Only 5 of 27 ‘critical issues’ preventing the Ajax armoured vehicle from entering service have been resolved.

The MoD has a £5.522 billion contract with General Dynamics Land Systems UK (GDLS-UK) for the design, manufacture and initial in-service support of 589 Ajax armoured vehicles.

John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 1 of the NAO’s report entitled The Ajax Programme, how many of the 27 limitations of use on Ajax vehicles in December 2021 have now been resolved.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“As of 27 March 2022, five of the 27 limitations of use have been resolved, all of which are critical to achieving initial operating capability. Work continues to resolve the remaining limitations as the programme matures.”

Ajax is supposed to be an armoured fighting vehicle that should provide the Army with its first fully digitised platform. It will be based on new technologically advanced sensors and communication systems that would transform the Army’s surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

Delivering the Ajax programme will be a “significant challenge for the Ministry of Defence because of failures that have led to delays and unresolved safety issues”, according to the National Audit Office.

“At December 2021, the Department had paid GDLS-UK £3.167 billion. At this point, GDLS-UK had designed the vehicles, built 324 hulls, and assembled and completed factory acceptance testing of 143 vehicles. The Department had received 26 Ajax vehicles, as well as associated training systems and support. The Ajax programme has encountered significant problems and the MoD does not know when it will be delivered. The Department’s initial planning assumption was that the vehicles would be in service in 2017. It subsequently set an initial operating capability (IOC) date of July 2020, which it then pushed back to June 2021, but missed. Concerns about excessive noise and vibration levels remain unresolved, and the MoD has not yet set a new IOC target date. It has no confidence that the April 2025 target for full operating capability (FOC) is achievable.

The delays will have important operational impacts for the Army. The Army’s plans rely on delivering a network of digital capabilities by 2030, centred around Ajax, Boxer and Challenger 3 armoured fighting vehicles. However, the delays to the Ajax programme mean it is not clear how the Army will achieve its planned restructuring by 2025. The MoD transferred financial risks to GDLS-UK by agreeing a firm-priced contract to deliver the Ajax vehicles, but this may not protect it from further expenditure. Ajax will be delivered late, leaving the Army to operate with ageing armoured vehicles, which are expensive to maintain.”

The report goes on to say that the MoD’s original requirements for Ajax were highly specified, and its management of design changes has led to disputes and delays. Around 1,200 capability requirements were set, making Ajax more complex than other armoured vehicles.

“The MoD and GDLS-UK did not fully understand some of the requirements, which led to many changes to the design specification. This caused disputes, and the time taken to agree design changes contributed to programme delays. The MoD and GDLS-UK did not understand the scale of work or technical challenge, which meant that sufficient contingency was not built into the programme schedule.

Milestones were missed because it took longer than GDLS-UK expected to undertake design work, complete testing, resolve defects and manage supply chain disputes. GDLS-UK told the NAO that this was because the MoD’s standards were not fully defined and subject to change. However, the Department repeatedly found GDLS-UK’s safety documentation insufficient.”

The report concludes that the MoD has not managed the programme effectively.

  • It did not establish effective governance arrangements or the necessary resources to manage the programme.
  • There were multiple lines of reporting and complex assurance arrangements; insufficient senior management time; a high turnover of senior staff; an under-resourced programme management team; and an ineffective programme board.
  • The MoD and GDLS-UK reset the contract in 2018, but this did not resolve the programme’s underlying problems.
  • The MoD knew of noise and vibration issues before soldiers reported injuries but was not aware of the severity of potential problems.
  • Reporting of issues identified in trials was limited and slow, meaning that safety concerns were not shared or escalated by the Army or Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S).
  • The Army’s trials team began reporting injuries from July 2020, but one month later the Army and DE&S signed off safety documentation that said, with some limitations on use, the vehicles were safe to commence training.
  • The MoD is taking steps to resolve the noise and vibration issues, but they continue to represent a significant risk to the programme.
  • It is not yet clear whether the programme’s issues are resolvable. It is a year behind the revised 2021 schedule, trials involving Army crews have been stopped, and safety issues remain unresolved.

Report conclusions

“The Ministry of Defence expects Ajax to improve its armoured vehicle capability significantly. So far, it has insisted that GDLS-UK will deliver 589 Ajax vehicles for the agreed contract price of £5.522 billion. But the in-service date has already increased by four years and the Ministry of Defence does not know when it will be able to start using the vehicles. The programme continues to face significant problems and there is not yet agreement on the causes of critical safety issues or how these will be resolved. There are other technical issues which still need to be addressed and wider problems in developing the enabling capabilities that will allow Ajax to achieve full capability. These problems mean that the Department has not demonstrated value for money on the £3.167 billion it has spent so far through this contract.The Ministry of Defence’s and GDLS-UK’s approach was flawed from the start as they did not fully understand the scale or complexity of the programme.

“A series of programme management failures have since led to missed programme milestones and unresolved safety and technical issues. The two parties remain in dispute over unresolved contractual, safety and technical issues. The Department faces a significant challenge and difficult decisions if it is to deliver the programme, with a risk that the problems might prove insurmountable. To deliver value for money from the programme, the Department must introduce the capability that it set out to achieve, without costs escalating or further delays in introducing the capabilities. We have seen similar problems on other defence programmes, and the Department must ensure that it learns lessons to prevent a reoccurrence of failings across its £238 billion equipment programme.”

You can read the full thing here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago

Dear George,
Ajax is supposed to be an armoured fighting vehicle that should will provide the Army with its first fully digitised platform. It will be is based on new technologically advanced sensors and communication systems that would will transform the Army’s surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Fingers crossed it gets sorted soon. The Army need it, what else will the recc regs use when CVRT goes out of service shortly. Warrior? Delay CVRT retirement?

