exploit cutting-edge sensor and weapon technologies, autonomous operations, synthetic environments, cyber and space technologies?

Do you want to access a wide variety of unique experiences and opportunities to support your professional development and broaden your outlook, from getting hands-on with real military kit, to investigating awesome technologies from around the world?

Are you mid-career or a graduate looking for a new and exciting challenge?

We are looking for team members who:

Ideally have a degree in Computing, Systems Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Aerospace/Avionics Engineering, or similar.

Alternatively, equivalent experience gained through industry, apprenticeship schemes or military service.

Job description

In these roles (subject to your level) you will:

  • Contribute-to and technically lead a variety of systems engineering projects, ranging from research into low-level technology concepts, through to assessment and integration of new systems onto our current aircraft;
  • Provide independent avionic system advice and assessment to support MoD and Government procurement decisions;
  • Contribute to independent assessment of avionic system safety to ensure certification bodies and MOD stakeholders are supplied with the information required for robust evidence-based decisions.

Person specification

In addition to your technical skills,

  • you will be able to think systematically, logically, and creatively;
  • you will have a natural desire to understand how things work and why they perform as they do;
  • you will be able to communicate effectively;
  • and you will be driven by a passion for science, engineering and technology coupled with the desire to ensure that the United Kingdom armed forces have the best information and equipment possible.

We have roles available at a range of experience levels:

  • Engineer: You will have a relevant technical education (normally to degree-level) plus experience of working in engineering
  • Senior Engineer: post-education experience in meaningful engineering roles
  • Principal Engineer: extensive post-education experience including technical or project leadership.

Essential Experience

For a Level 4 Air Mission Systems Engineer:

  • You will have a relevant technical education (normally to degree-level) plus experience of working in engineering.

In addition, as a Level 5 Senior Air Mission Systems Engineer:

  • Experience designing or developing technology or systems and 5 years post-education experience in relevant engineering roles.

In addition, as a Level 6 Principal Air Mission Systems Engineer:

  • Significant post-education experience including technical or project leadership.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions;
  • Delivering at Pace;
  • Developing Self and Others;
  • Managing a Quality Service;
  • Communicating and Influencing.

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Defence Aerospace Domain Awareness;
  • Aircraft, Mission System components, Safety & Security, wider Defence Enterprise.


Dstl’s full range of great benefits can be found in the information pack which includes:

  • Financial: An excellent pension scheme starting from 26% employer contribution (find out more here). In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses and thank you vouchers. Rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme;
  • Flexible working: Working options include alternative working patterns, compressed hours, job shares and annualised hours;
  • Flexible working hours: Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month;
  • Annual leave: A generous annual leave allowance starting at 25 days pro rata (rising to 30 after 5 years) plus 8 public holidays with the ability to buy/sell 5 additional days per annum;
  • Family: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks with full pay, an additional 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid;
  • Learning and Development: Encouragement and support on charterships, accreditations and access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Paid memberships with 2 relevant bodies/institutions. Employees have access to Civil Service Learning;
  • Facilities: Onsite parking, EV Charging points, restaurants, cafés and gyms.

The information pack can be found attached to the job specification on Civil Service Jobs.


We have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work. These include the following:

  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network;
  • Race, Faith and Culture Network;
  • Parents and Carer Support Network;
  • Alternative Working Network;
  • Gender Equality Network;
  • New Starters Network;
  • Enabled Network, for people with visible and non-visible disabilities.

For further information about Dstl please check out our LinkedIn page.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

Applications consist of a CV and Personal Statement asking why you want to work for Dstl and what you would bring to the Avionics Mission Systems Team.

Sifting will be taking place whilst this vacancy is live and invitations to interview will start mid March 2023.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

This job is not open to candidates who hold a dual nationality.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles (opens in a new window).

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact:

Name: Dstl Recruitment Team


Recruitment team:


Further information

Should you wish to raise a formal complaint about the Dstl recruitment process you should email stating the nature of the issue. We will respond within 5 working days.


DSTL profile imageThe Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the science and technology arm of the Ministry of Defence. As part of the UK Government we do sensitive and specialist work that cannot be done anywhere else. We’re dedicated to keeping the UK safe and secure by using world-leading science and technology. Our work has one aim – protecting lives. Our experts make innovative scientific advancements, sometimes with international impact.

Why work for us
At Dstl, we bring together the best people with the best ideas and apply science and technology in unexpected ways. Our position in defence brings strong links to the armed forces, giving us access and insight to our military personnel and their operational challenges. The solutions we deliver cover everything from long-term research and analysis, through to rapid development in support of current operations with the potential to save lives. Working with other government departments, universities and businesses, we develop battle-winning technologies that support UK military operations – now and into the future.

At Dstl, you’ll find a workforce of respected scientists and professionals who specialize in many different disciplines. We value and champion collaboration, impact and innovation, and we work with some of the most talented professionals and academics in the world. To achieve our goals, we promote and support the use of flexible working patterns to enable staff to enjoy a healthy work/life balance.

We’re always looking for the best technical and scientific minds who are looking for a career with a difference. You’ll need a relevant qualification, a flair for solving problems and a passion for new technologies. Above all, you must want to make a difference now and in the future.

Training and development
We offer an extensive range of technical and professional training that’s relevant for your career and your future ambitions, delivered both in-house and externally. We’ll support you with Chartership and accreditation, and fund up to two professional memberships for you each year.

What we are looking for
Launch your career at Dstl as a:

  • Graduate: if you join Dstl as a graduate you will put theory into practise, applying what you’ve learnt to the real-world problems that we’re solving right now. You will be contributing to important projects and supported by mentors and leading scientists.
  • Student: we have 12- or three-month internships available to experience what a career in science means.
  • Apprentice: we offer apprenticeships, up to degree level, giving you the chance to earn while you learn.

We have a variety of roles advertised on our website all year round as well as graduate and apprenticeship opportunities.

UK; Porton Down (Salisbury, Wiltshire), Portsdown West (Fareham, Hampshire)

Number of employees

Positions recently recruited for
Graduate engineer, graduate scientist, graduate statistician, graduate operational researcher and analyst, graduate project manager, analysts, scientist, engineer, cyber, software

Desired degree disciplines/class
A STEM degree

UK national and eligibility to work in the UK (for security clearance purposes)

How to apply
Apply online at and search for Dstl

Closing date
All year round. Graduate and apprenticeships recruitment every autumn/winter

Tel +44 (0)1980 950000

Find Us
+44 (0)1980 618484
Room G01 Building
5 Porton Down
United Kingdom

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