David Marsh took up the role on the 1st of October with the endorsement of the Infrastructure & Projects Authority.

You can read more about the role of a ‘Senior Responsible Owner’ here but ultimately, the senior responsible owner is accountable for a programme or project meeting its objectives, delivering the projected outcomes and realising the required benefits.

According to a statement from Jeremy Quin, Minister of Defence Procurement :

“I have made clear that Ajax requires a full time, dedicated Senior Responsible Owner. I am pleased to report that we have now appointed David Marsh to the position, who took up the role on 1 October with the endorsement of the Infrastructure & Projects Authority. As the new SRO, he is now in the process of reviewing the Armoured Cavalry Programme to determine what actions need to be taken to put the programme back on a sound footing.

On 6 September, following authorisation by the Ajax Safety Panel, the independent Millbrook trials recommenced. As planned, and following a further meeting of the Safety Panel, these trials continued at Bovington to provide a wider range of surfaces on which to test the vehicle. These trials involved General Dynamics crew and real-time monitoring of noise and vibration. Trials have been conducted on the turreted AJAX variant and on the ARES variant, both of which were Capability Drop 1 vehicles. The trials were run at the Millbrook Proving Ground and at Bovington. This has generated hundreds of Gigabytes of data which is currently being processed. Subject to Safety Panel authorisation, trials of a second ARES Capability Drop 1 vehicle will commence shortly at the Millbrook Proving Ground. On 7 October the Safety Panel also authorised military personnel to conduct essential maintenance on the vehicle and marshalled movement.

Since my last statement data has continued to be gathered and analysed to determine the root cause of vibration in the vehicles. In parallel design modifications have been developed to reduce the vibration experienced by the crew. Testing continues to determine the effectiveness of the modifications and whether they would help ensure the vehicle meets the Army’s requirement. Investigations into excess noise also continue. An in-line attenuator has been designed and we are now validating its effectiveness to address the noise transmitted through the communications headsets.

The focus for the MOD and General Dynamics remains on delivering long-term solutions for noise and vibration to ensure Ajax meets the Army’s need. Until then, it is not possible to determine a realistic timescale for declaration of Initial Operating Capability or the later introduction of Ajax vehicles into operational service with the Army. We will not accept a vehicle that is not fit for purpose. Ajax is an important capability for the Army and we are committed to working with General Dynamics for its delivery. We have a robust, firm price contract with General Dynamics under which they are required to provide the vehicles as set out in the contract for the agreed price of £5.5bn.”

What’s wrong with Ajax?

The Ministry of Defence previously confirmed that “all testing and training on Ajax vehicles remains paused” adding “we will not accept a vehicle that is not fit for purpose”. Additionally, the statement below states “it is not possible to determine a realistic timescale for the introduction of Ajax vehicles into operational service”.

The following is an excerpt of statement from Jeremy Quin, the Minister for Defence Procurement.

“I wish to provide a further update to Parliament on the Ajax equipment project being delivered as part of the Armoured Cavalry Programme. Extensive work has been undertaken on the Health and Safety aspects of the Noise and Vibration concerns raised on Ajax. The Report is being undertaken independently of the Ajax Delivery Team by the MOD’s Director of Health and Safety.

Initially 121 personnel were identified as requiring urgent hearing assessments as a result of recent noise exposure on Ajax. Subsequently, the MOD broadened the scope of those who should be tested to all those who had been exposed to noise on Ajax. To date, a further 189 individuals have been identified that should be offered an assessment, giving a total number of 310 personnel. 

At present all dynamic testing and training on MOD’s Ajax vehicles remains paused.

I have made clear that no declaration of Initial Operating Capability will be made until solutions have been determined for the long-term resolution of the noise and vibration concerns. Work continues on both with General Dynamics heavily committed to delivering a safe resolution. Over the summer, work has been conducted to examine design modifications to reduce the impact of vibration. A design modification to reduce the risk of noise through the communication system is in development and is currently being tested. These may represent part of the overall solution but considerable work needs to be undertaken before any such assurances can be given. Until a suitable suite of design modifications has been identified, tested and demonstrated, it is not possible to determine a realistic timescale for the introduction of Ajax vehicles into operational service with the Army. We will not accept a vehicle that is not fit for purpose.”

You can read more about the issues here.

£5.5bn Ajax armoured vehicle project on ‘end-of-life watch’

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andy
andy
22 days ago

just beggars belief that back in the 80,s we came up with warrior a good vehicle for the time except for the daft rardon cannon which was hand fed rather than belt fed, but still a damn good vehicle I drove gunned and commanded on them with 2li for years, then fast forward to the 2000,s and we cannot make anything without major issues or problems, take the type 45 a good ship but constant propulsion problems, might be fixed by the time we come to scrap them, aircraft carriers major pipes bursting and flooding them costing a small fortune… Read more »

Johan
Johan
22 days ago
Reply to  andy

In defence of the type 45s using an un-proven system to provide Jobs in the UK didn’t go as planned but was how the UK industry was at the time, putting money into the UK coffers and taxpayers pockets, Warrior/Challenger dedicated companies design and build using knowledge, not computer design. QE class the high-pressure water pipe had a join just where a join shouldn’t be, again computer-aided design, where a draughtsman wouldn’t put it. we have allowed our industry to rot away, and become over-reliant on cheaper imports. Warrior Upgrade may have ended a failure but the lessons of MRA4… Read more »

Martin
Martin
22 days ago
Reply to  Johan

I seem to remember the Nelson class and KGV class having such gun issues that they were barley capable for service and most British tanks before 1945 were barley functional. Not sure when the golden period was.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Do you want to know the record of German tanks in the war? The much praised Panther and Tiger don’t actually look so good when analysed. They were a maintenance nightmare and the Tiger could barely field 50% of their numbers at any given time while half their loses were carried out by their own crews because they couldn’t keep them going, you can’t win wars with those sort of figures however good they are when actually working. Early German WW2 tanks were not particularly better than the Matildas meanwhile. Meanwhile yes it took far too long but by 1945… Read more »

Martin
Martin
18 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Where are all the non “Anglo Saxon” business model places that don’t have the same issues and keep a well funded military with sustainable supply chains and manufacturing through out? Your point on German tanks in WW2 is valid on later war vehicles for sure but just goes to show that making armoured vehicles is incredibly difficult. I’m not sure how bad the vibration issues are but it sounds like the kind of thing that would have been accepted in the past and basic equipment flaw. Obviously standards are much higher today.