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago

Hi Daniele, Warrior has one BGTI but not the panoramic sight of AJAX, it is also under-gunned nowadays. CVRT has M-SPIRE, also more or less obsolete. I can see CVRT being kept in service for a few more years and phased out as AJAX comes on line (hopefully).

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Agree, the “Armoured Cavalry” need to use something!

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
5 days ago

According to press reports the big issue is that the turret gun cannot be fired when the vehicle is moving. The vibration issue relates to the original hulls that were made in Spain – which did not meet the specification, the walls were not parallel for example. But GD accepted them anyway and, unbelievably, started the factory build with them After the production move to the UK new tooling was ordered and was approved by the MoD despite – again – being out of tolerance. Making design changes once production has commenced is well known to be disastrous for the… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Press reports, in the Daily Mail no doubt…..complete bollocks.

According to press reports the big issue is that the turret gun cannot be fired when the vehicle is moving.”

Rubbish.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Looking back over some of your other uniformed posts on this blog, nearly all of what you say is complete tosh and bullshit

The turret gun cannot fire when the vehicle is moving FACT. This was discussed for hours at last month’s Defence Select Committee FACT

I dont read the Daily Mail.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Looking back over some of your other uniformed posts on this blog, nearly all of what you say is complete tosh and bullshit”

TBF he has over 20 years experience in the RAC David. To me that is informed and thus I for one am keen to hear what Ian has to say on a subject he knows well, and take hope that this mess can be brought to a successful conclusion.

johan
johan
5 days ago

so he is to blame for all the shite procurement problems then

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Indeed it’s a well advertised problem, does anyone know if it’s directly related to the vibration problems or not though?

johan
johan
5 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

he vibrations are causing the systems to shut down, so yes some of the problems are related.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

From a technical perspective the vibration issues go back to the original hulls being built out of true i.e not square. This introduced one level of vibration; a second level has been caused by the engine, gearbox and drivetrain being specified for a 28ton light recce vehicle. After the armour redesign – adding roughly 10 tons more weight – the additional stresses on the drivetrain have caused even more vibration. As a result of this additional vibration, the turret had to be enhanced and the turret ring increased in strength to take into account the wobble problems encountered by the… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Hi David, from Renks (transmission manufacturer) website:

Technical dataDimensions:
1,540 x 765 x 825mm
Maximum engine output:
800kW (1,100 HP)
Weight category:
35-45t
Powershift transmission:
6 forward gears, 6 reverse gears
Total transmission, mechanical:
6.3
Gear weight (without oil filling):
1,700 kg
Braking system:
Integrated high performance system

As for the rest of my “uniformed” posts, I only ever deal in facts that I can or have verified.

cheers
Ian

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Don’t really want to get snarky or confrontational here but I’m not clear how that proves it can fire on the move.

peter Wait
peter Wait
2 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Vibration is a problem for electronic equipment or they would not bother with isoelastic or silicon gel isolation mounts on armoured vehicles . I think they are saying the first round can be fired on the move on target, however if the recoil wobbles the barrel or feed mech jams the second is doubtful so everyone is right and wrong !

Ian M
Ian M
20 hours ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Hi Spy! I was replying to a specific, incorrect statement made by David re the drive train; “a second level has been caused by the engine, gearbox and drivetrain being specified for a 28ton light recce vehicle. 
As you can see, the transmission is designed to accomodate a 42 tonne vehicle.

cheers
Ian

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Thanks for outlining that, answers my question above too.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

However, many feel that the purchase of CV90 would take too long and too costly, given that there is no current budget for any procurement. The MoD could look at resurrecting Warrior WCSP with the Urbanfighter unmanned turret, under development by Lockheed Martin at Ampthill, with a 30mm canon and a lighter optics package.

A recce vehicle does not require a 40mm canon. British Army doctrine is for light recce not heavy recce, as practiced by the Bundeswehr in particular. A recce vehicle does not engage enemy armoured vehicles unless in an emergency.

maurice10
maurice10
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

If you could ask a WW1 tanker if he found his vehicle had poor NVH, he’d laugh in your face. I’d like to see what quality guidelines have been drawn up and have personnel from other armies experienced the Ajax ride and handling? Put simply, are we applying quality goals where they are not necessary. Is Ajax suffering from peacetime parameters, which is preventing the majority of vehicles from being deployed? The question should be based on the current climate of war, and the urgency of the situation, and release some variants to units with the proviso, that all is… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

So you are advocating sending our troopsout in below par kit when compared to other off the shelf kit …because we either cant afford off the shelf kit or wont change our doctrine to accomodate off the shelf kit , or mayeb just that somnone or something doesn’t want to lose face over this issue. I disagree – and once the body bags started coming back if proven inadequate I’m sure you would too . Anything is better than nothing is not a doctrine we should be using – as there is never any option to send nothing. You say… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
5 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

👍

Simon
Simon
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Que,the MOD being sued for the next 50 years by personal who had there hearing etc damaged.

