Trials of the British Army’s new Ajax armoured vehicles have been halted for a second time after concerns were again raised over noise.

The Ministrty of Defence confirmed that following renewed concerns on the impacts of noise, “all Ajax trials have been suspended and will only resume when we are assured that mitigations are fully effective”.

Today, Defence Minister Jeremy Quin visited the Millbrook Proving Ground where independent testing has been conducted on Ajax. He commented:

“This long-running troubled programme requires ongoing intense work by our industrial partners and ourselves to ensure its delivery. In achieving this, the safety of our personnel will always come first.”

Earlier in the month we reported that 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.

Ajax armoured vehicle suffering ‘serious issues’

General Dynamics UK said at the time that it is working with the Army on the issues.

“Recent trials have confirmed many of the required capabilities across the AJAX Family of Vehicles, including operations across the full range of speed and reverse step obstacle climb. A small number of remaining issues are being reviewed and closed out in partnership with the British Army and Ministry of Defence ahead of Initial Operating Capability.”

The MoD has launched an investigation which is planned to finish at the end of July.

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David Steeper
David Steeper
19 days ago

‘A troubled programme’ Well I suppose that’s one way of describing it. Wonder if the people responsible for this are feeling nervous about their chances of promotion ? No they’re prob in a nice cushy HQ job somewhere like Washington or Naples with nothing to do but fiddle their expenses and book their next skiing holiday.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

As Ken Clarke said on the eve of Hancock’s leaving his post ‘Congratulations on your promotion’. Sadly that’s only partly a joke in this Country, ask Dido Harding.

Jonathan
Jonathan
18 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Don’t joke, Dido Harding is likely to become the next CEO of the NHS. Her vast experience in running a mobile phone company will do very well running a health system.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

David, Do you think that MoD staff, whether they be civil servants or army personnel, designed and developed this troublesome vehicle? No, General Dynamics did. The MoD staff are running Acceptance tests and find the vehicle wanting – why not give them some credit for insisting very firmly that the contractor sorts out the problems before the vehicle is released to service, and are not brushing this under the carpet. Why would MoD Ajax programme staff be in Washington or Naples? They are mostly at Abbeywood in Bristol, a rather less glamorous location. When I was at Abbeywood I did… Read more »

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Speaking from experience, it’s a shame such diligence in acceptance testing isn’t usually shown in the IT sector.
Must admit though, I’m amazed they couldn’t find an off the shelf proven vehicle that met the requirements.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Sean, good point about the IT sector – Microsoft was famous for producing patch after patch to resolves issues with newly released software. I wish that the US-UK TRACER programme had worked out, then we would have had commonality with the US and economy of scale so reasonable units costs. Big US development money may have ironed out all the teething troubles at an early stage. When TRACER ended, time had been wasted, CVR(T) was ageing badly and we absolutely should have gone for off the shelf. Bastardising ASCOD (itself an ageing platform) and over-developing (ie over-weighting) it was a… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I’m not great fan of Microsoft Graham but I do know that they were one of the few companies to produce software to run on virtually millions of different combinations of kit. There is a limitation of how much testing you can do in these circumstances and you are somewhat reliant on clients being bright enough to control the update rollouts. The IT industry gets a lot of critism but it might help if users didn’t demand what they don’t understand and listened when you are told by someone who knows what they are talking about that something won’t work.… Read more »

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I know that it’s easy to poke at Microsoft due to the wide range of issues that surfaced with Windows, post launch. However, it’s worth remembering that every PC on the planet is unique. The software loadout is unique. The stuff installed and uninstalled, the stuff installed and never used, the apps downloaded from the web, browsers, word processors etc. There’s a huge range of software and an ever wider range of possible combinations. There is no way that Microsoft could have planned for, and tested, every single eventuality. No, I am not, and never have been, a Microsoft employee.… Read more »

Nicholas
Nicholas
18 days ago
Reply to  Sean

There was a period, early on in state IT outsourcing, when acceptance testing of that years PC was carried out by the company that made them.

SD67
SD67
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Certainly not my experience in the IT sector. I’ve seen microscopic inspection of UAT and due diligence from internal audit, multiple runs stress testing interfaces. Stage gate approval process is real.

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  SD67

You’ve been fortunate then.
First 15 years of my career was going into organisations and fixing disastrous IT projects. Usually involved total rewrites of bought systems from external suppliers and a huge amount of data-fixing and recovery. In all cases the IT Director’s responsible got the boot.
(And that included a system that did $1billion in settlements per annum.)

John Clark
John Clark
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean

They did Sean, they found an existing vehicle that met the all important ‘political’ requirements, then set about modifying it beyond recognition, it’s just a trifling matter of making it work now…. They are just about to to copy and paste the same time honoured, piss poor and broken approach to the Puma replacement….. The AW149 will be the politically accepted solution…. Built in the UK, “Ching” goes the till, as a UK production line will mean a 50% hike in unit price, UK specific mods, armour, countermeasures etc, “Ching” goes the till, another 50% rise and probably a reduction… Read more »

Sean
Sean
17 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I wouldn’t buy Blackhawk, it’s on its way out as being obsolete. But I would look at getting whatever the US Army decides to replace it with – down two two options both looking good.

John Clark
John Clark
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I would say obsolescence is a subjective matter regarding helicopters….

Speed is one thing, but our UK medium helicopter requirement is just that, a medium helicopter requirement.

I absolutely see what you are saying though Sean, how about we lease Blackhawks, with an option to buy the fancy new options Uncle Sam is developing down the road, when they have been de-risked and are in large scale production…

Nic
Nic
17 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

The AW149 will probably replace the Puma as it seems to be getting more air time than the other contenders.
Leonardo have said they will move the whole production to Yeovil from Italy

John Clark
John Clark
17 days ago
Reply to  Nic

It certainly will, just what the services want, a very expensive, late, bespoke and fragile battlefield helicopter…

Nic
Nic
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I would agree, it doesn’t look the sturdiest aircraft it’s more of a civilian type .