Ron
Ron
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin true they did have issues with the triple and quad turrets, something never used in RN capital ships before. They were basically used to cut down on length and weight. Thats why the Nelsons were Cherry Tree Battleships and the KGVs Treaty BBs.The 15in guns of the RN could probably been seen as the golden age.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Johan

I note that the intercoolers for t45 are NG designs and the Ajax is GD through its European subsidiaries. Yes MOD interference and it’s insistence on redesigning and upgrading on its feet are often ridiculous but it’s hardly just UK companies and designers who have these problems. As for the carriers yes they have had a few initial problems but considering we haven’t built one at all AI cue the 80s let alone proper carriers much before that, they have been exemplary in my view. Especially when compared to French and US efforts when producing something new in carriers ie… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
22 days ago
Reply to  andy

The Blair/Brown government should have bought some Warrior 2000 to keep UK armoured vehicle capability going. They chose not to. We could put a slight tariff increase on imported Chinese goods & use that money to reshore manufacturing to the UK, but our political elite isn’t bothered to. We could have developed the remaining small gas fields in the North Sea, but our political elite prefer pensioners to freeze & UK industry to shut down, rather than abandon their net zero virtue signalling.

Tommo
Tommo
22 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Oh what a tangled Web we weave , it seems the left hand doesn’t know what the right hands doing Hoe long hsd the Ajax programme been running before for design flaws were brought too light ?

Steve
Steve
21 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Small tarrif on Chinese goods isn’t practical, as it would just result in them doing the same to our goods and we would end up as a country in a worse position. International trade rules aren’t simple to ‘win’ on.

David Steeper
David Steeper
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve

When you compare the value of what we export to China versus what they export to us we would definitely win. Some say we need there trade as much as they need ours ? Nope.

John Hartley
John Hartley
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Except that on many goods the UK has a tariff on Chinese goods of less than 10%, while China puts a 30-60% tariff on UK goods to China. A couple of percent on our side, just evens things up a bit.

Steve
Steve
21 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I don’t know for sure, but generally under WTO rules they balance out overall, as you tend to target specific goods whilst the other country targets others, which ever is in the national interest

John Hartley
John Hartley
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve

China hides behind “developing nation” status for its unequal tariffs. Way out of date considering its at 2nd greatest economy in the World status now.

johnf
johnf
21 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

No point to trying to develop small gas fields in the UK as they are either depleted-empty or too small to be economic, or the infrastructure- pipeline to shore is nonexistent. I know I worked on them my whole career. O&G shut down in the UK for a simple reason, it almost all gone. A few small fields left. Onshore development wont happen as the green zealots wont allow it. The biggest onshore oilfield in Europe ( in Dorset) is now shut down as no longer economic.But everrbody know this would happen sooner or later but our supposed betters in… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
21 days ago
Reply to  johnf

The recent price increases, may make these smaller fields economic.

Sean
Sean
20 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I think we’d come a cropper at the WTO if we singled out China for increased tariffs on goods as you suggest.

John Hartley
John Hartley
20 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Trump didn’t. (Not over China tariffs, other things maybe.)

Sean
Sean
20 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Only because he wasn’t around long enough, WTO cases take years. The irony of course is it contributed to his election loss as they caused a drop in the real income of most Americans and a drop in America’s GDP.

John Hartley
John Hartley
20 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Most Americans got a boost from enhanced unemployment & free money from the government. A pittance in comparison to what the money printing gave to the top 1%. The top 1% now own slightly more than the combined middle classes (which are 60% of the US population). Despite Biden keeping most of Trump’s tariffs on China, there is a huge logjam of ships loaded with Chinese tat, trying to get into US ports.

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

🤦‍♂️ And that boost was more that consumed by the increased prices they paid on goods manufactured in China…
🤦‍♂️ There wasn’t any ‘money printing’, but if there had been it would have decreased the value of every dollar owned by people… which means it would have impacted the top 1% more, the complete opposite of what you claim. That’s basic economics.
🤦‍♂️ The logjam is global, due to interruptions to the global supply chain caused by the pandemic. Yes people are still buying goods from China, because there is little or no alternative options. And that includes you 😆

John Hartley
John Hartley
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Um, the money printing boosted the assets of the top 1%. Real estate & tech shares have sharply risen in price. The top 1% own those.

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Doh, printing money devalues a currency, reducing its real-world value and decreasing the value of anything priced in that currency. It does the complete and utter opposite of “boosting assets”. I suggest reading up on economics and to stop watching YouTube videos.

Tech shares have risen because of a huge injection of investment as companies realise that the disruption of the pandemic creates inflexion points where market incumbents can be challenged and new markets created. My company deals with a lot of West Coast startups and investment and cash is at a high.

You should stick to fly-fishing 😆

John Hartley
John Hartley
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Being rude does not make you right.

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

No it doesn’t, the facts make me right. And I’d rather be rude than stupid like yourself.

John Hartley
John Hartley
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

There is no point trying to have a sensible, good natured debate with an internet troll who resorts to abuse. I consider this exchange closed.