David Steeper
David Steeper
5 days ago
Reply to  Simon

👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

It has been 35 years (1987) since the MoD could field equipment under Crown Immunity that was injurious to the health and safety of its users and maintainers.
It would not be legal or morally acceptable to wind the clock back.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

I think Ajax is very much a danger to health and welfare of troops using it. We shouldnt be comparing the standard of WW1 tanks to a modern combat vehicle and saying. “Look if they managed in WW1 why cant we manage now?” The answer is because we shouldnt need to put troops health at risk driving a vehicle with excessive noise and vibration. Frankly Ajax needs to be binned. Instead the MOD are likely to drag out the sordid mess for years and throw billions more at the problem trying to rectify something that is built sub standard and… Read more »

BobA
BobA
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

In slight defence of the Requirements Managers, the specifications for Ajax were driven by a doctrinal change to involve overt recce. This was because we were beginning to follow a more American Model of combined arms manoeuvre. So basically we’re (trying) to buy a vehicle that fulfils that.

grizzler
grizzler
5 days ago
Reply to  BobA

Are we still following that doctrine ?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I suspect a fly-in-the-ointment problem for any new Warrior turret is something Jack Watling of RUSI said recently. Namely that Warrior chassis and turrets were “serialised” in manufacture, meaning each turret is custom fitted to each chassis due to tolerance variations at the time of their manufacture.

That would be a nightmare for fitting a modern high tolerance turret.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
5 days ago

You just fit a new high tolerance turret ring for the new turret. It’s much easier to match the new turret ring to the serialised Warrior chassis than build a new turret for each individual Warrior

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

When it comes to all these warrior upgrades is it not easier to get new hulls and fit the kit back on? If ur getting new turret, turret ring etc etc. so that leaves any not new stuff eg the interior, controls, engine parts, running gear, and no doubt other bits and bobs. Most obvious would be new vehicle. Is it that hard to make a new warrior without going super hi risk? Are the turrets made for warrior or is it just the cannons that were bought? New build hulls seems easiest solution to me but I’m pretty clueless… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Warrior WCSP is an IFV, not a digitised recce vehicle.

If a recce vehicle does not need a 40mm cannon, why was one specified?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I understand that the cannon cannot be fired consistently accurately and without some jamming, on the move. There are other big issues with the vehicle, of course.

johan
johan
5 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

One point is confirmed, Spanish Hulls were not straight and out of alignment. lacked Bracing to stop what we call tank slap, when flat panels vibrate.
extra weight was stressing the upgraded drive which again caused vibration.
was compared to driving a oil drum done a bob sleigh run.

and it couldn’t reverse over 300mm obstacle

other issues are if you vibrate and bounce the tech it doesn’t like it. so it shuts down.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
5 days ago
Reply to  johan

So that just summarises what Ive already said. The product is faulty and unfit for use and will never be fit for use due to very poor manufacturing of hulls in Spain. Therefore full refund needed. Reject the vehicle. Stop the awful waste of money and mess. Purchase off the shelf the very latest version of cv90 that is already in service in multiple countries.

Graham
Graham
2 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

MoD is now claiming Boxer to be digitalised platform. Maybe that’s the same as digitised? So maybe Boxer will achieve the accolade.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
6 days ago

I’ve never been very clear on the roles of armoured infantry vehicles.

Is AJAX intended to replace like for like Warrior as an IFV as well as taking on the role of the CVR(T) recon vehicles?

Is BOXER intended to replace FV432 like for like?

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Hi Peregrine16, No, AJAX (the turreted version) is an ISTAR asset for recce roles. The ARES is also not a conventional IFV in that it carries 4 dismounts. Boxer will take on the role of IFV, carrying a section of dismounts.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thanks Ian. Is Boxer planned to provide fire support after the infantry have dismounted?

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

I think there’s still a requirement gap on that one. Everyone knows Boxer will have to be upgunned, but the original idea was Ajax would provide direct fire support for Boxer and I think they are sticking to that for now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Ah, the “Strike” elephant in the room. Boxer can self deploy at distance, Ajax cannot. Boxer needs uparming urgently, while Ajax supports the Armoured Brigades and DSBCT.

Boxer is not an IFV, even if it gets weaponry to provide fire support. Nor can it keep up with tanks as well as a tracked vehicle. Cutting Warrior is another tragic decision.

The Army keeps trying to fit square blocks into round holes after 20 years of procurement debacles.

johan
johan
5 days ago

Had this conversation at a well know supplier.

Army need new can opener.
Tender out for new Can Opener
Winning Bidder selected for can opener.
Top Brass ask for Can opener to Fly.
Why. because would be good.
Contractor develops original scheme to fly
Delivers a swiss army pen knife as required.
Top Brass says where is my can Opener.
Tax Payers pick up tabs for idiot top brass who dont have a clue about money because they have been spun king a living for 20 years

David Steeper
David Steeper
5 days ago
Reply to  johan

Funny cos it’s true.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
5 days ago

“Strike” elephant

strike_elephant.jpg
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago

Hah I don’t want to think Where the dismounts enter/exit

Last edited 4 days ago by Monkey spanker
Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
5 days ago

I’ll post again in case you miss my earlier comment.

The Warrior chassis and turrets were “serialised” in manufacture according to Jack Watling from RUSI, meaning each turret is custom fitted to each chassis due to tolerance variations at the time of their manufacture. That would be a nightmare for fitting a modern high tolerance turret. This is perhaps what put the final nail in the coffin for upgrading Warrior.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago

I did indeed, GHF.

Crikey, sounds like the Nimrods wings all over again.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago

Hi Daniele,
Some interesting developments are on the way!
“But new hybrid systems are in the making, for example in the form of DARPA’s reconfigurable wheel track (RWT) system which asks the question of why not have both? The system operates like a traditional wheel but can instantly transform into a triangular track.”

https://www.army-technology.com/analysis/tracks-or-wheels/#:~:text=The%20RAND%20report%20adds%3A%20%E2%80%9CWheeled,using%20wheeled%20platforms%20over%20tracks.

Boxer IFV variant with RT60 turret emerges
4th August 2021 – 11:25 GMT

A Boxer armoured vehicle with an RT60 turret has been seen for the first time at the WFEL facility in Stockport, and the newly developed system has potential on many different levels.