George Parker
George Parker
14 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

When the decision was made to have an EU army, they also decided on the procurement. Hence closure of British MBT production lines, leaving the Germans as Europe’s tank builders. BAE systems were ready to use the Elswick Works on Tyneside to build the UK a CV90 based fleet. Needless to say, keeping that MBT factory open was simply not acceptable.
I’m not blaming the EU per say, just the secretive behind closed doors processes they established. BREXIT can slightly too late to save our MBT facilities and properly influence the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) procurement.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
19 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

There are very few Army staff in Naples. A large RN contingent followed by RAF …The only Army guy I remember seeing their was actually attached to the EU contingent of 5 staff.

Fiddling expenses? Mugs game… the plod will always find out for a few quid its really not worth it. Now if you were the UK equivalent of Fat Albert then maybe…but he got caught as well along with all his cohorts.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

“The mission of Allied Joint Force Command Naples is to prepare for, plan and conduct military operations in order to preserve the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states throughout SACEUR’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) and beyond”. It succeeded Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH).
So absolutely nothing to do with UK domestic vehicle procurement!

I totally agree that fiddling expenses is a mugs game – only a tiny number of people would take the risk.

Pete
Pete
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Spot on re holding the Contractor to account .

6 steps to be complied with in any decent contract.

Scope, spec, standards, certification, verification, acceptance. Hopefully mod contract has all 6 elements watertight …and then the 7th step in their back pocket.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes Specifications were given to GD by MoD and Army staff who didn’t themselves design the vehicle but they do need to be realistic in scope, mandating five tons to be shaved off the design and the use of tracks that are different to the manufacturers prefered solution but come from a Constituency with delicate political considerations does have knock on consequence!

Last edited 18 days ago by Fedaykin
Rob N
Rob N
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I find this all hard to believe… were there not prototypes? How has this got so far down the road without someone spotting that the vehicle is not up to scratch. Bib the manufacturer keep the problems hush hush – thinking no one would notice the high noise! Also how can you create a vehicle in this day and age that has such problems.

The MoD should tell the manufacturer to fix the problems at their expense or else the contract will be cancelled.

StevenW
StevenW
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well said Graham. All too frequently on this otherwise excellent site folk are way too eager to denigrate hard working and diligent civil servants who earnestly do their job. The same hard work ethic can often be applied to politicians too whatever their party. Things may sometimes not go as planned but that is rarely because civil servants or politicians are lazy, corrupt or inept.

SD67
SD67
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well maybe those same diligent MOD staff can show us the signed off validated Key User Requirements document, and the current performance against each of the KURs?

Then that gets handed over to a lawyer and the rectification demand is sent out to GD. It’s not rocket science. But in 10 years they’ve bnever done it.

Steve
Steve
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Realistically these issues should have been identified earlier, so the MOD are not totally blameless. Missing minor issues is understandable but this seems to be more fundamental.

Steve
Steve
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Ultimately it will be clear whos fault it is, based on who fits the bill for the fixes.

Something Different
Something Different
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Let’s be clear how project works. The MOD and military probably gave very clear specifications and requirements to General Dynamics, I doubt excessive vibration was part of the list. This does not appear to be a case of scope creep bumping up the price or the government lengthening the deliver dates to extend when they have to pay for the system. This seems to be a fundamental design flaw and that is the responsibility of the vendor (albeit I’m confident that the technical personnel are trying their best even if their management is failing).

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago

The MoD Requirements Manager, an experienced military officer, would have drawn up the Requirements documents – and it would have included the remit for full legal compliance and adherence to occupant health and safety criteria.
GD UK has screwed up the design and over-developed the base vehicle – they took a project initiated way back in 1982 (ASCOD) for a 26.3t vehicle and grew it to a 38-42t vehicle. They will be lucky to fix the NVH problems quickly and cheaply, or even, at all.

andy a
andy a
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If they cant will the goverment and MOD hold them to account? I would hope they would refuse to sign off on acceptance till its fixed? I assume they with hold payment till IOC?

SD67
SD67
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I doubt that document exists, that’s the problem. The MOD have been sucked in to becoming a kind of collaborative development partner. There is no sign of the classic arms length customer supplier relationship on this.
GDLS no doubt have a large file of correspondence showing that the MOD knew they were adding this weight and that weight and approved them to go ahead. So Sir Humphrey is getting twitchy as he’s in the same boat and just praying they can somehow make it work.

Nate M
Nate M
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Look on the bright side 2-0. And win in the knockout’s against Europe’s best. First time since 66.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
18 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

I’m still on the ceiling.

David
David
18 days ago

International Space Station?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
18 days ago
Reply to  David

Not quite that high!

AlexS
AlexS
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I don’t get the Washington, Naples reference?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

BDS Washington and a NATO HQ in Naples, which is predominantly RN I believe. Cited as cushy postings.

David
David
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

It’s the idea that officers move between operations and desks… one moment in procurement, next 2 years on ‘operations’ on a custy number thereby avoiding accountability for past errors.

Mark B
Mark B
18 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

David – expenses are a thing of he past. You can’t go anywhere nor can you go on skiing holidays. Most people who claim expenses know that you usually end up losing money. Better to stick to your zoom calls and spend time with h family.

David Steeper
David Steeper
18 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Ok. It was me venting will just have to find another way to vent !

dan
dan
19 days ago

Should have just bought an off the shelf APC. There are some great ones that provided most of the benefits this will.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  dan

Dan, We weren’t looking to buy an APC – we were looking for an armoured recce vehicle to replace CVR(T) Scimitar – although with mission creep it now covers a recce/strike role.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Why can’t one be both? Getting something in the same weight as Scimitar/Scorpion wasn’t going to happen short of building CVR(T) 2 or buying Wiesel 2, and Warrior was getting on in years. Kill two birds with one stone.

