Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin has provided a statement on the current progress of the troubled Ajax armoured vehicle programme.

Here it is without commentary.

“As part of my commitment to keep Parliament informed on the programme, I wish to provide a further update on the Ajax equipment project being delivered as part of the Armoured Cavalry Programme.

Programmatic Issues

Work continues on the noise and vibration issues. The independent Millbrook trials have now concluded. The initial findings informed the consideration by the safety panel on the next step of conducting User Validation Trials. The aim of the User Validation Trials is to help establish the effectiveness of the modifications to address the noise and vibration problems and thereby deliver a safe system of work under which we could conduct Reliability Growth Trials on the modified vehicles.

Following agreement by the Safety Panel, User Validation Trials by Army personnel resumed at the Armoured Trials Development Unit on 12 May, supported by the independent Millbrook trials team. Data was successfully collected during the trials for analysis. In particular, as a result of the trials, an issue has been raised on the effectiveness of the internal communications system which requires additional analysis.

The Safety Panel have set cautious parameters within which the user validation trials are to be conducted. This included the temporary use of Crewgard headsets to allow the modifications proposed by General Dynamics to be trialled. Hearing checks were conducted on all personnel before and after the trials took place. These checks identified hearing anomalies in some personnel (including personnel not involved in the trials who were part of the “control” sample).

We intend to resume trials once these anomalies are understood. User trials are required to allow Millbrook to continue to gather additional data to provide an independent assessment on the effectiveness of the modifications proposed by General Dynamics. We will then analyse the data, alongside feedback from the Army crews involved. This analysis will help define a safe system of work for the Reliability Growth trials on the modified vehicles.

These Reliability Growth Trials are planned to commence later this year. As with any armoured vehicle procurement, the aim of the Reliability Growth Trials is to test the vehicle more thoroughly over an extended period. This will identify any issues beyond noise and vibration that need to be addressed before we can be confident that the vehicle meets the Army’s contractual requirements. Identifying and resolving a range of such issues is a normal part of the acquisition process for all military equipment.

Once we are satisfied that there are long-term solutions to the noise and vibration problems, we will need to agree with General Dynamics a realistic schedule to Initial Operating Capability and Full Operating Capability. We will not accept a vehicle that is not fit for purpose and we are continuing to take all steps necessary to secure our contractual and commercial rights under the contract with General Dynamics.

Update on Personnel

It remains the case that of the 310 people identified as working with Ajax, thirteen individuals have had long term restrictions on noise exposure recommended, potentially requiring a limitation in their military duties. The majority of these had pre-existing hearing issues prior to working on Ajax; some did not. A further five individuals remain under specialist outpatient care for hearing and other ENT issues. In addition, it remains the case that four individuals who worked on Ajax have been discharged on health grounds, in some cases for reasons wholly unrelated to hearing loss.

Assessments continue for both hand-transmitted and whole-body vibration. To date, fewer than five individuals have been identified with conditions which could be aggravated by vibration; these individuals have been recommended for a limitation in their military duties whilst they undergo further investigation and treatment. It is not possible to determine clinically whether Ajax exposure has caused or aggravated the clinical conditions of any of these individuals. I am withholding a more precise breakdown because, given the small number of service personnel involved, individuals could be identified resulting in a potential breach in medical confidentiality.

The Sheldon Review

Following Parliamentary clearance of the associated contingent liability, I am pleased to
announce that we have now formally appointed Clive Sheldon QC. The review will have full access to all relevant MOD papers and personnel. I encourage all those who wish to provide evidence or other input to the review to contact the independent review team at [email protected] of the Terms of Reference of the Review are available in the Library of the House.

I will update Parliament in due course on the likely duration of the Review once Mr
Sheldon has had the opportunity to consider the issue in detail.

Conclusion

The focus for the MOD and General Dynamics remains on developing and delivering long-term solutions for noise and vibration and vehicles that comply with General Dynamics contractual obligations. We want Ajax to succeed and to deliver what the British Army requires. We have a robust firm price contract for the delivery of 589 vehicles at a cost of £5.5 billion.

We will not accept a vehicle that is not fit for purpose.”

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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JF
JF
20 days ago

Blimey, more and more it looks like this was a bad decision.

nonsense
nonsense
20 days ago

get refund – 3B 😡

john
john
20 days ago

I never though about any issues when we turned on the gun stab kit in chieftain, it was just noisey very.

stevethemanc
stevethemanc
16 days ago
Reply to  john

Ear plugs might come in handy.

George Parker
George Parker
16 days ago
Reply to  stevethemanc

Apparently, the type of noise and vibration are not stopped by ear defenders. It’s your typical procurement FUBAR. There should have been closer attention paid to the planned final product. Perhaps even a head to head of the final vehicles to be supplied, including any British modifications. Something tells me that BAE CV90 would have won. It is tried and tested, simply becoming better with every new upgrade. See the Norwegian CV90 elsewhere on this site.

johan
johan
13 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

The Noise is question is from the Transmission box and track slap, if you have ever seen that Mk 1 replica drive around you know it has that distinctive sound. and the lack of bracing in the Hull causes it to osculate. This also relates to the vibration, the uprated gear box and transmission are adding to the problem. CV90 Failed on its procurement proposal as BAEs didnt follow the procurement path.

Bob
Bob
20 days ago

To be fair there are bound to be a few teething issues. It’s not as though we have been designing tracked vehicles for over a hundred years.

Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  Bob

😆👍🏼

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob,

If by ‘we’ you mean BAE Systems (and the former companies that it bought: Alvis, RO plc, VSEL, Vickers Defence Systems and GKN) – I see your point.

Pity the job went to the brand new and very inexperienced British subsidiary of the US company, General Dynamics. I would not be surprised if many of their staff had never seen a tracked vehicle before, let alone designed, built or tested one.

Kai Richmond
Kai Richmond
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, by ‘General Dynamics’ you mean the company that builds the M1 Abrams?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago
Reply to  Kai Richmond

Yes, but the newly created British subsidiary GDUK aka GDLUK, did not make the M1 Abrams. There may well have been some staff from the US parent company seconded to the Welsh factory but if so, they have clearly been as useful as a chocolate teapot, given that Ajax is so awful.

peter Wait
peter Wait
7 days ago
Reply to  Kai Richmond

Abrams was designed by Chrysler Defence , think those designers would be retired by now !

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

And that’s after they decided to exploit an Austrian, Spanish co production to base it all on. What could possibly go wrong.

George Parker
George Parker
16 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Actually the vehicles in Austrian and Spanish service have no problem. At least none that the soldiers using them gripe about. When all of this kicked off, checking the grapevine was the first thing I did.

To be honest, it takes dedication and skill to turn a perfectly good armoured vehicle into a pile of useless junk. Under the very noses of Whitehall mandarins, while simultaneously securing £5.5 billion. It’s one for the history books and should have seen highly paid civil servants doing a different kind of service. Serving time behind bars.

Martin
Martin
20 days ago

In summary the vehicle is so dangerous that we can’t yet even put the testers inside to know how dangerous it is but we have spent over a year figuring out how to test how dangerous it is and once we spend another year we can start thinking if it’s an issue that can even be fixed. And the Army wants more money for tanks, thank god we are an island.