Sean
Sean
20 days ago
Reply to  andy

I recall the P51 Mustang was pretty mediocre with high-altitude performance when it was first delivered too; so bad in fact it was used for ground attack and not as a fighter. The provision of a replacement engine, the Merlin, turned it into probably the most capable fighter of the European theatre. The T45s are currently being fixed, sensibly one at a time, so you’re “fixed by the time we come to scrap them” is hysterical nonsense. The U.K. is the worlds 11th largest manufacturer by value, we focus more on high-end high-value items rather than low-profit commodity products. When… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
20 days ago
Reply to  andy

3rd world manufacturers can’t build aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
20 days ago
Reply to  andy

At root the problem is the erosion of the skills base in key areas of the domestic defence industry since 1989 – and then issues getting back up to speed. We had this problem with Astute – getting nuclear submarine manufactuing back after gapping subs in the 1990/2000s – again with WR21 after Rolls closed down their UK bench test facility and now with Ajax after allowing our AFV skills base to disappear into the ether. Ajax can probably be seen as a necessary nightmare on the road back to AFV production.

Last edited 20 days ago by James William Fennell
Jon
Jon
22 days ago

This news is less than three weeks old but it should be twenty years old, from the start of FRES. When you are spending that many billions, you need senior oversight. Someone with the clout to be listened to or someone with the power to act directly in the minister’s name. Whichever, I hope the lesson has been applied to the even more expensive Dreadnought/CDAS renewal program.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
22 days ago
Reply to  Jon

The SDA has it’s own SRO’s and leadership, direct report to Defence Sec.

Jon
Jon
22 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

That’s a relief. We had reports last year of the 5 year delay in RR’s fuel production plant for the PWR-3s, so it made me wonder.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Jon

There was senior oversight, ie a previous SRO, but he was saddled with being SRO for a whole host of programmes, and had another role too. That wasn’t too clever.

Jon
Jon
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

True, but this clusterf has been years in the making. I don’t buy that he/she was too busy to notice.

Oversight is no magic bullet and SROs still need the balls to do what requires doing. That means authorizing spend on risk mitigation and intervening early if things are going wrong. Otherwise they are just an arse to kick when the headlines get nasty.

Last edited 21 days ago by Jon
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Jon

All good points. When I ran my (much smaller) procurement project at Abbey Wood some 10 years ago, we did risk reduction in a theoretical and a practical way, had regular risk management meetings with the Prime – and recognised the benefits of up-front spending on such things, prototyping, early user trials etc etc.

Too many people asleep at the wheel – from the overworked former SRO to the politicians etc.

maurice10
maurice10
22 days ago

So there was no Programme Director with a project manager reporting to him or her? If true, what a way to run a programme. I suspect there were such poeple but the project got away from them. I’ve seen this on troubled projects where a cumulative effort delivers failure. The Ford Edsel is one case in point, and though that was in the 50’s/60’s the principles of bad management are prevalent today, just look at the Elisabeth Line! Now we must keep an eye on Ajax and hope the problems can be resolved, there are plenty of automotive engineers out… Read more »

Steve
Steve
22 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

I can’t imagine for a moment there wasn’t a program manager from the start, I suspect this is just spin for look we are doing something. Which I guess is at least a positive. Next step is to be open about what the issues actually are and how realistic a fix is, which I suspect we will never get, as I highly doubt it will be fully fixed.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
22 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

This is an SRO, not a Programme Director or Project Manager.

SRO sits above the PD and PM’s.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

I think they do far too often get involved with job titles over determining who is actually in overall charge. It’s rather like they are sorting out the excuses before any project gets underway. When there are post issue investigations we get nothing other than well as (insert job title) is wasn’t my job blah, blah, blah.

David Barry
David Barry
22 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Elizabeth line? That problem was blindingly obvious.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Please do illuminate for we more dense humans, I have yet to hear a plausible explanation from the ‘experts’ unless that in itself is the obvious problem.

David Barry
David Barry
21 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Going all in with Siemens would have led to an integrated interface between track, train and signalling… or is that too simple?

Johan
Johan
22 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Trouble is like most Project managers in the modern industry all based on targets and hitting production, handing over to the development team, and so on. my understanding the Money spent on Ajax is part of the entire deal. so if it fails it can be claimed back.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Johan

The MoD does not have a great record at claiming Liquidated Damages.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

From what I hear the vibration problems cannot be fixed in short order.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Totally agree with you though it has to be added that Crossrail had a supposed singular head who managed it seems to not know that it was effectively 2 years behind schedule 6 months before it was due to open. I’m sure he walked away unscathed however back to his Gentleman’s Club where sympathy will reign supreme and a new project no doubt offered by his ‘mates’ on the next leather Chesterfield. Actually the programme on it (15 billion pound railway) was very revealing but the thing that stood out for me was actually the incredible competence of the shown… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
21 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Thank for making me laugh this morning. Some projects purr along without too many slip ups and others are pitted with problems. Ajax is in the latter category, and one wonders how it can be resolved? The biggest fear I have from reading reports is that the fundamental issues are so serious, the outcome could be too terrible to contemplate?

Paul.P
Paul.P
22 days ago

Appointing a dedicated program/project manager seems sensible. Better late than never really. The MOD and GD are clearly going round an analysis-design change- retest cycle, meanwhile assessing the health impact on crews. All sounds very logical with a suggestion that they are trying hard to make Ajax work. Hope it works out. As regards Warrior it looks like the Kongsberg turret on Boxer might be the solution. No CT40 but we could standardize on the same cannon as the US.

https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/landwarfareintl/boxer-ifv-variant-rt60-turret-emerges/

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

This is an SRO.
Not a PD. The SRO sits above the PD’s and PM’s (of which there will be many).

Paul.P
Paul.P
22 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Understand. The impression I am getting is that a multiplicity of projects/programs have been recognized as an armed vehicles ‘superprogram’ covering what is at present an uncertain mix of vehicle types which will end up complementing each other depending on how forces are organised. Any competing capability overlaps need to optimised. Sounds like a good move.