Challenger
Challenger
19 days ago
Reply to  dan

We still haven’t got away from adapting a design out of all recognition from the original in the pursuit of a perfectly tailored platform rather than a 90% solution.

The RAF looks like it’s learnt it’s lesson from Nimrod but The Army clearly weren’t paying attention. They need to start sifting their doctrine and structures (just a tad) rather than having rigid demands that it expects designers and manufacturers to bend to.

BobA
BobA
18 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

You don’t shift doctrine and structures to suit equipment. You equip to fulfil your ability to execute your doctrine. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that what they promise they can do is technically feasible at the cost point available.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

There were two bad Nimrod projects – AEW3 and the more recent MRA4 (MPA).
The Treasury really screwed up the latter by insisting on refurbishing existing Nimrod MPAs, (rather than go with BAE’s suggestion of new airframes) – to save money!! Not sure that bad decisions by RAF officers had much to do with that project’s failure – it was doomed from the start by HMT.
MoD Requirements documents are less proscriptive (less rigid) than they ever used to be; but a problem remains – that of MoD changing Requirements – that is inevitable in long gestation projects.

DaveyB
DaveyB
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They really chose to use the wrong airframe for the AEW project. The Nimrod was simply too small to house the required amount of 1980’s electronics and cooling. If they had looked at using something like Tristar, at least they would have had sufficient space for the cooling, which a lot of the problems the radar had when being trialed in the Nimrod. When they did get the radar to work, it was better than expected. The problem was they could only get one antenna system to work at a time. As they couldn’t get the front and back synchronization… Read more »

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

“The Treasury really screwed up the latter by insisting on refurbishing existing Nimrod MPAs, (rather than go with BAE’s suggestion of new airframes) – to save money!!” Not the actual problem and BAE didn’t suggest new Airframe over refurbishment as far as I am aware at project inception that only came up later when they were talking about exports. The actual problem was the last minute edict from the Government for Rolls Royce engines to be used, BAe had performed a full study into potential powerplants and had decided upon the GE CF34 as the prefered solution and all initial… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

While the re-design of the wing box for the larger BR710, caused serious knock on issues, it was a poorly thought out solution.

Basing a rebuild project on completely worn out and bespoke airframes, who differed in measurements, from airframe, to airframe, was frankly insane.

Unfortunately, the usual rules apply, BAE Systems price turned out to be about as accurate as a local builders estimate and they fleeced the tax payer over and over again until the axe eventually fell……

Does anyone actually believe the problems that plagued the MR4a weren’t apparent from a very early stage?

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
15 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Well the original intended replacement for the Nimrod MR2 was the Lockheed P-7a, when that programme was cancelled due to delays and cost over runs the MOD was forced to issue a new requirement for a replacement SR(A)420. Bae who were keen on winning the contract did a pretty comprehensive study in to alternative airframes, the RAF also were highly resistant to a conversion of low wing airliner with podded under slung engines due to concerns about ditching characteristics. This rather limited their choices, they did look at maybe a stretched variant of the Bae 146 but that was too… Read more »

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

They will get whatever it is eventually. Then change their doctrine and structures.

Nic
Nic
18 days ago
Reply to  dan

I wonder if we had taken the initial designed model and not started to load more onto it and make more demands on it , would it have been ok .

Nic
Nic
18 days ago
Reply to  dan

Yes it would be and ideal situation if they bought an off the self tried and tested vehicle.

David Steeper
David Steeper
18 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Like RN with Arrowhead.

BB85
BB85
19 days ago

Interesting, the mod dropped this bombshell during the England game. I wonder why that is.

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  BB85

According to the Twitter photo in the article it dropped at 4:39pm. That’s 20mins before the England game even started… sorry for spoiling your conspiracy theory.

BB85
BB85
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

There is no conspiracy theory here. Win or lose England dominated the headlines yesterday evening and this morning. The mod press office just released their press release then immediately logged off to watch the match.

Sean
Sean
18 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Wrongly claiming they dropped the news during the match and “wondering why” sounds pretty tin-foil hat.
As for the shock that they “immediately logged off to watch the match”, well most of England did, so what?
Even without England playing, Ajax wouldn’t be too news. For better or worse defence projects just aren’t that high profile in the U.K. But the BBC did pick up and widely reported the news last-night.
The unspoken inference that this is on par with Labour viewing 9/11 as “a good day to bury bad news” is laughable.

Rogbob
Rogbob
19 days ago

– So the Army cant upgrade its existing vehicle (Warrior) and cant buy a new one (Ajax) without royally fking it up. – Its also looking to scrap AS90, a “youngish and under utilised” fleet and buy something with indistingishable capability (another 155 blah it has wheels blah yet our peers still have tracks…). – It wants to spend money on imported JLTVs to replace vehicles it bought yesterday (including Foxhound which was increased in numbers post Afghan). – How is Boxer going? – Is it even worth starting Challenger3? It seems like a drunk child in a sweet shop,… Read more »

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I read recently that an in independent audit found the Boxer project was ahead of schedule. Apologies for this ray of sunshine spoiling your gripe.

AlexS
AlexS
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I don’t think the Army have added any capability to Boxer. It is basically an armored 8×8 with a rifle calibre machine gun.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

They’ll find a way to fk it up!

Of course, there is the small issue that we were in Boxer and could have had 100s in service by now, including in Afghan like the Germans had. Instead we had Vector, Vixen and the like.

Then we were Piranha V for a bit iirc.

Sean
Sean
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

They didn’t need to add any capability, they were involved in the initial specification and design before pulling out of the project.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Quite, in/out/in again. Wtf goes on?

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

UK Defence procurement use the time honoured hokey cokey process Rogbob…

In, out, in, out, shake it all about, do the hokey cokey and turn around ….. Then cancel it…..

Ajax has reached “the shake it all about” part of the project, so, some turning around and hokey cokey to go yet, before cancellation.