Sean
Sean
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Err reading the article it appears they have had testers inside it…

eclipse
eclipse
20 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Yes but the entire time they were concerned more with how dangerous or risky it is than evaluating how the problems, regardless of their risk, can be fixed. One may say that problems that do not pose significant danger do not need to be solved, but whenever you cut a corner – there are bound to be effects. We cannot afford problems to linger, even if they appear to have no immediate issue; it would be very poor if we started discovering them on the battlefield. Hence, from my perspective, all problems need to be solved, and evaluating whether they… Read more »

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

I’m pretty sure they had people testing them to identify the problems and see if General Dynamics fixes work or not.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Its not that clear if GDUK has crafted all the fixes yet.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Year but only to test if it’s safe for the testers to actually be inside to do the testing by the sound of it. Oops shouldn’t have said sound a bit too close for comfort.

George Parker
George Parker
16 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Many of whom are now medically discharged.
During the Cold War there was a running joke about the horrendously uncomfortable Soviet APC’s. Claiming the discomfort was deliberate. Intentionally designed to exceed and overcome the conscripts fear of leaving the vehicle under NATO fire.

Sean
Sean
16 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

The original testers that discovered the issues.
Not the ones checking whether the fixes worked or not 🤷🏻‍♂️

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier
9 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Maybe we could solve the Ukraine crisis by selling Ajax to Russia – they’d surrender in a week.

peter fernch
peter fernch
20 days ago

A QC appointed to review findings well don I asume that he has served in the Armoured Corpe and know what hes talking about , Pigs ready for take off
AS to the report I must be stupid i didnt undrestand a word of it , what a load of guff and drivel

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
20 days ago
Reply to  peter fernch

Which means that the QC is looking at the contractual issues? Maybe as an adjudicator?

Sean
Sean
20 days ago

Yup looking for which punishment clauses the Government can use to get General Dynamics to pay for defects and delay to service, or even exit the contract and reclaim monies paid.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
19 days ago

Precisely. It is almost certain to be cancelled and then the fun begins in court.

George Parker
George Parker
16 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

As soon as it appears to be dead in the water. BAE should be given the nod to start supplying CV90 scout vehicles and its many proven variants. APC, IFV, Ambulance, recovery, direct fire support 120mm, indirect fire support etc. Take the opportunity to improve on the original plan. Like GDUK, BAE were willing to open a dedicated factory to manufacture and support CV90 in British service. Originally it was going to be on Tyneside, using the old Vicker factory where Challenger 2 was built.

DJ
DJ
6 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

I am sure BAE, Rhinemetal & Hanwha will all put their hand up. All of which have models that have been well tested by highly regarded allied militaries. While BAE have runs on the board with the CV90, the other two are also quality units, both competing in current competitions in US & Australia. If you want to test a vehicle, send it to Australia. The Australian Army is guaranteed to break it (even if it takes a while). One question that has not been raised; what is the difference between ‘Global Britain’ & ‘European Britain’ when it comes to… Read more »

SD67
SD67
3 minutes ago
Reply to  George Parker

No way, the army should have to suffer a Nimrod style decade long capability gap, then the lesson may be learned

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
20 days ago
Reply to  peter fernch

Techie speak dummed down to political speak = guff and drivel…

It sounds to me like they still have a long way to go to sorting this mess this out. It strikes me that they have been gathering data that will advise what further trials will be needed and how they should be conducted in order to enable the required solutions to be developed!

In otherwords we are still talking years, not months..!

Shambolic

CR

Last edited 20 days ago by ChariotRider
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Cynic that I am I was still depressed by reading that if only because the priority seemed to be to obscure virtually anything of note about the progress on the project even though that is the only obvious point of the thing. This is Britain personified in everything it does.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
18 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I’m not sure it’s Britian personified we still do plenty of good stuff, e.g. the Bloodhound Land Seed Record card, but it certainly is UKG personified..!

Cheers CR

SD67
SD67
4 minutes ago
Reply to  peter fernch

Well all these people who “know what they’re talking about” have cost us 4 billion + for precisely zero servicable vehicles.

It’s really not that complex. A contract was signed for provision of capability X at a cost of Y. Y has been paid, X has not been delivered Ergo, you’re in breach of contract Mr Supplier. Cancellation + compensation

The rest is background noise.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
20 days ago

So are the mobility issues being worked on, or are they waiting to tackle the noise issues first?

Correct me if I’m wrong but I dimly remember something about them not being able to reverse onto a raised kerb.

Last edited 20 days ago by Tomartyr
Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Now now! To be fair, it was no ordinary kerb. That was a 20cm kerb… even a Dacia may have had to slow down and use 1st gear to surmount such an obstacle.

peter Wait
peter Wait
20 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Guessing the 7th road wheel was pushed fouling the 6th as engine has plenty of power ? anyone know ?

Stu
Stu
19 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Sure someone here said it was just the armour skirt needed reshaped at the back. Might be misremembering or misinformed though.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Well someone was only a month back claiming it was all media negative hype and most of the issues were actually sorted. Don’t think even that gobblygook could hide that not to be the case.

johan
johan
13 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Ohhh No 3 rattled past me the other week on the testing ground. the main vibration and osolation is caused by lack of bracing and support in the Hull.
this would be a easy fit if the hull wasn’t packed with kit designed around the hull to fit.

cannot install sound absorbing matting as it burns well

Ian M
Ian M
19 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Meets MOD requirements

johan
johan
13 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

it was more to do with the additional armour protection, fouling over the obstacle

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
20 days ago

Progress ? all that is being reported is here is on going trials/test … Call it progress when you have a workable solution.

Stu
Stu
20 days ago

You just know this comments section is going to blow up.
My take (very simplified); bin it. Buy off the shelf vehicle and throw the mature tech into it. Anything ‘in development’ can wait until the vehicle is in service.

andy a
andy a
20 days ago
Reply to  Stu

not that simple, ajax basic platform (Ascod??) was a proven platform, then altered with all the top end tech “thrown in”, that then brings about all the same risks we have in ajax. Either you buy a working platform or u make a perfect one. Any alterations can bring a host of unforseen issues.

Last edited 20 days ago by andy a
grizzler
grizzler
20 days ago
Reply to  andy a

well there is a third option – you could make a non working one….

Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

That’s a great idea. Do you think we can burn £5B while we do it too? 😆

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I reckon I could…. just as easily as the MOD 😀

Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  andy a

I did say ‘simplified’. Yes but no. ASCOD all up weight was 28t. Ajax with the added armour is 38? And the add on was part of the reason it couldn’t reverse over a kerb wasn’t it? Were they trying to do too much with it? System integration should not be as complicated as people make out. People talk like it’s alchemy or something. It’s a camera connected to a radio… I’m typing on something that has those features now… ok they’re hardened against shock and dust and comms encrypted etc but, it’s really not that hard. ‘Buy working or… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
19 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Totally agree people on here slag of wheeled but in the army study they found boxer was 80%as capable as tracked. Buy another 500 with 40mm brimstone and artillery varient and army has lethality again

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy a

80% as capable as tracked- .wtf we going wheeled for then?
seems like a backward step to me, too many too easily acceptant of mediocrity based on costs ….oh it will do lets get anything …until it doesnt.