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

Paul,
Not sure what you mean by an uncertain mix of vehicle types. I thought it was very clear what MoD is buying or upgrading or allowing to wither on the vine.

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

Yes, the plan was very clear. But until the Ajax issues are resolved and a successor is decided for the aborted Warrior upgrade while we have a holding position it seems to me that the longer term plan is unclear: numbers, types, specs, cost, timings. Well, I’m not clear anyway. I’ll have another wee drink. Maybe that will help.

Steve
Steve
21 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The current plan seems very unclear to me. We still haven’t made a decision on the lighter side with the jltv being cancelled. Then there are talk of uparming the capability of the boxer and potentially buying more, but unclear what is meant by that or what capability it’s meant to cover. Finally there is the artillery side, which is currently a complete question mark. The whole future of the land force doesn’t seem to be very clear right now. Also what happened to land ceptor, it seems to have gone very quiet, wasn’t it meant to be in service… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The gov.uk document pointed to above is worth a read. ” The guidance describes the role of the senior responsible owner (SRO) and its relationship to other key leadership roles in project delivery: within the project, the project director or manager, and within the wider organisation, the accounting officer. *Confusion about these project leadership roles has the potential to create risk in terms of strategic project governance, undermine accountability, and so jeopardise success in project delivery. * Clarifying what each role is accountable for and how they relate to each other is therefore a key area of focus“ It’s issuance… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I had not heard of JLTV cancellation, excepting for the US cutting back the programme or even binning it. Were we buying that?

The additional Boxer buy is to replace Warrior. Those wagons should all have a stalilised cannon to be any sort of valid replacement (would have been cheaper to carry on with WCSP, maybe?).

Artillery capability will be enhanced by introduction of Mobile Fires Platform to replace AS90? Bound to be MOTS.
Will Light Gun finally get replaced – it is so old and only 105mm.

Steve
Steve
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We put in a reques to buy the jtlv maybe two years ago or around then, which was agreed by the US government and then the request was pulled. Rumoured to be because the gov wants to buy British. Cue the next Ajax mess. Until the decision on what artillery/boxer wep we plan to buy, and what numbers, is made, the army can’t plan a strategy around it. Without a doubt these decisions need to be made fast or the army will find itself very mobile but with almost no punch, especially if the Ajax is cancelled and we go… Read more »

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

Aborted Warrior Upgrade (aka WCSP) – the solution is to allow WR to continue in service, degrading gracefully(!), until replaced by an additional purchase of Boxer (hopefully the ones with a cannon on top!). We should buy as many additional Boxers as are required by what we once called Armoured Infantry (AI), plus training fleet and attrition reserve. Those numbers should be known. Ajax – This might be solved in way that requires more money and time – MoD might allow the latter, but not the former. Equally Mr Marsh might decide to scrap the programme partly (if non-turreted variants… Read more »

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

I understand what you say re WCSP. A turreted Boxer seems the likely acceptable solution. There are several to choose from. Maybe this one seen in Stockport? https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/landwarfareintl/boxer-ifv-variant-rt60-turret-emerges/ Expanding on your procurement cock-up para: re the possibility of Ajax cancellation, how would non-turreted versions suddenly become ok? Such a decision would have a knock on effect on the numbers of other vehicles required and how they are armed; and hence on the cost and timing of the strategic plan as a whole. Seems to me that the original ambition of both cavalry and armoured infantry equipped with all fast, all… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I fear the problem with numbers is the army have a huge volume of light infantry but not enough armoured or protected units

Given our experience in Afghanistan we should look to make our future small land force fully mechanised/armoured and this will mean far more (x10) vehicles than currently on order. Good news is the unit price comes down. Bad news is we need £20-30bn to modernise the army to the point where each brigade is as lethal as it needs to be and can make up for the loss of human mass.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Sorry but that sounds like it’s come directly out of the MOD PR Department to my ear. Worse still one run by Sir Humphrey Appleby no less.

Paul.P
Paul.P
21 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It’s a talent 😂

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

This is getting more Monty Python by the minute.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago

I wonder if we could join this program if all else fails? Lethality So far as lethality is concerned, the Lynx’s Lance turret is in the same configuration as that selected for the Boxer CRV, fitted with a Mauser MK30-2 airburst-capable 30mm cannon firing proprietary ammunition, a coaxially-mounted RMG 7.62mm machinegun, and a two-round, dampened launcher for the mandated Spike LR2 antitank missile (ATGM). The Redback’s T2000 turret, developed by Elbit Systems and Canberra company EOS, mounts a Bushmaster Mk44S 30mm cannon, a MAG 58 7.62mm coaxial machinegun, an integrated launcher for two Spike LR2s, and an EOS R400S Mk… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

18 OCTOBER 2021Rheinmetall unveils Australian-developed Lynx Combat Support Vehicle
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/rheinmetall-unveils-australian-developed-lynx-combat-support-vehicle

Johan
Johan
22 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

the issue is they started at a base unit, and then developed it and broke it, better to fix what they have broken than start again…

Andy
Andy
22 days ago

The level of incompetence beggars belief within the MOD procurement and project teams. No one seems to get the sack though…. But then the upper echleons of the Army need to own this as well. Billions of pounds spent on acheieving nothing over and again, on poorly specified projects without proper oversight. By the time we get equipment, it doesnt work properly, and needs even more costly repairs, thereby reducing the quantity we can afford. Its the front line that loses out everytime, and the back office that wipe their hands and carry onto the next failing project. Buy off… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Buy off the shelf and get rid of half the MOD”

Which half, and which parts do you think should go. The military would grind to a halt.

I agree on the Ajax / FRES fiasco though. A project with billions of funding should have a SRO.