New_variant_of_Boxer_8x8_armored_fitted_with_RT60_turret_for_Middle_East_customer_925_001.jpg
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Look at that sexy beast!

Paul42
Paul42
4 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Is that a British Army version? Or somebody else’s new toy? I suspect the latter…..

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Currently I’d say no because they will only have .50 cal, they need some of the 250 odd CT40’s lurking around fitted to an unmanned turret.

RobW
RobW
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

2nd batch will have greater firepower. Whether that includes the CT40 is another matter as the 30mm is proven and cheaper. No timescale for the second batch yet though, they are still looking at how they can increase the production rate.

Andy ardron
Andy ardron
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

But MOD already own the 40mm so would it not be cheaper to use and economies of scale

Jonno
Jonno
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy ardron

The Navy are fitting 40mm on T31 Frigates. Is the ammunition compatible?

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Pretty sure that’s a Bofors 40mm, happy to be corrected.

Paul T
Paul T
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Completely different Guns and Ammunition.The French Navy have chosen the Thales RAPIDFire for some of it’s new OPV’s which are essentially the same 40mm CTA Systems,whereas the RN is going Bofors for it’s 40mm.

RobW
RobW
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy ardron

Possibly but it hasn’t been mounted on a Boxer in service yet. Would it even fit?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

CT40 is fitted to the smaller EBRC Jaguar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBRC_Jaguar

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

The reason for CT40 was to achieve over-match vs increasingly common 30mm. Small form factor cased design allows higher vehicle loadout (apparently because armed vehicles never seem to have enough ammunition) and also benefits logistics support. We’ve seen even 30mm penetrate a Russian tank hull when rounds are aimed down low at the wheels, where the armour behind is at its thinnest. A CT40 round would be that much more effective if called upon and might still break the track, even if it didn’t penetrate. CT40 seems to get a lot of criticism but I have never seen any issues… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

…and whilst the infantry are still on board. I hope so.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Boxer could only be regarded by some as an IFV if it mounts a cannon, otherwise it’s an APC.

Last edited 5 days ago by Graham Moore
Marcase
6 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

That was the initial idea yes. Looks right now that Boxer and Foxhound may take up some of the slack out of necessity due to AJAX delays.

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Marcase

AJAX has never been a replacement for Warrior. The WCSP was supposed to enable Warrior to carry on in it’s role as an IFV.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Marcase

But is Boxer going to be fielded much quicker than Ajax gets fixed? Anyway, whats the point as Boxer is an APC not a recce vehicle.

DJ
DJ
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

CRV versions of boxer modules with 30mm cannon exist already. Many militaries use wheeled armoured recce vehicles. The army wanted tracked. Better a wheeled Boxer CRV now, than a tracked Ajax CRV maybe someday – maybe not. If Ajax eventually appears, well it’s just a Boxer module. The Boxer underneath can be used for something else (a CMI 3105 turret module version would be nice).

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Ajax was intended to replace Warrior as an IFV, but not like for like. For reasons it’s not worth going into, Boxer will be replacing Warrior in the short term. I’ve heard Boxer is also supposed to replace Saxon and Bulldog although it’s far heavier than either. A response to the Defence Select Committee denied this and said there would be an Armoured Support Vehicle programme aimed for the second half of the decade that would replace Bulldog. …the replacement of the FV430 series may not be in service until the 2030s, meaning that this vehicle will have been in… Read more »

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
6 days ago
Reply to  Jon

70 years is some service! With the withdrawal of Warrior and the Ajax family not explicitly filling the IFV role are we by implication looking at a change of doctrine i.e. it is no longer considered necessary for the vehicle which delivers a squad to battle to be able to then stick around to provide that squad with offensive fire support?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Ajax was never to fill the IFV role – it is a recce vehicle.

An IFV (which should be WCSP in my view) should provide fire support whilst on the move (hence needs a stabilised cannon), not just when the dismounts dismount.

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Jon, AJAX has never been an IFV and is not intended to replace Warrior.

Jon
Jon
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

You are right. I misspoke. I thought Ares was an IFV variant, but it only has a small machine gun. So it’s gun but no dismounts, or dismounts but no gun.

While Ajax isn’t intended to replace Warrior like for like, I think it’s still supposed to replace Warrior’s fire support capability, teaming up with Boxer APC. Two vehicles to do the job of one. I think they keep doubling down on Ajax and are trying to find ways to use it where it’s not a good fit.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Would this configuration be an option?

The Boxer is a multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed by an international consortium to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules.

The governments participating in the Boxer program have changed as the program has developed.

Height2.37 m (7 ft 9 in) (baseline vehicle)
Designed1998–2009
Mass24,000 kg (standard); 36,500 – 38,500 kg (combat)
ArmorAMAP composite armour
CrewVaries by role. In APC configuration – 3 + maximum of 8

RMV-Boxer_CRV.jpg
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Ares can carry 4 dismounts and is called the APC version by the manufacturer. The dismounts are specialists like an anti-tank team or engineer recce etc, not rifleman. Ajax started as a Recce vehicle to replace CVR(T) Scimitar but the Strike role was added on later (shhh, no-one really knows what Strike means!). I had heard that if MoD foolishly tries to save money and procures standard, non-turreted (no cannon) Boxers to replace WR, that Ajax would have to provide that fire support on the scale of 2 Ajax per rifle platoon (4 Boxers). Shocking idea. It’s a mad world… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Saxon?! That’s not been in service for years!

Ajax replaces the varied CVRT variants, not Warrior.

Remaining 432s and CVRT in infantry, RAC, and RE units will be replaced by a mix of Boxer and Ajax variants for those roles. The turreted recc ISTAR version gets the most publicity.