Stu
Stu
19 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

£ my friend. I won’t go on a rant about wasted cash and getting priorities wrong in the UK but that’s what it boils down to. Cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. But don’t worry NATO will save us. Not like we have a moral obligation to defend ourselves and be able to project power. Not like military power translates to political power or anything… Money no object, I’d get CV90 or Lynx. Both modern, have recce versions and I’d buy enough to replace Warrior. Lynx was built from the ground up to cope with heavier armour packs &… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Stu
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
19 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Lynx Could get built where boxer is, when that’s finished with if time scales are ok. Even if Ajax works out I think some should be bought as a warrior/bulldog replacements. I the British army are sticking with tanks they need tracked vehicles also. Not loads but enough for combined operations with tanks. If they go all wheeled why not just put wheels on a challenger tank so they are the same.
Or the red back Korean would also do. Don’t know if the K9 artillery was to be built in U.K.?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Ajax is a recce vehicle – therefore not a replacement for WR/430 – Boxer is replacing those.

The British Army, like every other army in the world (except Belgium) is of course sticking with tanks. I agree that the accompanying armoured infantry should also be in tracked vehicles – upgraded WR was always my pick.

Simon
Simon
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Dutch army has also given up on tanks but I don’t think it was down to choice and the cause was budget cuts

Simon
Simon
19 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Sorry, just checked and that isn’t correct, the Dutch still have 18 tanks . Rather oddly they also have 25 Leopard ARV as well

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Thanks Simon. The Dutch had well over 100 tanks in the Cold War, then reduced to 60 then decided to cut all of them following the 2008 recession, but as you say, retained a squadron of 18 in the end, which are embedded in a German tank bn. The 25 ARVs makes no sense – usually a tank sqn has one ARV.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2020/11/30/the-dutch-army-eliminated-all-its-tanks-then-realized-it-had-made-a-huge-mistake/?sh=7725057e35f1

Paul Zweers
Paul Zweers
19 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Nope, we got 18 Leo2a7. More will come budget raise with 5 billion a year.

Stu
Stu
19 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Not sure about where to build or where k9 will be, but I agree. Saw a proposal from a chap (forgive me, I forget who) that suggested a breakdown for the Brigades going forward. I think it was in reference to Boxer variants. Made some good points & part of it was; if we’re having tanks (which we absolutely should) we should have tracked infantry. Tank + tracked inf = heavy brigade. Boxer (with mortar & 105/120mm variants) = strike brigade. Circling back to Ajax, tell BAE & Rheimettal they have 3 months to design recce version incorporating the kit… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Stu
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Stu, I fully agree that tracked, cannon-equipped IFVs should operate with tanks, not just in a BG but in a brigade. (My pick would be upgraded (WCSP) Warriors). Other arms are required too, of course. We used to call it an armoured brigade, but heavy brigade is OK. My view is that a Strike brigade should engage the enemy (2nd echelons) at greater distance than the heavy brigade, and be equipped with suitable long-range (LR) sensors and LR ATGW, heavy mortars and artillery (tube and rocket). Ajax – where to start? I agree that a timeline for rectification needs to… Read more »

Stu
Stu
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

No expert but I think Warrior (as excellent as it was) is getting on a bit long in the tooth. Weight limits, protection, electrical power limitations etc. For replacement, I speak above about CV90 or Lynx. Both modern, in use by other nations, manufacturers still paying for further development, both better protection. For recce, CV90 has a version already & Lynx KF31 has similar size, range, speed to Ajax – just needs a different turret. If we went CV90 or Lynx, we could (this is all a pipe dream as the bean counters have already made their decision) have our… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Stu, good AFVs are upgradeable in every area – adding protection and more electrical power, beefing up powerpack, running gear, armament etc. A pity that we have done little to no upgrading of our AFVs. Warrior had an add-on armour pack for kinetic operations, was fitted with Bowman and BGTI – but not much more. We really should upgrade AFVs about every 7 years at Base Overhaul, if not more frequently if technology changes dictate. I am used to an army which still has 430s some 60 years after first fielding and CVR(T)s that have clocked up their half-century! But… Read more »

Jack
Jack
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Warriors were struggling with the upgrade particularly the hulls which had developed cracking issues

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Thank Jack for that info, which I had not heard before. Much depends where the cracking was – if it was in the original welds that is not much of an issue to sort. Different if it was in the plate.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Thinking of strike brigades here, note the second link which I assume could be added to boxer as well? high-performance ADS “Following the infantry combat and combat support vehicle, Rheinmetall has introduced a mechanised fire support variant of the LYNX IFV. The variant is called LYNX 120, with the 120mm smoothbore gun derived from the LEOPARD 2 MBT as the main armament.” https://euro-sd.com/2022/02/articles/exclusive/25391/lynx-120/ “In today’s world, adequate protection of soldiers and their vehicles is no longer achieved simply by covering them with armour. A principle of multiple, coordinated layers of protective measures enables the highest possible level of safety in… Read more »

Rheinmetall-Lynx-Hungary.jpg
Last edited 19 days ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Boxer

RMV-Boxer_CRV.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins
Last edited 19 days ago by Nigel Collins
Stu
Stu
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I think you’ve illustrated here an important factor that we haven’t touched upon yet; both CV90 and Lynx are in production and continued development. Their manufacturers and other users are the ones paying for these design studies to add variants and capabilities. We can only dream.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  Stu

A lot of bang off the shelf for your buck.

“Hungary has become the first NATO and EU member state to order the Rheinmetall Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) in a deal worth €2bn (£1.82bn) for 218 vehicles.

The vehicles will be built in Germany and Hungary, with all of the first 46 to be built in Germany and delivered by the start of 2023.”

Lynx_KF41__2_.jpg
Stu
Stu
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Agreed. In my dreams I imagine a world where the MoD is the same justification they did for Boxer; ‘the Aussies just did a thorough test so we’re buying it’ (assuming Lynx wins L400). Lot of value there, Rheinmettal know what they’re doing and it has huge future potential. Use KF31 to replace Ajax (size, range, speed, protection, weight all comparable) and the 41 to replace Warrior. Plus maybe a few with the 120mm to augment C3. It’s modular (IFV, APC, C&C just swap the roof basically) & they’ve already shown the ability to integrate multiple turret configs on it;… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago
Reply to  Stu

As you quite rightly say, applying common sense would see us using all of the above and cancelling Ajax asap while adding high-performance ADS across the entire fleet would give us a very useful solution to the current problems we’re potentially facing.