Although I remember a time when HMG did not even appoint a full time SoS for Defence.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago

Daniele. Ajax had a SRO before David Marsh – trouble was he was SRO for many programmes and had an additional role as well – Major General Simon Hamilton, who was also the British Army’s director of support.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Ah, double hatted at DES. Right.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago

Yes, it was a very bad idea!

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

As my grandmother might have said they bit off more than they could chew. Having let the re-equipment situation in many areas drift for so long more complex and urgent programs/projects were initiated than could be managed by normal human beings. SRO responsibilities document is worth a read.

Last edited 21 days ago by Paul.P
BB85
BB85
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy

In theory a lot of Ajax was off the shelf. The CTA canon was certified, ascod had been in service for 12 years, it should have been a straightforward integration and the complex part integrating new sensors. Some how they managed to butcher the simple things.

Ian M
Ian M
22 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Not quite true Mr BB. Ascod is a very simple platform, no networking, modern ISTAR or same level of protection. You’re correct in saying complexity has increased with the addition of a raft of sensors, all of which have to speak to one another. The sheer amount of electric string is boggling. The issues that AJAX is struggling with are nothing to do with it’s complexity.
cheers

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Not saying you are wrong I simply don’t know enough but did read somewhere that the addition of all the new sensors and associated kit had increased weight and created much of the vibration/noise problems as a result. Needed elaboration to make any sense to me at the time but I guess it could be sensor complexity = more electrical power meaning greater power generation etc, etc till it reaches a self stimulating multitude of additional weight and complexity.

Steve R
Steve R
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy

“The level of incompetence beggars belief within the MOD procurement and project teams. No one seems to get the sack though….”

Reminds me of when I used to work at Sainsbury’s; you couldn’t get sacked no matter how crap you were!

John Clark
John Clark
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

The old government gravy train….. I had surgery a little while ago via a private hospital (NHS contracted), during a follow up consultation, and as it was the end of the day we had 10 minuters to spare and had a little chat about the NHS and wider Public sector in particular. His words, “half of the public sector wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the private sector”…. Several of his old colleagues still in the NHS had moved into management and where happily riding the gravy train, generous wages and almost impossible to be sacked, according to him… It’s an… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
22 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I can believe it!

I work at a university and it’s exactly the same. Even though it’s no longer really public sector (some kind of weird halfway house between public and private) everyone who’s been here for years still treats it like it’s public and there’s an endless money pit.

We have staff who would never get hired, or at least wouldn’t pass probation, in the private sector.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

I worked at a Further Education college that effectively became self supporting, all the Deans of Faculty were given company cars but otherwise just sat in their office as usual delegating all the decisions to head of Depts to sort who were of Course the first level of Management who were actually in contact with the customers/students and got all the shit. While the new Principal got new curtains for his office the students didn’t get due to funds the darkroom facilities they were promised. The head of Dept got the stick passed on the issues to the ‘middle management’… Read more »

Johan
Johan
22 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

its true, why do you think there are so many private consultants within the halls of power. have to pick up by the scruff of the neck and drive forward. or they just stop and look.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

More like the Industry gravy train surely? GDLUK have made an awful lot of money out of the Ajax programme, so their top brass must be well remunerated.

John Clark
John Clark
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Both l think Graham, industry and Mod… We have seen it over and over again. Another great ‘Ajax’ sized screw up of a previous generation was the L85A1. As it approached the production stage, it was painfully obvious it had many, many, serious design and manufacturing defects, making it utterly unsuitable for service and potentially dangerous for the end user. This was known by everyone who worked on it at ROF Enfield and everyone involved in the user trials…. What happened? Absolutely sod all… Anyone step up and speak out, Nope! Just the same with Ajax, weak, nodding dogs who… Read more »

Johan
Johan
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy

The person who gets the sack would only have been in the job a week, and will get moved to the job center

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Andy, You don’t mention the incompetence in GDLUK in South Wales and the GD site in Spain.
Given that Scimitar came into service in 1971 and was only marginally modified in-service it was ancient in 2001, let alone 2021 – I totally agree that we should have bought off the shelf – there really wasn’t time to do a bespoke solution.

Ron5
Ron5
22 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

6 months ago dude and it’s not another variant.

Mike
Mike
22 days ago

This whole project has been painful, and it reminds me of the spoof Bradley design film the Americans made.

Phylyp
Phylyp
21 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Pentagon Wars – great movie.

Mike
Mike
21 days ago
Reply to  Phylyp

That’s the one, thanks. 👍

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
22 days ago

You mean there hasn’t been a dedicated boss to date ? What a way to run a business.

Rob N
Rob N
22 days ago

Will no one have the nerve to kill off this flawed programme! I can see this turning into a money pit with everyone saying we we put so much in already … just a bit more. Kill it dead now and save the cash for a proven OTS solution.

When they use the term ‘mitigation’ as they have in this vehicle you know you have got a lemon. A platform that will never be right.

Now they have got a new captain for the Titanic!

MoD just say no and save the taxpayer extra angst.

John Clark
John Clark
22 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Yep, David Marsh will. It’s probably his job to organise the scrappage contract for Ajax…

You couldn’t make this utter bloody mess up and not a soul will be sacked!

What’s Uncle Sam replacing the Bradley with? I would suggest we order that off the shelf, bound to be vastly cheaper and just as capable.

Rob N
Rob N
21 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I do not know what the US is going for.. I think their competition is still on. I think the German Puma is one offering, also something from BAE… there are a few others.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Oh the irony, if we are so negative about Bae (which is why this project went to others let’s be honest) then maybe we should bring their US guys over rather than General Dynamics as they seem to do so well with projects over there or indeed their Swedish bods. Or would the rot inevitably still set in. Certainly seems a Corrosive attitude working here… which will probably ironically be the next issue for Ajax.

