Trials of Ajax armoured vehicles were halted at the end of last year to March this year due to excessive vibration and noise, leaving crews suffering from nausea, swollen joints and tinnitus.
The Sun first reported news that General Dynamics built Ajax had encountered significant design problems, cited a leaked document outlining the excessive vibration and other issues.
The upcoming Defence Select Committee report is reported by the Telegraph to say the vehicles cannot reverse over obstacles more than 20 centimetres high, that personnel must wear noise-cancelling headphones when operating them and undergo ear tests afterwards, and that the Household Cavalry Regiment “cannot conduct effective collective training” in them.
In a statement, the MoD confirmed trials had been halted but have also said that trials had resumed.
“We are committed to the Ajax program which will form a key component in the Army’s modernised warfighting division, with current plans for initial operating capability scheduled for summer 2021.
The MoD can confirm that some training on the Ajax family of vehicles was paused as a precautionary measure. This is a normal measure for the demonstration phase of projects; an investigation, incorporating trials, is being carried out jointly with the manufacturer. It is inappropriate for us to comment further at this time. The health and safety of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we are committed to providing a safe working environment.”