And the possibility of 2x Brimstone on the KF31?

https://www.armyrecognition.com/germany_german_army_light_armoured_vehicle_uk/lynx_rheinmetall_kf31_ifv_tracked_infantry_fighting_vehicle_technical_data_sheet_specifications_pictures_video_12906165.html

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Slovenia signs Boxer contract19 MAY 2022

“Slovenia, represented by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), signed a contract with Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) consortium Artec to purchase 45 Boxer armoured vehicles in four variants”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/slovenia-signs-boxer-contract

DJ
DJ
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hanwha have tested a 105 version. Everyone it seems, has a big gun light tank version (or should that be medium tank version). Every which way you look at it, Ajax just doesn’t cut it, even if they make it work (eventually). ASCOD ‘works’ just like the similar weighted K21 ‘works’. If you want to add 15t or thereabouts to a 28t vehicle, you can’t expect to use the same chassis & running gear without creating ongoing problems. Rheinmetall basically started over for the Lynx (not comfortable with the choice of engine though) & Hanwha merged the K21 & K9… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Oh and it doesn’t have massive hips overhanging the tracks

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago
Reply to  Stu

👍

Andy a
Andy a
19 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Because according to senior armour officers it’s 80 of capabilities at 40 percent of cost

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy a

But surely even if they get twice as many of them – where one cant go – neither can two?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy a

When you are in combat your life is on the line – you don’t want to be in a vehicle with 80% capability when you could have had 100%.

Stu
Stu
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I fear there’s more than a couple of decision makers, our overlords, that don’t share our concern sir.

DJ
DJ
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, but at 40% of the cost, you can afford two or maybe three. How well can a mbt handle three, all with at least two ATGM? If you are not in a comparable mbt, any hit is game over, but first you have to be hit. The situation awareness of three over one? The ATGM that kills you may not even be from the vehicle you can see, even if it was the one that spotted you. The idea of CEC is not just a navy thing. Three times 80% is 240%. Adjust you tactics to the new reality.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  DJ

You are right that cost comes into play – I realise that. It is the main reason we are only upgrading 148 tanks to the CR3 standard not 227 or more.
However I don’t ever see fleet sizes of any platform increasing even if the unit cost of a particular type is much lower – are we buying a lot of the cheaper Type 31 frigates for example – or just 5.

Matt
Matt
20 days ago

Quite interesting that it is a “firm price” not a “fixed price” contract.

Far less wiggle room for the supplier.

RobW
RobW
20 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Firm price regardless of whether they actually deliver any suitable vehicles. All that is ever reported is that the price is agreed and that they will not accept a defective product. Nothing ever gets said about refunds if the program gets canned.

Sean
Sean
20 days ago

Interesting the vibration issue. Reminds of ‘white finger’ numbness that coal miners suffered from through the use of pneumatic drills. Surely the vibration in the Ajax can’t be that bad?…

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

21st century Ajax finger. Shakes all over the place. The birds are all over the Ajax boys when they come to town. Human vibrator.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Do you really think in 2022 you could have large numbers of miners operating underground. About as much chance as using minors.

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Actually we do 🤦🏻‍♂️ but presumably health & safety, not to mention the risk of financial compensation, ensures that this is no-longer the issue it was during the British Coal era.

johan
johan
13 days ago
Reply to  Sean

if you have every suffered from White Knuckle as its best know, most cases are if you are using air powered tools like a jack hammer. generally operators will where special gloves to absorb the vibration. its much like having Gout in for fingers and the pain. AJAX suffered from vibration from the Transmissions/Track slap and generally lack of bracing in the Hull.

best way to describe is its like having rocks in a tumble dryer in a shipping container.

Bulkhead
Bulkhead
20 days ago

Still a bloody joke

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
20 days ago

Hope this gets sorted and quickly.

Because the fact is CVRT goes out of service next year and the 3 regiments of the armoured cavalry ( to be 4 once KRH changes from Tank ) will be using WARRIOR as their recc platform.

A vehicle itself on the way out after almost half a billion faffed away on WCSP.

Deary me.

RobW
RobW
20 days ago

Well it all sounds like a big data gathering exercise rather than actual solutions being developed. As a result there is no timeline, but you can bet its years away.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
19 days ago

General dynamics should pay for an upgrade and running costs on scimitar/CVRT if they say they can definitely fix the Ajax. Call it a courtesy vehicle.

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago

Talk about a storm 🌬

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
19 days ago

Danielle, something you might find interesting re Warrier. Jack Watling from RUSI is talking about whether the CH3 turret faces the same risk of cancellation as the WCSP turret in the second video at the Force Net link below. About a minute into the video he talks about how original Warrior turrets were serialised to the chassis and developed unique patterns of wear. This meant each new WCSP turret would have to be custom fitted to each old chassis. I suspect this and potential knock on effects might have been a contributor to canning the project. So possible a bullet… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago

Morning GHF, thank you.

It is like Nimrod MRA4 all over again.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
19 days ago

Watched the video, what a load of rubbish. If this and maybe that and what if… obviously no engineering or military pedigree, the standard of journalism is about what one would expect on the Sun.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
18 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I assume you’re commenting about the CH3 observations he is making? Obviously speculative. I was posting the link to the video wrt his comment on Warrior, which is presumably something he has been told and doesn’t need to speculate on, why would he? He doesn’t really need an engineering background to repeat that.

Since his day job is at RUSI, specialising in Land Warfare I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his ability to access personnel with some knowledge of the project.

Shelley
Shelley
18 days ago

I saw that too, GHF. More than a little worrying.It makes you wonder if LM bothered to send a few chaps with micrometers (or lasers, whatever) to scramble over a sample of disassembled turrets and hulls and measure the degree of wear. I mean, I’m no engineer but it’s not ‘likely‘ there would be variations in the deterioration of the turret rings, it’s ‘axiomatic‘. For a while now, I’ve been seeing a theme running through some of these massive balls-ups / cancellations. From MR4A to Ajax, it’s when they put a can opener to an existing hull or design to… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
18 days ago
Reply to  Shelley

Who knows if the manufacturing variances on the original vehicles, compounded by decades of unique wear, were known about, or if the expectation had been that they would be able to engineer around the problem. Perhaps its a contributory factor as to why Lockheed initially planned to use the existing turret. Its possible they actually could engineer a solution, but that the extensive testing program generated evidence of potential ongoing in-service problems. From a risk-reward perspective, £1bn to extend Warrior to 2040 versus an all new buy was probably considered compelling, much like CH3 is versus an all new MBT… Read more »

johan
johan
13 days ago

Funny they did learn from the Warrior issue. and CH3s new Turret is complete with New rings. something positive

Defence Expert
Defence Expert
20 days ago

Can we just ditch the army? We’re an Island we don’t need one anyway.

BobA
BobA
20 days ago
Reply to  Defence Expert

yawn… something witty about crabs….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago
Reply to  Defence Expert

And you call yourself “Defence Expert” 😀

taffybadger
taffybadger
19 days ago
Reply to  Defence Expert

erm….