Then we can plonk a new engine in the remaining Scimitars, gaffer tape in a 40mm gun, plonk on some sandbag reactive armour and job done……

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

We’ve got the full razzle dazzle show to go with Chally3 yet!

How about a UKDJ Chally3 sweep stake. I’ll say £800 million pissed against the wall and cancellation in 2025……

Come on chaps, place your bets…..

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

So worse capability than a 30 year old Warrior with good cross-country mobility, fair armour and a 30mm cannon for each rifle section?

peter Wait
peter Wait
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

They could buy the 30 mm cannon module which is already designed and works at no risk!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
17 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Lol…nice one..l hopefully they’ll plan to buy some up armed variants and soon!

Paul.P
Paul.P
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Well, that’s better out than in 🙂 Looking from the outside as a simple taxpayer I agree with much of what you say. For example AS90 does seem to be roughly as good as its peers. As regards being outranged I think the defence review hints at money being spent on longer range guided rockets which would seem the way to go. Per Sean’s post I too believe Boxer is going pretty well ( it’s German after all so it should work). And it is a realistic candidate for a Warrior replacement if the Army wants to pursue it. I… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Your faith in CR3 is touching, but track record indicates another disaster. Ajax wise we dont know who is responsible. I would bet the manufacturer has done as demanded and has probably raised this as an issue early on but was dismissed as inflating the work and risking the timeline, and so ignored. Now its at a point where reality is just too big to ignore, although they’ll be working frantically to do just that. AS90 is going to be scrapped and an entirely new system bought at purchase cost plus infra, training and logistics. Meanwhile everyone else is still… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Well as they say, we are where we are. Completely agree with you re directions for AS90 and JLTV. A no brainer really. Understand your scepticism re C3. Fitting a new turret on an existing mature vehicle…what could go wrong, right? I do think though that it is a different situation. As I understand it C2 is not knackered like Warrior. Also I have more faith in Rheinmetall. My understanding is that they are thinking to use the new C3 turret as a test bed for their development of a next generation European battle tank. So they have real motivation… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hopefully they’ll listen to Rheinmetal who are at least SMEs. WR was the most useful of the lot – that is the crying frustration. We’ve got a niche recce vehicle (assuming it ever works), a new MBT which at best we hardly use (I personally think we need them), and some new artilery (half used) but the one thing we’ve used masses and which has been awesome, is now going. That is the monument of the fk up they’ve created. And it was there from the outset when they ignored the OEM for WR and driven by hatred of BAE… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

AS90 could have been fixed 20 years ago with the Braveheart program. This replaced the L39 gun with a longer L52 gun (current standard) plus a new ammunition handler. This would have made the AS90 a match for the German Pz2000, in terms of range and capability. However, it was binned as the sandbox saga required all available funding. What was perhaps a kick in the teeth for the RA, was that Poland bought the Braveheart turret and fitted it to S.Korean K9 chassis. I really don’t get why the Army/MoD are pushing for the JLTV, when we have Foxhound.… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
18 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

JLTV is less than half the price of Foxhound plus Foxhound doesn’t meet the MRV requirement. So much so that’s its manufacturer submitted another vehicle (Eagle) for the program.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

But we have Foxhound it is paid for. The “MRV requirement” is what exactly? A wishlist? Dreams on paper? A supersonic noiseless invisible second strike defensive attack bomber (apologies to Joseph Heller!)? I too used Foxhound on ops a lot, it was awesome. Confidence inspring, great SA (get the comment on windows but the cameras kind of did that and vs anything else it was a massive step up) and after the brake system was fixed, very reliable. Small, manoeuvreble, decent load (2+4 and space for kit) and fully equipped with ECM and although the doublr gpmg layour was clu… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

We had two fresh from the factory. One had any issue blowing a main fuse when it got hot. Where we found the main earth strap point was still painted. So we fixed that. The other blew a head gasket. But after we got a pair of fitters up from Bastion, it was awesome.

Our pair also had a gpmg remote system fitted with a day/night camera. They sought of blended in with the Canadian Nyala MRAPs. But the Foxhounds were far more resilient.

The all round cameras were good, but I’d still prefer some extra windows.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

We were the first operational users, didnt have any of that but the brakes kept failing with resultant RTAs incl iirc one on its side. Gpmg was 2 mounts both about 180arc and just about get both dead ahead. But a massive leap forward from Vixen as Ridgeback was too big for our areas. It just felt solid, you had great SA in the back (contrasting to zero in Vixen!) and it was fast and maneouvreble which was really important. Also quite low profile so could to some extent blend in (compared to Risgeback). I dont know why they’ve taken… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
18 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

I thought JLTV and Foxhound were the same price, hence the issues of why are we buying American again?

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

At one time IIRC a figure of $250K per for JLTV was suggested which was a lot less expensive than Foxhound. But looking at various European purchases Montenegro was ~$540k, Belgium ~€420k, while Slovenia and Lithuania seem to have paid ~$330k under a FMS. Nonetheless all seem to be a lot less than Foxhound.

Wayne
Wayne
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I think a lot of lessons have been learned with AJAX. I have a lot of confidence in CR3 delivering what is required.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Wayne

As I said, the faith is touching, but I’d go off experience, and I see no sign at all that “lessons have been learned”. Afterall the MoD changed that phrase to “lessons identified” as every single audit/inquiry ever, found that lessons were never actually learned. So downgrade the expectation and then you ostensibly dont have a problem.
That is how MoD deals with failure – redefine things so its less of one.

peter Wait
peter Wait
18 days ago
Reply to  Wayne

They did not learn from panther, Blair chose a Italian light jeep. up armoured it into an unreliable vehicle with high centre of gravity. Was not even on the short list, more expensive than better armoured vehicles were available?

andy a
andy a
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Why is this the Armys fault? isnt it the supplier as its not reached IOC

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  andy a

??? Defence procurement is much more integrated than that because there is no baseline market.