Mark
Mark
22 days ago

I wonder if the 105mm turreted version of this in development for the Thai army weighing the same 45t has the same issues. And if the vibrations and noise purley a result of the up armour of the vehicle and assuch not a mechanical issue which would mean complete redesign but just a redesign of the armour fixings. Which would’nt cost and take time to put right to put the project in jeopardy.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Considering the years the issues have been know (if ignore too) I doubt the fix will be that simple sadly.

Graham Lee
Graham Lee
22 days ago

Silly question, but shouldn’t the program have had a ‘senior responsible owner’ from the beginning?

BB85
BB85
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Lee

You would think that, but when the defense secretary changes every 12 months the SRO probably changes every 12 months as well. I’ve read there was a significant change in requirements half way through the project which is not a surprise in the MOD but I have no idea what changed from available press releases. I assume it related to protection levels which resulted in the weight increasing to 40T

Last edited 22 days ago by BB85
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  BB85

I have struggled to find out why the contract was renegotiated mid-stream. Presumably because of MoD changes. Was it the insertion of more and newer ‘tech’, adding more armour as you say, or changing the role from recce vehicle to recce/strike vehicle?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Lee

It did have. Major General Simon Hamilton, who was also the British Army’s director of support. But he was SRO for many other programmes too.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

… and probably retired during the Boar War considering the projects endless gestation period. What about using those RR armoured cars beloved by Lawrence of Arabia as a makeshift solution, the boys deserve a bit of class.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

No, Maj Gen Simon Hamilton CBE is a serving REME officer. Commissioned in 1988, so about 50-52 or so.

Joe16
Joe16
22 days ago

Like everyone else here, I’m wondering why a project of this size wasn’t given an SRO from the beginning…

Ian White
Ian White
22 days ago

These guys are usually called Project Engineers and ALL projects of any size has them. It is a bit mind boggling this is news and even more surprising you would try to run a complex project like that without one. No wonder defence projects do not come in on budget!!!!
It it was April 1st l would have to question it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian White

Project Engineers operate several levels lower down than a SRO.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
22 days ago

FFS why the shite didnt they have a senior dedicated project leader overseeing this 5.5 billion project. Youd think considering the money involved that would have been a pre requisite to stop the project morphing into an absolute disastrous waste of public tax payers money. Just disgraceful.

BB85
BB85
22 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Whoever was in charge likely changed every 12 months when they saw how many issues where not being reported so they wouldn’t get lumped with the parcel at the end. This project has been rolling for over 10 years now with nothing accepted into service. The Jaguar IBRC entered service earlier this year and kicked off long after Ajax, Lynx will enter service with Hungary in a year or two which was only launched in 2018. Ajax should have entered service in 2016 so alarm bells should have been ringing loud and clear in 2014 not 7 years later. The… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
22 days ago

Why does this whole thing remind me of the Monty Python Parrot sketch. It’s not dead it’s just resting. Ministry of funny walks anyone ?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Snap I said something similar, great minds eh just can’t get John Cleese in Brigadier uniform out of my mind now.

Pacman27
Pacman27
22 days ago

Given where we are with the size of the army, should we perhaps go for a set of vehicles that have 3 crew (driver, gunner and comms/ISTAR)and 4 dismounts. I think we need to go for smaller vehicles with a larger gun and a commander that is repsonsible for all comms and ISTAR, acting as a real-time appraiser of AI recommendations and adding feedback into Tahoe battle picture, additionally this person could be responsible for any assigned UVs. I can’t help thinking that the only way to get the mass we need is for the vehicles we bring online in… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
21 days ago

Are you actually joking, a project of this magnitude not having a senior responsible officer from project initiation. That just total incompetence systems of oversight and governance of a complex project.

BB85
BB85
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The certainly would have been they just bounce around every year like government ministers

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It had a SRO before David Marsh, just not a dedicated one. Major General Simon Hamilton, was also the British Army’s director of support, and had several programmes to be SRO for.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Haha tell them once more lol, amazing how many times u write and the next post doesn’t read it. Thanks for info

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

A lot of the problem seems to be making space for an SRO in every vehicle.

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
21 days ago

Shifting the deck chairs comes to mind.

With the billions allocated to the project, surely such a full time role would have been already established. Obviously not or is this some lame excuse, to cover up previous poor management.

It’s a terrible shame that the program has come to this and only provides further evidence of public monies and effort poorly wasted.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
21 days ago
Reply to  Bluemoonday

What worries me beyond the incompetence is that it has always actually physically looked like a pigs ear to start with. Nothing will turn it into a silk purse at any level it seems.

Locking Nut
Locking Nut
20 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I saw a two of them on low loaders on the M4 a couple of weeks back, westbound so, as a guess, possibly heading towards Castlemartin. At least one was the turretless variant – recall it had the crane (Apollo?).

Seems some level of testing, therefore, carries on – maybe just with other members of the family.

Ian M
Ian M
20 days ago
Reply to  Locking Nut

Apollo has the Atlas crane, Atlas has the Pearson Earth anchor😂

Locking Nut
Locking Nut
21 days ago

Heavily ironic that they recruited someone called Marsh to manage this project, given how bogged down it has become… 🙄

I’ll get my coat.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Locking Nut

Just about laughed out loud at that one.
Mr Marsh should also be SRO for Boxer – that surely will get bogged when at combat weight in marshland, glutinous mud etc. (depite the slick corporate video).

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
21 days ago

Scrap this and Warrior, buy CV90 and more BOXER

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

It might come to this.