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago
Reply to  taffybadger

I assume he was being sarcastic as thats what numerous posters quote when stating why we dont need so many tanks as our ‘partners’

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
20 days ago

So it doesn’t work, it may never work and with the scrapping of Strike Brigades we don’t now have a use for it. However we do have a fixed price contract to spend £5.5 Million on this very useful product. I think we should give ourselves a pay rise .

eclipse
eclipse
20 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

You obviously meant billion but I agree, it’s ridiculous. We were the first country to build them and have been doing so for over a hundred years. Some may say that these are far more advanced, but so is the new Mercedes S-Class in comparison to the thing Karl Benz built; and I don’t see Mercedes having tremendous difficulty building those. The military has, technologically, always been a few decades ahead of everyone else, and, considering they’re capable of developing Dragonfire or CAMM, I’m shocked they can’t pull off an armoured vehicle.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

We should have given the job to BAE not a brand new (and inexperienced) British subsidiary of General Dynamics. The military don’t design, prototype, test or manufacture vehicles.

a british tom
a british tom
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I heard at the time the government was concerned about the monopoly BAE systems has on british military tech, That was a factor in going for the ASCOD instead of the CV90 series.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  a british tom

I heard that too – a phrase was in common parlance by ministers (not by the army) – award the contract to ‘anyone but BAE’.

johan
johan
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

BAEs failed in the procurement process, and BAEs had just removed extended flying hours on the UK Harrier Fleet and failed to deliver MRA4 could even get is arse off the runway.

rewarding failure was not a option.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  johan

If it was true that the BAE submission of CV90 recce was rejected because BAE as a company had upset HMG on pther programmes, that was entirely wrong. It would be interesting to see what the military/technical assessment of the BAE bid said!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

We do have a use for it Geoffrey. The armoured recc regiments are a part of our 3 Armoured Infantry Brigades, before the crazy Strike Bde plan stole them away. Now they remain with the 2 Armoured Bde’s we have left and will provide part of the Ground ISTAR assets for the Deep Recc Strike Bde. Armoured Infantry Battalions and Armoured Regiments also have recc platoons, troops and you’d expect they would still have them going forward, even with Boxer. Having said that, I detected some sarcasm in your post! But seriously, the capability is needed. Be it this or… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
19 days ago

Daniele , Graham. I do understand but do we really need close on 600 vehicles at this price when we don’t know if it’s going to be any good? I have lost count over the years how many times we have blundered into wasting billions upon billions of pounds on dodgy programmes. If we are to have two armoured brigades and assuming that they have to be traditional then we need a couple of cavalry regiments and if armoured infantry a number of tracked IFV’s. We do not need, albeit in my opinion, around 1100 track and wheeled. Give me… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

As it happens Geoff I would take that list too. As for the near 600 Ajax order, do remember that that number involves many more types than just the recc variant, for use in other CS arms beyond the RAC. On vehicle numbers, an old book of mine on the BAOR stated each Armoured Brigade had over 1,000 vehicles ( it was talking of combat bridging by the RE and how long a single brigade would need to pass over ) so the numbers, near 600 Ajax and 600 plus Boxer are correct for me, even with just 2 brigades… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
18 days ago

OK Daniele. Surprised me but I did try to work it out and your figures do make sense once I added in the required elements. I still don’t like tracks and wheels but mostly I do not understand how it can be said that testing is over, we have decided it may never work, but we’ll order it anyway Bonkers!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff, original requirement was for over 1,000 Ajax (and variants), but Tresury cut back the numbers by nearly 50%. Wikipedia: “Initially, the Ajax was to be procured in a number of blocks totalling 1,010 vehicles. The first order of Block 1 vehicles encompassed Scout Reconnaissance, PMRS APC, and Repair and Recovery variants, with a following order of Block 2 to consist of Reconnaissance, C2, and Ambulance variants. There was a possibility for a third Block of vehicles encompassing a “Direct Fire” vehicle with a 120mm main gun, “Manoeuvre Support”, and a “Joint Fires” variant equipped to succeed the FV102 Striker in the… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

HI Graham. I was talking about the combined purchase of Ajax and Boxer to date. Check out Daniele’s post and my reply. My difficulty is that with almost every budget head stretched is it worth spending billions on armoured columns to be used where and when exactly? Even worse is that if the “guide” vehicle ie the recce Ajax doesn’t work what does that say for the safety and security of the rest of the column, particularly if Boxer can’t keep up with the tracked armour over rough ground. They will be a sitting duck for artillery.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff, In the last 30 years, we have used massed armour in two Gulf Wars [1st (UK) Armd Div on each operation] and fairly considerable amounts of armour of many types in Bosnia (UN then NATO missions), Kosovo and Afghanistan. We now have a fair amount of armour forward-based in Poland and Estonia as a deterrent to Russia. Our armour actually gets used on deployed operations, a lot, including on kinetic operations. More so, than much of the other expensive military platforms. Where will it be used in the next 30 years – I need to give my crystal… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham. I seem to giving the impression that I want to do away with armour. I don’t. I just want the army budget to be spent wisely. Can I suggest that you google “The British Army towards 2030” which was a paper I wrote back in 2021. As you will see it is already out of date in part but I think it’s still an interesting read but then I’m biased!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Thanks Geoff. I will look for your paper. But in your comment above you did wonder what we needed ‘armour columns’ for, which rather threw me. I totally agree that British AFV upgrades and replacements projects have in the main, over 20 or more years, been poor to disastrous. You have to stop and pick out the better ones to avoid being too depressed – Trojan, Titan and Leopard BARV have perhaps been the only good AFV replacement projects in the last 20 years and collectively they amount to 70 vehicles only. There aren’t many upgrade projects of note except… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff, I read your paper. Very interesting. We have T56 armd regts now but there was a time we had T44. Never heard of only having 30+ tanks in a regiment though. That’s only two squadrons.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

At the time I was throwing out the idea of smaller ,more mobile brigades with less infantry and more firepower. Today I would add inn drones as well.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff, we still need to do recce.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
20 days ago

Made in Spain. If that wasn’t a warning, I don’t know what is

Stc
Stc
19 days ago

If you ever wondered why defence is never an issue at a general election Ajax tells you why. If the electors had any idea the waste of money the politicians and the civil servants are guilty of time, time and time again. No one is taking any responsibility. Not the manufacturers, MOD, politicians or indeed the Spanish . Is it I who has a misplaced sense of the important issues when our mainstream media bang on night after night about partygate or the media ?Defeating this incompetence, this enemy within, is as important as the Ukrainians getting the better of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago
Reply to  Stc

I agree, there is no accountability.

The ex DG Land ( or some position like that ) at DES ended up at GDUK! What a surprise.

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago

Reading between the lines there’s some real dodging and weaving regards health of individuals in that report.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
19 days ago

‘Testers shmesters’! How about end users trying it out? probably not, as they will no doubt say ‘do we have to use this garbage’.

This ongoing saga makes my blood boil. The MOD, procurement, friends of friends, and no doubt the political element are driving this for their own perverse corrupt reasons.

The company responsible (yes I know it’s general dynamics) should refund the government for the shocking failure of this project, however there is too much corruption involved.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

End users (army did test it) some of them now have hearing problems other health issues are on restricted roles etc. it says that in the article. Watch a YouTube video of the Ajax running. You can hear it in them. Sounds like a world war 1 tank running at 100mph. Not the quietest. It won’t find any enemy in the recon role. They will here it from miles away. Been compared to noise levels of a chopper flying low over head

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
19 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

How in hell did this Ajax vehicle pick ever come out on top of the pile? Serious wasteful careless incompetence all round from end to end. Someone(s) should be held responsible for this multi billion stuff up. Hope there’s a deadline for final fix or “Ajax” will become “Rejex”!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

ATDU are end users.