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago

Correct Daniele.
AJAX = ISTAR (Fire support?)
ARES = protected mobility ( 4 dismounts for VCPs etc)
ATHENA = C2
ARGUS = RE teams
ATLAS = recovery (with winch and earth anchor)
APOLLO = Repair (with crane)

All variants are capable of mounting a selection of wpns on a Kongsberg RWS

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Originally (decades ago) Boxer (MIV) was to replace Saxon and residual 432s, and Ajax family was to replace CVR(T) family. WR would be upgraded by WCSP. CR2 would be upgraded by CR2 LEP.

Now WCSP is scrapped and WR will degrade in service unmodifed until replaced by Boxer (hopefully all with stabilised cannons). 148 CR2s will be replaced by CR3.

I am interested by your comment about the ASV project, which news had passed me by.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
6 days ago

Is there any Plan “B” for this debacle? Some serious contingency considerations if things go bung?! Or, have they forgot to do this too?! Surely between all the experts available they can fix this quick smart or buy elsewhere for the sake of the British Army and UK defence!

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Quentin, plan B is to rectify the Noise/vibration issues and bring AJAX into service.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Yes, we all sincerely hope so otherwise it could be plan “C”…
Ironically, if all goes well with all these rectifications the Ajax should then and finally be a pretty damn good vehicle!

Grizzler
Grizzler
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

So no plan B then…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thats Plan A surely?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

So plan B. After spending an eye watering and frankly criminally incompetent £3.17 billion. Billion not million is to send good money after bad money and just continue pouring UK taxpayers money into a vehicle that we have already heard from multiple people is flawed, faulty, built shoddily, is a danger to the personnel using it and still has 22 critical faults. If I was a serving soldier I would refuse to serve in that vehicle. They would have to court martial me. Then I would go to the press and sue the crap out of the government for supplying… Read more »

Marcase
6 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I fear the Plan “B” will be “moah budget”. There’s been so much invested into Ajax (read: national industrial investments) it’s slowly becoming too big to fail…

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Marcase

It’s a fixed price contract so, no “moah budget” for GD.

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Unfortunately I think Nimrod MR4A was fixed price too and let’s all remember how that debacle ended…

Don’t be surprised if it’s a “we can stick to the budget, but you can only have 400” solution….

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
5 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

It was fixed budget but not fixed price.

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago

Oh oh, get ready for the good old tax payer to pick up the tab then……

Nick C
Nick C
6 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I strongly suspect that there is no Plan B, which is why they have continued to throw good money after bad. I think the programme should be scrapped, any salvageable bits of the “world beating” sensor fit should be taken and integrated with another off the shelf vehicle, and whoever has been promoted on the back of this debacle, and I bet there are quite a few, should be taken out and publicly shamed.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

We are already short on manpower could we afford to lose thousands more.😇

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
6 days ago

Appalling, just simply appalling.

David Barry
David Barry
6 days ago

Continues to highlight that the promotion system is not fit for purpose. Should senior officer be in charge of then, 5 year tenure, so they own some of the outcomes.

For junior officers maybe a CIPS qualification as part of their office stints.

Meanwhile, it’s a pig’s ear and should be butchered pronto.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

There is a real problem with appointing a Senior Responsible Officer – the last officer covering Ajax also had scores of other projects to oversee and had to run a busy department too.

Another problem is that individual services do not control procurement of ‘their’ equipment.

The most junior officer that would work on any procurement project would be a Major. In my day they would be staff college trained which included 3 – 12 months at Shrivenham beforehand learning the tech stuff. Not sure how it works now.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
6 days ago

It’s become a very expensive skip, if we continue to see the project through what’s going to happen? Are a reduction in numbers ordered or is the procurement executive going to insist the manufacturer pick up the bill?

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Mark, see my response to Marcase: It’s a fixed price contract.

Mark franks
Mark franks
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Hi Ian, yes I’m aware it’s fixed price the problem is I have seen this before, Manufacturers get their Lawyer’s to look at the small print for riggle room.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Don’t know when or where but probably highlighted on here a while back, ‘fixed price’ especially as we don’t know the details leaves an awful lot of loopholes when changes, modifications and additions are added after the original contract is signed. Lawyers will be the real winners here.

BigH1979
BigH1979
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Hi Ian. This is the way it works it the contracting world. You go in at a reasonable level with a fixed price then get to work banging in your change requests based on holes in the scope, changing requirements etc. You can bet GD’s commercial boys are going through the Technical Scope with a fine toothcomb to wring as much money out of it as possible. And they would be justified if MOD have been moving the goalposts.

geoff
geoff
5 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

The essence of fixed price is fixed specification and scope of work. If however anything changes then the contractor is entitled to a Variation order. if there are inherent design flaws then that is for the suppliers account. What worries me is only 5 out of 27 rectified. Obviously the size of the snag is the critical issue so if they have done the 5 biggest problems then maybe the balance are minor issues but if there are serious problems remaining then maybe time for MoD to think about pulling the plug. Surely there is a delivery time in the… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Indeed I can see this appearing in a new episode of Grand Designs with that oft heard statement ‘if they can pull this off….’

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

MoD moved the Ajax goalposts in 2016, particularly on the sensor requirment.
That happens on long gestation projects.

Nathan
Nathan
6 days ago

So poor oversight.
Poor senior retention.
Changing specifications.
Misunderstood requirements.

Basically a screw up on all the fundamentals.

Can anyone tell me why the MoD continue to make the same mistakes over and over?

expat
expat
5 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

Common problem with projects is expectation can get set that if you don’t ask for it at the start you will never get it. Leads to a never ending list of requirements. Bring in people from asset intensive industries like Airlines and Oil and Gas to run these projects imo.