If ford fkd up their fiesta that would be different, but the manifacturer hs developed this in tight coordination with MoD to their rules, standards and requirements – with their people making decisions on all of those.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Rogbob, I think it is a disgrace that WCSP was not enacted on WR, and perhaps the mistake was rolling 3 upgrade programmes into one – which became unwieldy and expensive. So, we run on WR and allow its capability and availability to drop and then replace it with Boxer (eventually) which may not even have an unstab 30mm cannon, let alone a 40mm stabilised one. Will we get a wheeled box with a MG – sounds like Saxon with a few more wheels! Ajax – GD UK have screwed it up – morphing a 26ton ASCOD into a 38-42… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

WCSP was fundamentally flawed, in an even worse positon than Ajax. As with Nimrod, you have to stop before you waste more, especially if it isnt lilely to actually work even if you continue. And yes, the outcome is awful. But its an outcome the MoD created. Ajax is exactly what the MoD asked for and pushed to be done. It opted for this choice, it opted for every other requirement and choice – it owns the fk up. AS90 is relatively young, compare to US M109s and even PzH2000 isnt much younger – the fleet has also seen relatively… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

As90 like the simalar American unit is not worn out but out ranged and doesn’t carry enough punch to counter Russian and Chinese equipment. If we are to be prepared to face them we either need to update with digital smart kit like usa or buy new. Unlike USA we haven’t updated and kept it modern

peter Wait
peter Wait
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Could have built CV90 in the Uk , this was already designed with modern hydro-gas suspension so very little risk, no jolly’s to America !

David
David
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

What he said.

dave12
dave12
19 days ago

Funny how Philippine army dont have issue with this(or do they?) probably more equipment on ours though.

Peter S
Peter S
19 days ago

This is starting to look like something that can’t be fixed by a bit of tweaking. If the increased weight is putting excess strain on the engine and suspension, then a more fundamental redesign may be needed.
Does the issue affect all variants including the Ares?

Chris
Chris
19 days ago

Incredibly ironic, considering the US Bradly IFV disaster, which is now a BAE product.

John N
John N
19 days ago

Wouldn’t be much fun being rattled to pieces before dismounting.

It’s interesting that a few weeks ago here in Australia, Hanwha Defence Australia produced a ‘promo’ video of the AS21 Redback, which is competing against the KF41 Lynx, for the Army’s Land 400 IFV competition.

In the video at the approx 3min mark they make the point of how smooth the ride is and how comfortable it is:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8jqLZGx0cPs

Funny that? Should send the UK MoD the link to view.

cheers,

Positroll
Positroll
37 minutes ago
Reply to  John N

I wonder how the recent Elbit fiasco (compromised Battle Management System) will impact the Redback bit.
Aussies are going to use an interim solution from Denmark for three years. But after that?
One option coming to mind is the new BMS by RM getting developed right now.

The 3.o version for the infantry (IdZ) just got a development contract this month.
https://www.hardthoehenkurier.de/index.php/news/9-news/3032-rheinmetall-stellt-erstes-gesamtkonzept-fuer-die-naechste-generation-des-bundeswehr-soldatensystems-infanterist-der-zukunft-erweitertes-system-vor

So if the Aussies order Lynx in addition to the Boxer, that would make a rather reasonable combo – provided Germany is willing to allow export of the system to Australia (modified export variant?)

Positroll
Positroll
36 minutes ago
Reply to  Positroll

Redback biD. Not bit.

Something Different
Something Different
19 days ago

I am really sceptical of the mixed wheels and tracked strike brigade concept. This is a very big armoured tracked vehicles which surely would be better matched with a similarly tracked and tactically mobiles IFV. Conversely would it be better to pair the boxer with a wheeled armed reconnaissance vehicle that matches its strategic mobility. Perhaps the issues with this project will provide the opportunity to rethink whether it’s worth continuing and instead look towards a more appropriate mix of vehicles. For the ultimate heresy why not procure the Bradley as it is not only a battle proven off the… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
19 days ago

Bradley is in its swan song of life. It’s definitely RDP . The US ARMY is looking at replacements using a manned /optional unmanned vehicle.

AlexS
AlexS
19 days ago

It is just Army desperation. They have no other alternative.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago

If you look at the published orbat, the deep strike brigade no longer has Boxer in it. Or any infantry for that matter!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I’ve seen that ORBAT, took it to be conjecture anyway as it would mean an increase in Infantry battalions mounted on Boxer, which I do not think is happening. AT present there will be only 4, same as when Strike existed.

The DSB is just a rebranded 1 Art Bde with Ajax regiments placed in it.

I hope for more assets in time though.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago

Ok, I’m assuming going from 4 WR and 4 Boxer to just the latter is not the planned outcome.

Whether more Boxer or an even more imaginative way of multiple people sharing 2 thing, or just more walking I dont know!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Whatever, it is sobering that of 32 Infantry battalions, ( or is it 33? ) just 4 will be in armoured vehicles.

Thought just 9 was bad in 2010, then just 8 in 2015 SDSR with the Strike fiasco.

What. A. Mess.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago

Quite. We may be back to 1939 proportions.

Doubly tragic after the lessons of the last 3 decades.

But at least we still have the capbadges. Never forget the true priority!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
17 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Ah! The Cap Badge Mafia.

DaveyB
DaveyB
18 days ago

It’s theatre entry standard armour is not as good as the Warrior’s. Plus they are both from the same period.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago

Of course Ajax was intended to replace CVR(T) Scimitar as an armoured recce vehicle. As such it had no need to operate with IFVs. However now it is also a Strike vehicle so it might have to (however I have not seen a ‘Strike’ CONOPs so am not sure).
No need to pair Boxer IFV with a wheeled recce vehicle as they operate seperately.
However we used to have wheeled recce (Fox) and tracked recce (Scimitar/Scorpion) – and good useful and comprehensive families of reasonably priced AFVs – CVR(T) family and FV430 family. What went wrong?