Stu
Stu
18 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Do you think it might be an idea to make every Gov minister spend the day in one blasting around Salisbury Plain? See if they still want it after? 🤔
One minor correction to your comment; they shouldn’t ‘refund the government’. It not their money. It’s ours they’re wasting! ‘Refund the taxpayer’. 😊

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
18 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I stand corrected… however I think a more appropriate ‘punishment’ for getting things wrong and wasting public money, would be to have this failure recorded on their ministerial record.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
19 days ago

I wonder how many crew would have suffered issues of one description or another in the days when personnel H&S would was less of a concern? It ‘s not a judgement, just a neutral question.

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

and a pointless one

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
19 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Eleborate – ?

taffybadger
taffybadger
19 days ago

They need to bin this and buy something off the shelf, CV90 is an impressive machine and it works! I am sure some production could be done in the UK. This is shaping up to be ‘Nimrod MRA4, the revenge’

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago

MOD stop wasting money 💰💰💰💰💰 plz 🙏

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
19 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Yes, UK taxpayers money! Could have bought two more Astutes/T26s with all this and some spare change.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Agree Quentin- when you sum it up in the context of what that money could have been spent on its damning. Utter incompetence- who ordered this piss of useless shit that is going to do more harm to our soldiers than the enemy.
Scrap it- I’d much rather have 2 more astute class subs. or some functioning armoured vehicles cv90 or lynx with APS fitted across the fleet.

dan
dan
19 days ago

Just buy the latest German APC. It’s a great machine and already in service. I guess that would make too much sense though. lol

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
19 days ago
Reply to  dan

There’s good Korean stuff available too.

Stu
Stu
19 days ago
Reply to  dan

I hear they have some issues regards soldier height and naff displays. Rheinmettal were partners on Puma & seem to have taken all the good stuff from that, remedied the deficiencies and made Lynx. Hungary bought it & it’s in competition for the Aussies Land 400 Phase 3.

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago
Reply to  dan

👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  dan

Dan, we are talking about Ajax. Its a recce vehicle not an APC.

Stu
Stu
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Think he’s meaning IFVs often have recce versions.
Look at the size, weight, range, etc of Ajax & compare to CV90 or Lynx KF31. CV90 already has a recce version. Not hard to add some extra/upgraded sights and comms gear & you have a recce.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago

No timeline. When I was a PM at Abbey Wood a programme/project was nothing without a timeline.

Expat
Expat
19 days ago

Sorry I don’t get this. Surely you mount testing gear and measure the noise and vibration, if it’s within the tolerance it’s acceptable. It appears they are using human guinea pigs and checking their hearing before and after a test. Or did I miss something.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Expat

You have to drive it with crew to fully test it.

Rob N
Rob N
19 days ago

I cannot understand why they are still determined to get the flawed vehicle into service when they could buy a off the shelf alternative that is already tested and in service. We should cut our losses and ditch GD.

Also who is paying for all the tests… the tax payer? I bet it is not the manufacturer.

Why do we not just admit we bought junk and send it back….

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
19 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Also who is paying for all the tests… the tax payer? I bet it is not the manufacturer.’

Hence the Q.C.is ‘looking at the documents’. Ajax is as good as dead. It is a question of who is going to pay for the funeral.

Paul.P
Paul.P
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

This is a test of character now for both the MOD and GD. The faults in project structure and management and the engineering issues are understood; the corrections are being tested; a no-blame approach is in play and a legal eagle has been hired to understand contract commitments, liabilities and penalties. It’s possible there will be an option to accept a vehicle that meets 90+% of the requirements which we would get it into service faster than purchasing afresh. Was there a contractual agreement on a ‘safe’ noise and vibration level? How were the agreed service and availability quantified? Are… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

At last, one voice of reason in amongst the hyperbole. I despair at the ill informed rants from posters who have no reasoned, calm, sensible input to this and other threads, often from an ignorant and judgemental point of view, who bemoan the efforts of people doing their best to give the troops equipment like AJAX, Boxer, T31, CR3 and the rest, and all you can do is wring your cyber hands and demand more, better, with less money, more vehicles. I pull my hair out ( not much left) reading you bunch moaning. There are notable exceptions on this… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
18 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ajax is a 2 single malt problem. I am also extending my face upwards. Hang in there..😂

Last edited 18 days ago by Paul.P
Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
18 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ian, I can tell you some of us aren’t ranting at all. There might be more passion than reason in places but the magnitude of money involved here is “staggering”. Not 100s, 1000s, nor millions but, billions! People who supposedly know better should be doing better. It’s a major asset for the Army amongst other things that need refurbishment or replacements. It is all tax payers money. I am, most of us are tax payers and I presume you are too. We all want the best for the UK forces, I even want the same for the US, Europe, Australia,… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
16 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Agree IM

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

There is always an option to accept into service equipment with provisos, but I have never heard of introducing equipment into service (in the modern era) that is known to damage soldiers health.

It is over 10 years since I worked at Abbey Wood, but I do recall that Human Factors (Man-Machine Interface, Human-Machine Interface etc). was a well documented part of the MoD-generated Requirements documents which would have fed into contractual documents. A Key User Requirements document would have set limits for sound levels and vibration levels.

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

Well, that’s clear enough and rightly so; assuming it happened of course. But you get the drift of what I am saying; the requirements are there to serve you not to enslave you.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Problem is few of the “outraged” commentators have any experience of major projects and fewer still of major military projects. If they bothered to inform themselves they would find out that cost over runs and project with major issues globally are the rule rather than the exception (did my MSc on public sector projects many moons ago). Reasons vary, from political indecision to constant spec’ change, optimistic tech assumptions etc etc. The common thread is often weak project/project risk management. If you have ever worked on a major project, as I have, it is very difficult for a middle management… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Thanks for this. I was a PM at ABW after I left the army and PM’d a very small (but successful) £60m project, but previously worked as Dep Programme Manager for all UOR vehicles projects and prior to that was a Solutions Manager for an innovative engineering/logistic support project for MBTs. All your points are right and there are more – including lack of DGDQA staff, difficulty in ‘booking’ busy specialists like modellers, safety case writers, Industry failings (multiple types) etc. Joe Public only hears about the really big cock ups and does not see the projects that work out… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks for your reply, don’t get me started on the juvenile reporting and silly “all mod are stupid”, “all politicians are evil”, “we have no money” commentators.

johan
johan
13 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Truth is we waste money trying to protect the public purse.
Procurement is a box ticking exercise and meeting a demand set by someone that will never use.

criss whicker
criss whicker
19 days ago

perhaps??? scrap it now and save money later.
just saying like.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  criss whicker

Do we save £2bn by cancellation now or have we wasted £3.5bn?

Rob N
Rob N
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The longer we go on with Ajax the biiger the bill for this disaster….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Ajax is already 5 years late. The statement by Mr Quinn should have given a timeline for rectification.

jason
jason
19 days ago

What a joke

nonsense
nonsense
19 days ago

If this is delayed and if do not get a full refund this year or next year, should investigate the corruption allegations of this and previous governments.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  nonsense

You need to produce evidence for government corruption. I doubt there is corruption involved in this awful programme. Instead, horrendous mistakes made by so many, most by GDUK staff.

nonsense
nonsense
19 days ago

Bribery is often involved in these ridiculous and stupid procurement projects.