David Steeper
David Steeper
5 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

Because the people responsible for the flip up never suffer any consequence for there incompetence. Indeed they sometimes reach the pinnacle of any service career in the UK armed forces. 😠

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

I think you can throw a bit of blame at Industry too – the Company have royally screwed up.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
6 days ago

I believe by now there was to be a go/no go decision on Ajax. Current impression seems to be that we stumble onward as usual. Still appear to be no nearer a definitive on likelihood of rectifying issues. This is not a criticism so much as an admission of perplexity, particularly bearing in mind associated UK land forces major vehicle faux pas to date. I’m obviously aware that many national projects designed to update cutting edge military equipment hit significant pitfalls, either promulgated (e.g. weapon assimilation on F35), or evidently not revealed until put to the sword (maybe Russia’s AFVs).… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yup, I’m a cheerleader (no pompoms though). As a veteran with 24 years service I’m keen to see new, modern equipment (CR3, Boxer, F35 etc) get into the hands of our servicemen and women. If you go to:Parliamentlive.tv – Public Accounts Committee it will give you an insight into the MODs current position on the AJAX programme. The Army and DE &S are very keen to see AJAX succeed. The troops on the ground love it, particularly it’s ISTAR capabilities and it’s X country performance. My sources hint that engineering problems on Ajax are not insurmountable and that testing of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Bravo.

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago

Let’s hope so, the long in the tooth cynic inside me doubt we will have all the contracted vehicles delivered on budget, really hope we do….

Ian sounds confident though!

There’s a big push on the news today for Leonardos (mainly Wildcat support contract), but Puma replacement also!

So, get ready for an airborne, all singing all dancing airborne Ajax sized, fubar mess!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

You know my thoughts on that mate. Don’t overcomplicate. Blackhawk all the way.

John
John
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Cheers for the input Ian, what you’ve said matches my ‘gut feel’ on the program, interesting to hear this info.

Grizzler
Grizzler
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

How modern will it actually be compared to other kits advances from a mechanical , fire power & istar perspective if/when these ongoing issues have been resolved? That’s a serious question btw. Even if/when it does make it into service the whole episode has so far been a farce surely there can be no one who doesn’t agree with that.

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

In response to your serious question: The ISTAR fit surpasses anything in NATO currently fielded. The CT40 has definite punch out to ranges a 30mm can only dream of. The power pack is of German design and manufacture, nuff said.
I don’t disagree with your last statement either!

Deep32
Deep32
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I understand that the ammo being caseless is exorbitant when compared with similar 30/35mm rounds! Also read, so not sure how accurate the info is, that the gun suffers excessive barrel ware and needs changing after 1200-1400 rounds. If true, how does that compare to current 30/35 mm offerings that are in service?

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Hi Mr Deep,
I understand from my sources that the 40mm CT round is currently more expensive than 30mm rounds but this is slightly mitigated by superior effects on targets at range, the price per round will drop as manufacture ramps up I suspect. Barrel wear information I’m not privy to.

Nemesis
Nemesis
5 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

It’s not caseless it’s cased telescoped. Quite a big difference.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

CTAS 40mm ammo is 5 times the cost of more conventional ammo. Hope its worth it.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

With ammo you get what you pay for. A 40mm CTA is expensive but compared to an AFV or Tank that it can reach out and touch at a far greater range than a 30mm, its cheap. Barrel changes are pretty straight forward on a 30mm KCB cannon in RN service. 2 matelots can change the barrel for a replacement in 2 mins…For a 40 CTA on a AFV I would defer to someone with experience of the green world. Barrel wear will affect accuracy and MV as more rounds are fired. It is allowed for in ballistic calculations but… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Will it still be in service in 70 years time?

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Dunno! I won’t be!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Many thanks for your response, Ian. Naturally, the bit about the troops on the ground is key; so I will Carry On Hoping.
Rgs

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I love the optimism but it seems in sharp contrast to the tenor of nearly every sentence in the article – do you have ‘special sources’?

Paul42
Paul42
4 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

At the end of the day, the question is – can all the issues with Ajax be rectified?? A simple yes or no will suffice. Yes there certain people in certain
places who are anxious for it to enter service, because if it turns out to be another huge procurement disaster then a number of their heads will role…….

Ian M
Ian M
3 minutes ago
Reply to  Paul42

Yes

RobW
RobW
5 days ago

I don’t understand the timescale, why so long to work it out? It’s either solvable or it isn’t. Worse still, they hope they can fix it but don’t know, meaning that this project will limp along for years to come.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
5 days ago

This is going to be another multi billion pound b…s up. Scrap it now and let’s spend the money on something useful. If we really do have to pretend we have armour there must be an off the shelf buy that will provide recce cover for 148 Challies.

Andy ardron
Andy ardron
5 days ago

All round U.K. forces have a lack of lethality

Jack
Jack
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy ardron

And numbers.

John
John
5 days ago

Am a bit naive on funding and equipment costs etc, but £10million per vehicle seems a bit on the steep side to me.

andy
andy
5 days ago

after seeing footage from Ukraine are MBT,s and armoured vehicles fit for future warfare,spending millions on heavy and light armour that can be destroyed by much cheaper manned portable weapon systems, i would be tempted to scrap ajax altogether..