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago

A wheeled, armed recon vehicle you say….. Simple solution, take the tracks of Scimitar and pop tyres on the track wheels, gaffer tape and hammer in the already bought 40 mm cannon into place, my local garage can do engine rebuilds and power remaps…. Better protection, with specialised Clark reactive Armour capability (sandbags tied on, over margarine tubs filled with a mix of weedkiller and sugar), a lock of paint and bobs your uncle, job done for a few million for the whole fleet. I’ll need a governmental contact that guarantees I get paid, no matter how useless the finished… Read more »

OOA
OOA
19 days ago

The Army’s Nimrod. Fiasco.

AlexS
AlexS
19 days ago
Reply to  OOA

I think that was FRES

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Errr this is FRES. Renamed but same people same desks same work.

AlexS
AlexS
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Wasn’t FRES a common tracked vehicle to fit all functions?

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

We will find FRES tatooed on someones heart when he dies.

Julian
Julian
18 days ago
Reply to  OOA

That was precisely the thought that popped into my head – is this another Nimrod? What a total and utter mess.

Someone really does need to take a long hard and super-realistic look at the technicalities here. If this can be fixed for acceptable cost then great but if there is no rational fix then please don’t throw another few billion quid at the program before finally playing out the Nimrod analogy to its final catastrophic conclusion.

OOA
OOA
18 days ago
Reply to  Julian

Totally agree. Some observers blame the contractor for problems but there is a very well-established principle in capital projects that the client’s management of requirements, definition, stakeholders, planning, budgeting and of the contractor’s performance – is the most influential factor in the project or programme’s success. I sincerely hope these problems are overblown in the media and that the fixes are straightforward and effective. The issue really is that these problems are taking place against a backdrop of years of poor programme management so there is a natural suspicion of those involved who trot-out the, ‘move along, nothing to see… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  OOA

Completely agree – although Nimrod seems less of a parallel with this and more with WCSP (given foolishness of new bits on old things), but its hard to think of a brand new air or sea product having had billions spent on it that doesnt actually work! A400 might fit the bill, Chinook Mk3 perhaps… Type 23 frigates delivered without a combat system (as MoD thought the manufactuer’s claim that a new architecture was needed was purely to grab cash off MoD so insisted on adapting an old one which not surprisingly proved impossible and so then had to pay… Read more »

AJH
AJH
18 days ago

At what point does it become blindingly obvious that the CV90 is better in every measurable way than this over priced, unproven donkey. MoD procurement is just pathetic

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  AJH

CV90 is an IFV, not a recce vehicle. But perhaps it could be adapted for the recce role, so long as not to many tons weight was added.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Just who or what will we have to receive this recce once this misbegotten vehicle has sucked the life blood from the army budget.

And how many active units will it have when you take away the hospital and engineering and command units.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Adapting an IFV, wheeled or tracked, for recce is what all our peers have done. Thus getting themselves transports and recce vehicles.

We seem unique in pouring our effort into a specialised thing that cant do much else. It cant be an IFV or a tank.

Positroll
Positroll
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Um, not true for Germany

WW2:
wheeled Puma (specially developed)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-HPtLPK-Ts
tracked Luchs (adapted from PzII)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eG2O6_sIRU

During the cold war:
wheeled Luchs (specially developed)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA_Fex5TWlc
(and Leo II companies in heavy recce units).

Nowadays they mainly use the Fennek,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7U9HDSHNps
also a specialiced vehicle. Occasionally a Fuchs 1 if it needs to be able to swim.

There is some discussion on getting some Boxer CRVs, depending on the Australian experience.

Positroll
Positroll
16 minutes ago
Reply to  Positroll

And then there is the new LUWA,
https://soldat-und-technik.de/2021/07/bewaffnung/27778/luftbeweglicher-waffentraeger-luwa-gesamtsystemdemonstrator-vorgestellt/
though I am notsure there is a scout version planned yet. With a hybrid motor (diesel and Li batteries) and rubber tracks it will be very quiet, though, able to do silent running for tactical distances.

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
18 days ago

So let’s be clear after over 100 years of development of tracked vehicles the British Army are still finding it difficult to provide such equipment that won’t deafen their crews.
In around the same timescale we have gone from wooden and fabric biplanes to the Eurofighter and fortunately our submarines have also similarly improved.
Unfair comparisons perhaps but nothing short of a national joke.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago

The MOD has already [email protected]£3b on this project out of a contract maximum of £5.5b. We cut our losses on Warrior upgrade, perhaps we should do the same with Ajax?
I don’t understand why so much of the overall cost has been handed over before a number of wholly satisfactory demonstrator vehicles have been produced. This effectively means the MOD are bearing all of the risk. If this were a normal commercial contract, GD would be facing legal action with claims for refunds and compensation.
Both GD and LM should be barred from any future work.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

In fairness. Its the MoD who should be barred from buying stuff!

The money spent is a decade of work done, building a factory, recruting people and so on. Hard to get to the production point of something without doing that.

Building “a” vehicle requires largely the same stuff to be done as building 100s of them. Hence the risk. If that sat all on the manufacturers nobody would do it. Ultimately if you want something, you have to pay for it.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

The timescale of payments is reported in detail on Forces net. and doesn’t really fit with the explanation you have suggested. About £300m was spent on demonstration up to 2015. In the last 4 years nearly £2b has been spent on manufacturing. The problems now occurring must have been present in the earlier demonstration phase or what was the point of 4 years of demonstration? How was this vehicle cleared for full scale production? GDs performance seems so bad as to be verging on fraudulent. They should receive no more money until the problems are fixed. If they can’t be… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Yeah, as I said – money has been sunk into manufacturing!

The MoD controls the pace of the project, it oversaw development, it cleared the way for production, it made those decisions. GD just does what its told to do, and paid to do.

How you get to GD being fraudulent is beyond me.