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  nonsense

You have evidential proof and submitted to the police? Or just repeating a conspiracy theory?

“Someone [email protected] up” is the explanation for most bad things in life 🤷🏻‍♂️

Grizzler
Grizzler
18 days ago
Reply to  Sean

If you truly believe that to be the case in th higher echelons of politics and business then I’m afraid you are being a little niave.

Sean
Sean
18 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

If you believe that business and politics and business is rife with bribery without any evidence then it says more about your character.
I’d rather be seen as naive than be seen as being morally bankrupt myself simply because I assume everyone is the same as me.

grizzler
grizzler
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean

So the fact I believe that untowards goings on in the higher tiers of politics happens means I am morally bankrupt?..So what about all of the ‘directorships’ MP’s accept, and the monies paid into political funds…what about all the Russian & Chinese money and influence in Westminster…is all that up front and above board with no ‘reciprocal favour expected….because I question that I must be on the take myself ?OK if you say so.

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

It’s pretty normal for those that assume the entire world is corrupt to be simply projecting their values into everyone else; specifically that they’re morally bankrupt and so assume this to be the norm. As it it is, you’ve still not offered any evidence to support your conspiracy theories. Directorships have to be declared in the list of members interests and MPs are supposed to excuse themselves from situations where there could be a conflict of interest. Additionally ministers have to declare potential conflicts of interests to civil servants with regards to all decisions they make. Personally I’d ban all… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I’m non of the above – most definatley not a conspiracy theorist. Interesting you mention GCHQ btw – Look into their previous statement on Russian money awash in London and what their position was on trying to ‘extract’ that money and the effect that would have on the economy- I’ll save you the bother they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. Johnson himself has oft ‘suggested’ that would be looked at …funnily enough it never has been- until now. It only took a war to bring peoples focus onto this but hey better late than never I suppose . What about the recent… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

The UK is one of the least corrupt countries in the world – see 2021 Corruptions Perceptions Index. You need to deal in facts not conspiracy theories. Very few cases of bribery and corruption at Abbey Wood. How many politicians involved in defence matters have been prosecuted for such offences?
The Ajax saga reflects very poor decision making by politicians, poor project management by the army and inexperience and incompetence by the Prime Contractor.

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Agreed, incompetence is way more common then corruption, and far easier to achieve too!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  nonsense

No, it very rarely is. Where is your evidence?

nonsense
nonsense
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

a. I don’t want to think that MOD is incompetent.

b. And Tony Blair was actually corrupt.

a x b = ???

Yes

peter Wait
peter Wait
17 days ago
Reply to  nonsense

Tony Blair bought the Panther command vehicle which was not on the vehicle short list. By the time BAE added armour etc it cost more than better protected vehicles. It was hard to work on and unreliable due weight increase, wallowing of suspension made soldiers sea sick off road , brake discs overheated , centre of gravity high , ballistic windows fogged up, Bowman made one door unusable , fuel tank drain prone to leak. They seemed to think a plastic radiator grill was acceptable protection !

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Another case of buying the solution that kept British jobs I suspect, specifically at BAE Land Systems in Newcastle. Remember Blair represented a NE constituency.

nonsense
nonsense
16 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

As a result of AJAX investigation of MOD, it was concluded that a redesign is necessary.

A fatal error that is hard to believe that GD made it.

There were also comments about unreasonable requirements, but it seems that the design flaw of GD is bigger than that.

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  nonsense

That’s not evidence.
Nor does it count as either propositional or predicate logic.

Blair financial corrupt? Not convinced. I do think he should be in jail for manufacturing evidence to take us into an illegal war in Iraq. I’d say Iraq it’s a classic case of ‘noble cause corruption’, allowing him to justify to himself that his deception was justified by the greater good he hoped to achieve. Utter [email protected] and sheer arrogance on his part of course.

Sean
Sean
16 days ago
Reply to  nonsense

So ignoring Socialist Worker which is a comic full of works of fiction written by those that pine for the good old days of the USSR… 😂

None of the other stories are about bribery. In fact, none of the stories are about anything criminal. Or did I miss any example of convictions being achieved in a court of law? Tax avoidance, which the Blairs indulged in, is not illegal. Tax evasion is illegal.
If you don’t understand the difference then you’re not competent to be commenting here.

nonsense
nonsense
15 days ago
Reply to  Sean

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/mar/14/tony-cherie-blair-property-empire-worth-estimated-27m-pounds It is an obvious insider trading act or a betrayal of public service ethics for policy implementers to speculate and obtain prior information about real estate. Or, speculation and real estate growth during the term of office is a problem in itself. At the very least, if the source of the funds used in the real estate transaction is a significant amount of political consultation fees, it is clearly using connections to former and current public officials. In other words, it is equivalent to a bribe. The 0.03 million fortune became 260 million. If this isn’t corruption, I’m surprised… Read more »

nonsense
nonsense
15 days ago
Reply to  Sean

The source of Tony Blair’s wealth growth is public office, and Putin uses it to increase his fortune, but Russia is corrupt and Tony Blair isn’t?

Do you think that common sense is not included in the qualification to comment?

In my common sense, of course, I don’t claim that people are not qualified to write comments just because they lack common sense.

nonsense
nonsense
16 days ago
Reply to  Sean

My bribe comment on MOD was inappropriate. The old and new known fact is that the MOD was incompetent.

It will undergo new improvements, but it will still cause the incompetence of the MOD. I found that the MOD needs further refinements to the currently required improvements.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
19 days ago

Cancel it.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
19 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Aye, Mr Wallace, time to press the (r) eject button!

Paul.P
Paul.P
19 days ago

Interesting conclusion. The delay in a decision is excruciating but its only proper and fair to GD that the MOD do due diligence if Ajax is cancelled. What a mess.

Grant
Grant
19 days ago

Bin them, get the money back and spend it on (properly armed) boxers, more challenger 3s and more apaches.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Grant

I presume you want Boxer Combat Recce Vehicle to replace Ajax, other Boxer types to replace the Ajax variants and Boxers with large calibre stabilised cannon to replace Warrior.

Grant
Grant
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, with additional AAW vehicles as well based on what we’ve seen in Ukraine.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago

No wonder it costs so much it must have cost millions to put together that heap verbal garbage alone. I expect Sue Gray’s Report to be far more insightful even after Boris has had it re written by Govt Lawyers..

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Except it’s not being rewritten by Govt Lawyers, if you know anything about her history the government wouldn’t dare to if it wanted to.

Jimbo
Jimbo
18 days ago

You know what they say, paying peanuts gets you monkeys !
maybe you should have looked at the people you had working on this project!
you only want people who have used this vehicle on operations and not all those camp bunnies , plus only those people upto date with the vehicle systems and armaments , !!!
,

The Snowman
The Snowman
18 days ago

Putting the design issues to one side, is a large recce vehicle a workable solution anyway, when MBT armour doesn’t save you anymore? It’s going to be really easy to spot, isn’t light enough to be easily deployed so limited expeditionary value. Do we just need something that is proof against a machine gun, fits in a A400m, and can carry 4 guys and some drones?