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  andy

Scrap Ajax? Bin heavy and light armour?
What would your recce troops ride around in then?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
5 days ago

This old chestnut again… It’s design is flawed, personally I don’t even see the need for it any more. Ukraine has shown how easy it is to trash armour. The armour on these ‘things’ is not comparable with that of a tank. Granted the Boxer is lighter armoured, but its very quick, very agile, and will better suit the 20th century battlefield. Another big plus, is that it can carry or be fitted with all sorts of weaponry. Boxer option with all the gadgets gismo’s and tech, is probably cheaper that the farcical outdated ill advised ajax. With all the… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

My biggest worry regarding use is that Ukraine has shown that even light-ish tanks and tracked vehicles are almost useless on muddy terrain not dissimilar to a lot of Central Europe, so will this now over weight recon vehicle going to struggle actually carrying out useful recon?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Very heavy deep glutinous mud is a feature of terrain in Ukraine and Russia for certain times in the year. Much footage in WW2 of this. There is a special Russian word for it, Rasputitsa.
Unfortunately for Ukraine, terrain will be drier and firmer from mid to late April and we may see effective Russian tank movement.

peter Wait
peter Wait
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The clouds could be seeded to drop more rain on the Ukraine !

Martin
Martin
5 days ago

What kind of donkeys write a contract with 1200 specifications in it for an off the shelf solution. This is why the British army is in such a mess.

Ian M
Ian M
5 days ago
Reply to  Martin

That is the problem Martin, it’s not MOTS but a bespoke adaptation of an existing platform, to the point where it bears little or no resemblance to the Point of Departure vehicle.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Yes what could possibly have gone wrong.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Ajax was never MOTS. But I agree that the Requirements documents should not have been so over-detailed. In my day we did Cardinal Points Specs, Key User Requirements docs etc – which pointed to outputs and effects required.

AV
AV
5 days ago

Aside from the on going issues, can someone explain why we need near on 600 of these?..or am I missing something.
Surely as a scout platform the numbers need to be relative to other assets (CR3 numbers for one).

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  AV

AV.

The numbers include all variants which replace the myriad types of CVRT in varied roles through several corps and regiments in both combat and CS roles. Spartan. Samaritan. Samson. Scimitar, and so on.

Ajax Scout is only 240 odd of the total and is for 4 regiments of the RAC in the “Armoured Cavalry” role. They should also furnish Recc Platoons in Armoured and Warrior/Boxer battalions.

Only Stormer will remain.

Ian M above made a list of variants I could not be bothered to do!!

AV
AV
5 days ago

Cheers Daniele, thought it would be something like that.
Almost 600 for 150 ish CR3’s lol.
Mistakenly believed way more were Scouts so thanks for that.
Would be typical for the MOD however…the one thing they,d actually bought plenty off..doesn’t actually work.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  AV

Recce vehicles are not simply to point the way for the tanks. They gather info for the benefit of commanders, their staff and all deployed units.

PaulSergeant
PaulSergeant
5 days ago

Daniele, I didn’t see your response before I submitted mine. Sorry I duplicated you, I was not ignoring you.

You say Ajax “should also furnish Recc Platoons”. I think that was the original plan but was dropped when Strike Brigades came. Now they’ve gone, I don’t know what the plan is.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  PaulSergeant

Each Armd Inf/Mech Inf Bn and armd regt has a recce platoon (or troop). They currently have CVR(T) so should get Ajax.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  PaulSergeant

Hi Paul. No need for apologies, I did not see your reply either!

Yes, agree, I assume ( hope ) that is still the plan. As Graham says above Armoured Regs and AI,MI Bns had/have a recc platoon on Scimitar, so hope they are still so equipped with Ajax going forward.

PaulSergeant
PaulSergeant
5 days ago
Reply to  AV

AV – the order includes only 245 of the turreted Ajax scout platform. A comment from Ian M above lists the other versions. I think the number was originally set to provide formation recce and close recce for armoured infantry brigades. Years later there are less future brigades planned, but the Ajax contract is firm.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  PaulSergeant

Correct mate.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago

So there may be scope to reduce numbers if costs are increased to rebuild fix the vehicles without it hitting capability? A fully working vehicle is better than 2 half working ones.

Colin
Colin
5 days ago

Am I the only one disgusted why we bought this rubbish and how can uk spend 5.5 billion on this we should have scrapped the lot and brought the Redback which is the go too vehicle from South korea

Paul T
Paul T
4 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Like many others have said the Ajax is a specialist Recce Vehicle, the Redback is another type of AFV, think of Ajax as a Rivet Joint /Posiedon type capability on Tracks.

DJ
DJ
2 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

A CRV version of the BAE CV90 exist (a unit similar to Redback). An IFV is in some respects a big empty box with a turreted canon on top. There is plenty of room to add other bits if you leave out the dismounts. CV90, Redback, Lynx would all be possible candidates. The Redback turret can take 30-50mm (not CT40), has Iron Fist, Iron Vision & 2 ATGM already integrated. They even have an option for a laser RWS for attacking UAV’s. CRV modules for Boxer also exist (just not in UK). At least with these options, the vehicles themselves… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
5 days ago

Well, if you subscribe to the Pareto 80/20 principle then with 5 out of 27 issues fixed Ajax must be pretty much ready to roll: assuming they have prioritised the right defects of course……🥴

Last edited 5 days ago by Paul.P
David Bourne
David Bourne
5 days ago

Same old same old for UK defence procurement. And each time the Ministry of Defence “must learn the lessons to prevent the reoccurrence of the same problems” As an angryvtaxpayer it’s beyond a joke,

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
5 days ago

I’m either cracking up or my post has disappeared again. However, I would like to repeat my point. Why do we need hundreds of Ajax variants to recce for 148 Challengers when we could surely buy a small number of similar vehicle off the shelf and dump what is already becoming another army/MOD travesty of waste. Spend the money on something useful.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff, armoured recce does not uniquely and solely conduct recce for the benefit of the tanks. RAC Armoured recce regiments provide assets to conduct recce for a formation eg brigade – feeding information back to brigade HQ to inform the commander and the all-sources cell. It is used to shape future plans and to modify existing plans and is disemminated to all units under command including combat arms, CS and CSS units. Additionally manouevre units such as armoured inf/mech inf battalions and armoured regiments (ie tank battalions in US-speak) have their own close support recce platoon (or Troop) currently with… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Exactly, and to add to that Ajax variants will go to other Regiments,
RAC Regiments in areas apart from Recc Troop, ( such as replacing Sultan and Spartan) and regiments from the CS&CSS arms that support our AI Bdes. So RE CS Regiments, RA Regiments with observation vehicles, CS REME Bns, and so on.