It shouldnt be risky etc, but MoD is a master at making simple things hard and expensive. It controls that, but chooses that, or rather is unable to do otherwise.

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

If the vehicle wasn’t capable of carrying that much weight then it is up to the manufacturer to say so, it is their vehicle it is them that know what the design is capable of

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

How do you know they didnt?

Honestly if I had a pound for every time I’ve seen MoD go against manufacturer advice I’d be relaxing on my yacht in the caribbean writing this 🙂

Reality is both are in each others pockets throughout, the MoD controls everything and cannot claim ignorance or abdicate responsibility.

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Wouldn’t be the first time a manufacturer has over promised and under delivered

Last edited 18 days ago by Martyn Palmer
Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

This has not been an example of MOD penny pinching. The contract price is eye wateringly high for such an uninnovative vehicle. So either the MOD signed off on production before the ” demonstration” phase had actually demonstrated the necessary quality, or GD failed to disclose material information. I don’t know which is right but the behaviour of these large defence contractors must make one suspicious. It’s time to recognise that the private sector is not capable of delivering on time or at reasonable cost. We need a UK equivalent of Nexter to ensure skills are maintained. 10+ years to… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

I dont think I said it was penny pinching? The opposite really, they sign up to huge things! I sort of agree, but UK culture is ingrained rhat everything must be contracted out as this is far cheaper. I’ve tried and failed arguing against it at the highest levels but they are absolutely convinced (1-3 star level) and there is no chance of that changing any time soon. Equally there is no evidence that it is. Butits a belief that is truly deeply inneained in our forces and public sector culture – and in fairness to the politicians, its not… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I wasn’t suggesting that you referred to penny pinching, rather that a known problem for defence funding is the straitjacket of annual budgets. But this doesn’t seem to have been a major issue here. I do think there now needs to be a full public enquiry into this shambles so it never happens again.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Ah ok, took the reply a little literally! Kind of agree on an inquiry, except their purpose is to obscure and delay the truth past any point of relevance so I doubt it’d add anything. At the end of it there’d be a press statement to the effect “that a long time ago, things (unspecified) have changed, wouldnt happen now, move along nothing to see”. And then repeat. I despair really – and I think thats the problem, I talk to middle and senior Army officers and they’ve given up. The system is unreformable and so it just keeps chugging… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

You’re probably right about a public enquiry. The situation seems so dire that only major restructuring of our land forces has a chance of improving matters. On the equipment front, very little of the new kit will be in service in numbers within the next few years. So the army will have a fairly limited capacity to do more than home defence. That gives a window of opportunity to carry out the radical restructuring that the Defence Command paper so clearly failed to achieve. How you avoid a repetition of the Warrior and Ajax shambles is trickier. Without a national… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

My bugbear of a state controlled supplier is that it would be far worse. You only have to look at the duplication and empire building we had when BAe was nationalised, with RAE(s), AAEE, RARDE(s?) and all the others and so on – all these estsblishments stovepiped and just focussing on doing their bit and keeping doing their bit come what may. Its only recently we’ve got out of the hole we dug with that structure and moved to a more integrated one (as the US had for decades) – but the adversarial culture remains from MoD which begrudges anyone… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

We probably also need the equivalent of the well-organised and funded in-house RARDE.

peter Wait
peter Wait
18 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Warrior 2000 was designed from warrior in 9 months and worked , seems F35 with inboard gun has problems and over use of afterburner can damage tail!

Rogbob
Rogbob
17 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Warrior 2000 was a concept? It was rejected by the intended customer for something else, and never made the (big) jump from concept to production.

Which is the exact stage Ajax is in and struggling with at huge cost.

But yes, we should have just replaced CVRT with more, newer Warriors and stayed in Boxer.

Fleet re-equipment would have been completed years ago with better kit than we did an far cheaper.

Mark
Mark
18 days ago

Several billion spent so far. A perfect example of how the UK spends so much without seeming to have the end product to show for it.

John Hampson
John Hampson
18 days ago

After pressure from Brussels, Cameron’s govt rejected the BAE CV-90 tender to build 600 APV’s in Newcastle. This was a far more versatile and proven design. Once again the UK govt rejected a British tender and selected the European option. And what did Cameron’s MoD get. An from America’s General Dynamics. A Spanish/Austrian design, built in Spain, with Swedish steel, with a German engine and gear box, a French gun and American/German turret. The Vickers plant in Newcastle closed.

Paul.P
Paul.P
18 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

I think you might have hit on the core of the problem. The MOD have got into a mess because their hatred of BAE has passed into a pathology, a psychological illness of hating anything British.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
17 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Unbelievable high level stupidity, carelessness and waste, all of this. The Defence Minister should be held responsible too and get this fixed on his watch. Have any sensible threshold performance parameters been set for this Ajax project and then everyone is held to account if broken? Sorry lost of posts here so I might have missed this. Where are the people who have the experience and know what the Army needs and who should be listened to to help fix this? As posted below, maybe we might end up looking at the Lynx or the Korean Redback.

Albion
Albion
18 days ago

As I am very much a layman when it comes to armoured vehicles, may I ask the more enlightened on here, how does the Ajax compare say for example with the German Lynx?

peter Wait
peter Wait
18 days ago
Reply to  Albion

The Ajax is like an Austin allegro and the CV90 is like a Toyota Corolla ! Cameron is well known for his poor judgement !

Albion
Albion
17 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Thanks for that, but how is the Lynx better?

Rob
Rob
18 days ago

I get the feeling this isn’t completely down to GD. The original requirement was for a vehicle to replace the CVRT Scimitar which was a light, go anywhere recce vehicle (8 tons?). Somehow we’ve ended up with Ajax which is a much heavier, multi role vehicle (40 tons?). That is a classic example of design / mission creep.Could you deploy such a heavy vehicle to say the Falklands where scimitar operated during the war or say in powdery snow or sand?