AlexS
AlexS
18 days ago
Reply to  The Snowman

I don’t see the point of Ajax with current armies sizes. It seems a luxury.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Recce is a luxury? Were you ever in the army Alex?
I do concede that Ajax is the wrong type of recce vehicle.

AlexS
AlexS
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Use a 6×6 Boxer, preferably with less height . Tracks only recce mean it is is slower when roads are avaialable.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Alex, I recall that CVR(T) could do 50mph on the road/good track and some achieved 70mph when the engine governor was tinkered with. So when you say recce is a luxury, I really don’t understand that comment. Recce is essential before you conduct absolutely any type of military activity. You need to have situational awareness of the ground and also enemy dispositions before venturing forward – and to cue artillery fires, air strikes etc. You cannot do anything without recce. Then you say use a 6×6 Boxer, preferably with less height. So you now accept the neeed for recce, but… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  The Snowman

If the recce vehicle crew is doing its job properly, the enemy won’t see or hear it. A recce vehicle needs to be small, low signature, agile & highly mobile, easily deployable, reliable, should have adequate self-protection means and does not need to be excessively armoured as it does not get involved in firefights. It of course needs excellent sensors, computing power and networked comms. Ajax, conceptually is not a recce vehicle that hits all the above marks. When Strike was later added to its role it was even less suitable as it had no ability to strike at very… Read more »

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Arguable that for a lightweight, covert recce vehicle they should be considering a hybrid, with electric motors to further reduce the chances of it being heard.
(Ukrainian snipers and special forces seem to be making good use of home-produced electric dirt-bikes to position themselves for ambushes.)

Maybe for recce, they should have designed a modernised version of the CVR(T). Today for the same size and weight we could produce something with better performance and protection.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Diesel CVR(T) at low revs is pretty quiet but I hear Ajax is anything but. I very much like the idea of electric motor drives for stealth.
Some might say the CVR(T) is too small to carry all the modern recce gear but Stormer was a somehat longer vehicle – Ajax is too big (and too heavy, too expensive, too noisy, too shaky, too unreliable…..).

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think Stormer was essentially an updated CVR(T) with an extra riad wheel added.

Paul T
Paul T
17 days ago
Reply to  The Snowman

Job’s a Good’n https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiesel_AWC 😃

Jonno
Jonno
8 days ago
Reply to  The Snowman

With modern detection methods what is the future?

Frank Wakefield
Frank Wakefield
18 days ago

Well well, here is the Good old British Public being ripped off again. Exhaust sound and vibration are addressed very very well by specialist manufacturers in the Motor Industry by Rubber and reverse flow exhaust systems.
Idiots,the whole of Westminster is full of people not fit for purpose !!!!!!!

TypewriterMonkey
TypewriterMonkey
18 days ago

This feels a bit like the SA-80 fiasco all over again. We used to lead in this area, but we’ve lost much of the experience gained over decades, a skills reboot like this is always going to be challenging. You can just picture the executive level meetings stuffed full of blue-suited accountants, lawyers and marketing people. The actual engineers not considered important enough to attend in any great number. Lot’s of important people saying ‘yes we can do that, no problem’, flashy PowerPoints and promotional videos. I still don’t really understand the strategy behind the platform and why its become… Read more »

nonsense
nonsense
18 days ago

It is said that AJAX was flawed from the start. – irreversible defect It is currently unknown whether the MOD’s request is unreasonable or General Dynamics’ negligence. However, given that the existing arms procurement practice has reached a useful stage through improvement and improvement despite excessive or new demands from clients, it is reasonable to view this as a major mistake by General Dynamics for now. Also, another problem with AJAX is careless oversight of the MOD. It is a serious mistake of negligence or negligence, even if you are not aware of any loopholes in the project. The seriousness… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago

If the Ajax contract had been awarded to BAE I have little doubt that we would not have had anything like as many problems. BAE inherited the skills and expertise of the British AFV companies that it took over (VSEL, Vickers Defence Systems, Alvis, RO, GKN) and the more recent acquisitions – Hagglunds, Bofors etc. However even BAE would have had difficulty due to the lack of drumbeat AFV orders over the years to keep their eye in. Your point about Marder seems different – that is about upgrading an older base vehicle, rather than building a new vehicle. The… Read more »

Sean
Sean
17 days ago

If anyone idolises the Germans they should look up the history of Berlin Brandenburg Airport. When it comes to civil engineering projects that makes Crossrail look punctual and to budget!! 🤣

Jonno
Jonno
18 days ago

From the word go this was the wrong decision. I could never understand why we bought some trash made in Spain. We should never have closed our own design and building of weaponry.
Seems the Army are in a terrible muddle with decisions made in and around 2000. Hardly surprising as Labour never had a defence minister of any caliber after that date and treated defence as an inconvenient joke.
We also seem to sell stuff too rapidly after it goes out of service.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

I don’t believe that BAE has lost its ability to design and build AFVs.

What is wrong with selling military equipment soon after it has gone out of service? It makes sense.

Robert
Robert
17 days ago

Weren’t we interested at some in the EBRC Jaguar from Nexter? Not tracked but a fine machine from what i read

stevethemanc
stevethemanc
16 days ago

Throw a couple of extra billion in the general direction of your mates, that normally fixes things in a public schoolboy kind of way.

stevethemanc
stevethemanc
16 days ago

Noise and vibration? If they do not like “noise and vibration” what will they think when missiles start heading their way? I thought these vehicles were driven by SOLDIERS!

nonsense
nonsense
16 days ago
Reply to  stevethemanc

No matter how brave a soldier may be, there is no way to train the eardrums or withstand them better than others.

only hearing loss.

Soldiers are people who work for the kingdom, not people who have to lose their hearing pointlessly because of MOD and stupid GD.

good

Let’s make the soldiers deaf

If 1-2 thousand people become deaf in 10 years, how much budget should the government spend for decades?

Can’t we stop treating the soldiers like expendables and throwing them away like garbage and wishing for that?

Doesn’t the British Army have that much honor and dignity?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  stevethemanc

Was this an attempt at humour, Steve? You expect the enemy’s missiles to make a heck of a noise for brief periods. You don’t want your own side to inflict injurious levels of pain and vibration on own troops for hours and hours on end.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
10 days ago

Interesting article in the Telegraph this weekend for those attacking Challenger cuts;
Even back in 1991, it was not tanks but airstrikes and missiles which settled matters. General Smith has subsequently confirmed to your correspondent that if he had been placed in charge at the Ministry of Defence, the current Challenger 2 main battle tank would not be replaced. Nonetheless, Challenger 3 is in the works.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

General Smith? General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, is it?
Quite alarming that CGS should not understand the value of tanks in armoured warfare.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Maybe he does and many self appointed “experts” clinging to the past don’t see that the future will be missile and drone based. Not sure when people will appreciate 1300 Russian tanks lost in 100 days!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Russians have lost tanks because they are poorly designed, poorly manufactured and ineptly handled by poorly trained conscripts with low morale in an army that has poor logistics….and because Ukraine has good anti tank weapons handled by well motivated, well trained soldiers.
Does not mean all tanks in the world are obsolete. If they were, most armies in the world would be removing them from inventories.