That will be true of the Boxer order as well.

People always forget the CS/CSS enablers! Many of which are armoured.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago

Good points Daniele. I once commanded a REME FRG (Forward Repair Group) which supported the battle-winning equipments of an armoured brigade by the provision of second line repair and recovery – I had more armoured vehicles (CRARRVs, WR Rep, WR Rec, 432 command role) than soft-skinned vehicles.

John Williams
John Williams
5 days ago

How many have been built?

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
5 days ago

Hope it gets sorted soon but one thing Russian heavy loses have shown us got to be better ways than tanks and vehicles . Helicopters .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago

Helicopters can get shot down too.

Paul T
Paul T
5 days ago

Another lesson being learned in Ukraine is how vulnerable Helicopter Gunships are on the Modern Battlefield – Russian Mi28 and Ka52 have both suffered losses.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago

How can the MoD not understand the requirements written by its own Requirements Manager? That makes no sense at all.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
5 days ago

So is the answer to build new exact hulls that can withstand the issues stated. If it’s bad hulls causing most the issues with Ajax. If the other issue is the weight then it needs a slim down. If what people say is correct that it’s weight ballooned after design and this is causing issues then go back to that before that and work out if it still shakes so much. It cannot be allowed to shake all over the place. The tech won’t last in that environment and it will be a constant money out. Get some lighter/less armoured… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I think just one of the issues is hulls having been built (in Spain) out of true – the only way to fix this is to scrap those hulls and build new, and for GDUK to take the financial hit. I think it was always intended to be a vehicle in the 38-42 tonne bracket, although I think that is ridiculous for a recce vehicle to be that big and heavy. The design was grown from the ASCOD which was a much lighter vehicle although we are assured that mechanical components were suitably upgraded. It is very hard to slim… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
5 days ago

3.167 billion spent. Thats billion not million and the vehicle has still got 22 critical faults. Thats disgusting. If the vehicle is so crap that it cannot be safely used it should be rejected as a faulty product and a refund obtained. Then move along to CV90 and purchase a fleet of proven off the shelf vehicles that can do a similar or better job for half the price.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Of course the decision must have been made to work through and resolve the faults. A full refund is unlikely to be obtained in the event of cancellation.

CV90 is an IFV whereas we need a recce vehicle so the CV90 recce variant as supplied to Norway must be selected if that route is embarked upon.

PaulSergeant
PaulSergeant
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If Ajax doesn’t make it then CV90 is an option for me, but not the recce version used by Norway. I don’t know how old that is, but it isn’t the latest Mk IV. Also there is a lot of equipment we should be taking from Ajax, the Thales Orion main sight for one. The engine is a big thing for me. The Scania in the CV90 is good but doesn’t have the commonality with Boxer that the MTU in Ajax has. There must be a lot of MTU on the shelf or new installed in all those hulls. Similar… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
5 days ago

If all the other variants; Ares, Athena etc are ok then I can understand the logic behind fixing Ajax ( at GD’s expense) to ‘complete the set’ of CVRT replacements as it were. Standardisation usually = higher availability and lower costs in the long term. And as I understand it Ajax is to CV90 as F-35 is to Typhoon: next generation. As for replacing Warrior should we ask BAE and Rheinmetal to put the 40mm CTA turret on Lynx rather than change doctrine to work around Boxer? There are those who think we cancelled the wrong project. Or in reflecting… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Paul.P
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

As I understand it WCSP took a very long time in gestation which irritated the politicos but the main issue was that the production contract had not been signed or funded, so it was easy to cancel.

The bizarre thing is that it will almost certainly cost far more money to supply cannon-equipped Boxers in replacement than to have upgraded the Warriors.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Ukraine has kicked off a debate on increasing defence spending or at least reviewing the review. Hopefully this political pressure will accelerate a resolution of the Ajax situation. It’s getting to the stage where Bojo could step in.

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

All good points Paul. I think the guts of the issue will depend if GD can heap most of the issues facing Ajax on the MOD changing specifications and requirements as the project progressed. If it feels it can do that (and the Mod have form for always moving the goal posts on these ridiculous projects that last decades), then it might try and pause and renegotiate the contract. That could mean the fixed price means less hulls for the money, it could mean it’s outright scrapped, or it could mean the MOD spends additional money to build new hulls… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by John Clark
Lanre
Lanre
4 days ago

Time for CV90

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
23 hours ago
Reply to  Lanre

I presume you mean the recce variant rather than the IFV.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago

A bit OT but the UK does not have a monopoly on defence screw ups..
https://time.com/6165382/navy-retire-freedom-class-lcs/

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Ah yes in a class of there own, this is an example of not to approve builds before the thing works.
I’m sure these could be put to good use in some roles. Supposedly the asw module doesn’t work and that’s a reason for retirement. The navy doesn’t want them I think is the real reason.
They were also built with lots of automation which has turned out not to work as well as expected. Needs bigger crews. Accommodation wasn’t built for these extra crew etc etc.