Ian M
Ian M
21 days ago

I applaud Graham Moore’s patience explaining who the previous SRO on the AJAX project was. However, I deplore the level of ignorance displayed by some posters on this thread regarding the design, construction, use and requirements of a modern AFV. It would never be a simple issue of “sack” the AJAX, buy CV90. If this were to be considered by the Mandarins in Whitehall, the requirements bods would immediately start on the OTS purchase, demanding changes to the design specifications to meet the needs of the British Army as opposed to the Swedes or other customers. Does CV90 have the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thanks Ian. I feel somewhat pedantic, but it is because people don’t follow the whole thread and so ask the same questions. I am gloomy about: Ajax; Warrior cancellation and its inevitable degradation before being replaced by additional Boxers (which I doubt any or all will have a stabilised cannon); and the CR3 programme (too few tanks will be modified and too long to do them ie FOC in 2030!); uncertainty over MFS to replace AS90; lack of a Light Gun replacement, no upgrade or replacement for CRARRV, arguably still no true replacement for CVR(T) Striker since 2005 etc etc.… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
21 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Agree wholeheartedly. 🙁

grizzler
grizzler
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

How much longer should this take and how much more money should be thrown at it ? If issues cannot be resolved at some point it doesn’t matter how good it could be there must come a time when losses must be cut.,and an objective view on a replacement considered. Or are you suggesting this ongoing situation must now continue ad infinitum?

Ian M
Ian M
21 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Hi Mr Grizzler, as it’s a fixed price contract, as noted in a multitude of threads and press announcements, there will be no more money thrown at GDUK. It’s up to that company to make 589 vehicles that are acceptable to the customer for that fixed cost. At no point have I suggested that the AJAX “situation” should be ongoing, it patently needs sorting to the satisfaction of the customer, the British soldier.

cheers

grizzler
grizzler
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Yes I was aware of the contract , I just used time and money in the same sentence as per a usual mantra…however of course time does mean money. If I was a betting man – and I’m not – I would suggest we wont see 589 vehicles as originally oredered, and I wonder if any monies will be returned to the tax payer. I wont be holding my breath on either.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

I think it likely that if rectification is ordered by Mr Marsh (rather than ‘can’ Ajax and buy something else), MoD will suddenly downsize the order to less than 589 vehicles (and the army’s structures work ongoing at the moment will be made to fit the new number) – and the financial headroom created will be put towards making the fix.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Mr Marsh has only just been appointed as the dedicated SRO. I would hope he would come to a decision within 3 months.
If the decision is to rectify, then it should be GDLUK that throws money at it, not MoD.

Pacman27
Pacman27
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Why do we need separate IFV and fires/recon solutions when surely these can all be put into a single hull Ajax is more or less the same size as a boxer but the boxer seems to have loads of space and is perhaps too big now My comments are not so much about Ajax ( although not being able to build a box square does seem terminal to me) but rather about whether with such a small land force can we afford to put so many people into so few assets especially when the corresponding supporting fires and air defences… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
21 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Hi Mr Pacman, principally there is a different Fire Support / IFV and Recon mission. A recon vehicle is required to gain, recover and transmit information to be used by the formation (whatever shape that takes). IFV’s and their Fire Support vehicles transport the grunts to the action….different mission. On your point about providing Boxer with some decent punch, right with you there! There may be a trade off between turret choice and personnel inside but that is surmountable with unmanned systems. As far as being a Command and ISTAR node, well every vehicle in the AJAX family is just… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
21 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I just think that we have too little mass now and with the confluence of many technologies I don’t really see the need for different platforms when one can do it all Given our ever shrinking army I believe we need to make every IFV a gun and a recon//istar asset Making the combat fleet the same also takes away the ability to target command and control assets. Clearly we need other assets but perhaps this is an opportunity to do something that is a step change. Ajax has the same engine as boxer, is very similar in size and… Read more »

Ron
Ron
21 days ago

That David Marsh has been appointed to oversea the Ajax project is possibly a good thing. However what authority does he have, it looks to me as if he has the responsibility to get the project back on track but not the power to say yay or nay. What budget does he have at his discrection. I was a senoir project manager in my field, projects where I had to wait for other departments to sign contracts, approve specs etc were a nightmare, the client wanted to know why such and such is not completed yet whilst legal and finacial… Read more »

BB85
BB85
21 days ago
Reply to  Ron

The contract and money are out of his control unless he reports that the delivery is no longer achievable within a sensible timeframe.
Realistically the focus will be to understand the root cause of the vibration, noise and performance issues and decide if GDUK’s proposed solution can be trusted and delivered in a timely manner. If so then great, if not it will be cancelled.
There will also be a post mortem to confirm how they managed to screw up the entire program that took 5 years longer than it should have.

John Clark
John Clark
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Well said Ron and gone so badly wrong it beggers belief quite frankly…. I will guarantee not a single person will be held responsible and not one head will roll… Many of the issues would have been flagged up long before user trials, yet they weren’t and the programme staggered on hemorrhaging public money…. The issues with Ajax appear to many, varied and really extensive, it appears to be as noisy for its crew as a WW1 Vickers tank and as agile and slow as an obese 80 year old with a Zimmer frame. It’s hard to see any way… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
20 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Mr Clark, You are basing your comments :” The issues with Ajax appear to many, varied and really extensive, it appears to be as noisy for its crew as a WW1 Vickers tank and as agile and slow as an obese 80 year old with a Zimmer frame.” on what evidence exactly? You’ve obviously had extensive experience of driving AJAX, been inside to measure the perceived noise levels and listed the many faults? I think no to all of these. The AJAX platforms are capable of keeping up with a CR2 cross country, in fact at BTA, the squaddies (the… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ok Ian, I won’t ask who you work for….

You do seem to be a tad anxious about the possible impending hammer drop there…

The “youngsters” I allude to, who have been very impressed by its performance, I’m assuming they aren’t the same ones who have left the army on medical grounds because of Ajax trials?