AlexS
AlexS
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob

You certainly can’t deploy Ajax by Chinook

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

…or by C-130 or an A400M.

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob

If the design wasn’t capable of carrying 40 tons of weight then it was up to GD to raise objections long before it reached this stage of development, it would have only reached this stage if GD had said it was capable of being a 40 ton vehicle

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
18 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

How can a ‘recce’ vehicle be 40 tons??

Rob
Rob
18 days ago

Well absolutely Trevor. The Ajax is heavier than a late WW2 Sherman and nearly as big as a German Panther tank. I think the Army weren’t completely decided in their requirements and have gradually escalated various capabilities until we’ve ended up with this.

Tony Smith
Tony Smith
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I remember Scimitars used to cross the River Tamar via the Torpoint Ferry on their way to Tregantle Fort. I followed one such convoy in my old Mini thinking that I would overtake them at Horson straight, they left me for standing!! The Ajax is too heavy for the Torpoint Ferry and at 3.35m wide I believe that it would be classed as a “Wide Load” so would need to be escorted across the Saltash Bridge!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Tony Smith

I just hope the British Army has no need to travel down from the Salisbury Plain area to repel enemy invaders landing in Devon or Cornwall!
I just can’t believe we went for something as large and heavy as Ajax for a nimble recce vehicle. (The Strike role was added later).

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago

I blame US influence percolating through on the preceeding UK/US Tracer programme. They had the weighty Bradley CFV as their ‘baseline’ whereas we had small, light, speedy Scimitar as ours.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

GD probably did. Since their engineers are as good as anyone else’s and what contrwctors are smart at is ensuring they’ve told you of problems so that it cant be their fault. What you do with that info is up to you…

MoD probably said they were “content to take that at risk” because anything else would have bust their time and cost limits.

Both then worked out a fudge whereby the game could continue.

Plus we dont know it cant take 40tons of weight. That is leaping on a rumour and making it a fact.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Rob

The country terrain (peat) of the Falklands and most, if not all, tracks and culverts would not support a 40 ton vehicle, as I doubt the Nominal Ground Pressure approaches that of CVR(T). There are some tarmac roads but I doubt they would last long under the weight of 40 ton vehicles.

Liam
Liam
18 days ago

The core design of the vehicle is nothing new. Why are the basics not right? You might expect problems with something wholly new, but a tracked vehicle?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Liam

Modern tracked vehicles are exceptionally complex. The core design (ASCOD) was a 26.3t vehicle and the design concept was launched in 1982 (so it really was nothing new). It has been developed into a 38-42t AJAX.

Mike O
Mike O
18 days ago

When I was serving I remember being excited to see the new FRES vehicles. Yeah that didn’t happen either. An entire generation of failure by the leadership of the Army and MOD to adequately equip the army with vehicles. An embarrassing joke. It makes me think of the Crimean war. Battles like Inkerman showed that the soldiers were world class but the leadership, both civilian and military, was incompetent.

In some ways I hope this project fails in order to force change upon the senior Army and MOD leadership. Their current methods clearly are not working.

Rogbob
Rogbob
18 days ago
Reply to  Mike O

I agree, but no matter what goes wrong, change does not seem to come.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Mike O

…and FRES followed on from the equally unspectacular FFLAV which followed on from the FLAV programme – and TRACER failed. So much time, money and effort wasted. It’s all rather depressing. To think, once MoD ‘snapped their fingers’ and in-house RARDE did some great R&D and DA work then: GKN quickly produced a capable family of good, VfM, medium weight tracked vehicles – FV430 then Warrior or Alvis produced a family of medium weight, wheeled vehicles (Saracen/Saladin/Salamander/Stalwart) or light, tracked recce vehicles and variants ie the CVR(T) family or Vickers Defence Systems produced very capable MBTs and variants in quick… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
18 days ago

Hope there get Ajax sorted as all for British AVF ,however if the German puma or Lynx can be Adapted we may get our money’s worth .But let’s not right Ajax off yet 🇬🇧 🙏

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
18 days ago

Does this problem just affect Ajax ? or all variants, is this happening because of the extra weight of turreted Ajax ?……lets hope it can be sorted out soon.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago

The 14 vehicles delivered for trial are all Ares. So it seems that the reported noise/vibration issues are with a lighter variant than Ajax. This really doesn’t look good for the whole programme.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Why does the article say Ajax? These are not Troop Trials, those happened ages ago – they are Final Acceptance Tests (FATs) – only very minor snagging issues should be expected at FATs.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago

H

George Parker
George Parker
14 days ago

The fact that the contract was awarded before proving the vehicle was fit for purpose, speaks volumes. BAE with their excellent CV90 variants must be fuming and rightly so.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
14 days ago

Currently I see 283 hulls have been completed and 58 turrets. Are these All going to need fixed somehow? I imagine they are in various states of being completed. Or these may just be 283 metal boxes with nothing in them.

Jacko
Jacko
13 days ago

When Ajax was offered to the Aussies in their trails surely all these problems would have been flagged up by them when they rejected the bid!

DJ
DJ
13 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

It was not only rejected – it was considered ‘not fit for purpose’. To be rejected as being too expensive (CV90) or because others are deemed better would be fine. Everyone can’t be a winner & different nations will score slightly differently. But ‘not fit for purpose’ is saying ‘why are you here?’.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  DJ

It was rejected as ‘not fit for purpose’ by the Aussies as it could not carry enough dismounts – simple as that. Perhaps they should have looked at an AIFV for an AIFV competition.

DJ
DJ
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It could carry the requested minimum which was 6 (at least the version offered). From what I have been able to find out, it was informal advice from the British Army from multiple levels to fellow Australian Army personel that did the damage. Don’t touch this thing. Its a disaster! The MoD & pollies may be just finding out about the problems, but the Army, who’s troops have been living the nightmare, are well aware & have been for some time.

All the participents read the RFI before they put their products forward. It was not a ‘by invitation’ competition.