Yep, nothing wrong here Ian, it’s absolutely marvelous, everyone please move along and stop taking about it now, nothing to see here…

Ian M
Ian M
19 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi John, any “hammer drop” won’t affect me😎. As for guys leaving the service, read the Commons statement by Min DP. My sole aim in engaging on this forum is to try and ensure that discussion is informed by facts, no more, no less. No speculation, no rumour. Who I currently work for is moot. I served 24+ years in the REME, driving, maintaining, operating and teaching most of the in service weapon systems at the time. I think I have earned the right to have an opinion, liked or not.
cheers
Ian

John Clark
John Clark
19 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Absolutely Ian, we all have a view point mate, it’s interesting that you make a positive point regarding Ajax, it’s certainly rare!

I’ve followed UK defence issues for 40 years, I’m passionate about UK defence being properly funded and well organised, with our youngsters well equipped (they do tend to be the ones at the sharp end) and will always call out piss poor procurement when I see it.

I’m also perfectly entitled to criticise a programme that’s massively late, very expensive and not currently (or perhaps never) fit for service.

Have a great evening.👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

John,
Ian is bringing a balanced point of view to the table. There are impressive aspects of Ajax, which cannot be denied, and Ian is just saying that.

However we know that the issues to be dealt with are the noise and vibration problems, reverse step climbing ability and some cannon reliability issues (which may or may not stem from the vibration issue).

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I am very concerned that the problems seem to have only been flagged up to Min DP recently (ie during Factory Acceptance Tests). The User Trials would have been held many years ago – why did alarm bells not ring at high level then?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Ron, It is certainly good that finally (and several years too late) a dedicated SRO (rather than a chap who is multi-hatted) has been appointed. We won’t see his letter of authority but it has to be very far-reaching. Does he need a budget (other than operating budget for his own team, if he gets one)? MoD funding for the Ajax version will be held at Project Manager level, surely. Are you confusing the roles of Project Managers, Programme Director and SRO? I think the problems are well known and the armoured cavalry, ATDU and REME will not be able… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
20 days ago

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

Keep repeating this. Additionally make it known the U.K. is looking at ‘other options’. That should concentrate minds. However, what chances that the contract has the MoD over a barrel?

Last edited 20 days ago by Barry Larking
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Other major projects were scrapped and re-bid: Nimrod AEW, Nimrod MRA.4

Airborne
Airborne
20 days ago

I have to admit the Army is in shit state and are so due to their own making. Whatever the future plan and ORBAT we need some decent Armour for the few remaining Armoured inf boys. However it goes much further than that. We are pretty much running on empty when it comes to CS and CSS. Whatever future ORBAT (and I am a fan of the BCT concept even at the expense of the Regimental system) we need so much that it seems incomprehensible that it will be sorted out in the near future. My other concern is that… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
20 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Well said Airborne and the general ethos of your suggestions is ‘supposed’ to be what we are doing, to provide a modern well equipped, highly mobile force with serious, cutting edge firepower and equipment. Instead we are pissing money against the wall on getting bogged down with failing projects like Ajax. Time to get real and start buying kit off the shelf and get it into service. I’m all for using UK companies, but if they can’t come up with the goods, then stop trying to reinvent the wheel at enormous cost for gods sake. It really can’t beyond the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I like all your points. Just one example of CSS being overlooked is the age of CRARRV (a CR1.5 vehicle in technology and protection terms) with no replacement or upgrade in site.
Where do you stand on mortars? Do we need a larger than 81mm mortar and should it be AFV-mounted?

Airborne
Airborne
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks Graham! Love mortars mate, we need veh mounted 120mm and man pack 81mm for light role, and get back the 60mm, useful bit of kit.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Totally agree with you even though my experience was working with (not in) Paras and Inf, as a REME guy.
Why did we lose the 60mm?

Johan
Johan
20 days ago

This news just released, it’s been announced that soldiers involved in the Ajax have been medically discharged.

Ian M
Ian M
20 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Not released, escaped or you’ve made it up. Quote sources.

Ian M
Ian M
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, It is a matter of public record. If the report to the House is read without bias it can be seen that 5 soldiers have indeed been discharged, no argument there. To quote the report:” There are a remaining 5 individuals who have been medically downgraded (Potentially requiring a change of duties within the Armed Forces) or discharged.” Of those 5, at least one, possibly more, have been discharged for reasons NOT relating to hearing loss and this is without AJAX being confirmed as a contributory factor. Therefore the headlines of both of these articles are factually incorrect.… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thanks Ian. One tends to expect the Daily Mail to get things wrong but not The Times and Forces Net. I was in REME and we were extremely H&S-minded, even back in the mid-70s when I joined but not so the rest of the army. I remember that it took a fair time for the army collectively to embrace H&S and take it seriously, but it does so now – in spades. There is no way any equipment even mildly injurious to health (when used properly) will be accepted. I am very pessimistic about Ajax and doubt that it can… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, I’m a stickler for detail, goes with the job I suppose. H&S has it’s place in the forces, don’t want the guys ‘n’ gals getting messed up with kit that’s not fit for purpose. I have decent hopes that the AJAX programme is fixable, it’s a fundamentally good platform that is the subject of a weirdly truncated development cycle that doesn’t leave much wiggle room to iron out problems. The public’s perception is too coloured by hyberbole and headlines. When I joined the REME in the 70’s I did starter motor changes on Abbots with the pack suspended… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
20 days ago

A good rant is okay. Let’s hope the fixit period is not longer than another year. How many times do they need look, listen and analyse?

grizzler
grizzler
20 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Ssome of them may have difficulty listening, or even hearing …alledgedly…

Keel
Keel
20 days ago

310 people have had their hearing checked, and? Have any actually suffered a measurable loss of hearing?

This has been in the news 12 months now. Is it an issue or not?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago

Does anyone know how long David Marsh has to make his decision, whether he has ‘a team’ and what methodology he is using?