A KPMG report looks at the potential benefits of a Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme production contract to the prosperity of the UK.

The report, commissioned by Lockheed Martin, looks at the potential benefits of a Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) production contract to the prosperity of the UK, including contributions to the economy, exports, jobs and skills.

According to the analysis, a production contract for Warrior upgrade for an assumed 275 vehicle upgrades between 2021 and 2029 could deliver:

  • Approx. £1 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy
  • A high number of jobs, with employment supported varying each year linked to the scale of activity on the contract taking place – from 100 annual Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs to almost 2,000 annual FTE jobs through direct and supply chain employment when activity is at its peak
  • Highly skilled jobs – GVA per FTE job is more than four times the UK national average (£251,682 compared to £59,802).

The WCSP development programme is now in its final stages of trials and Lockheed Martin UK is in negotiations for a production contract with the Ministry of Defence to deliver the latest in advanced capabilities for up to 275 Warrior vehicles.

The Warrior, an essential asset for the British Army, has been deployed in every UK operation since Iraq in 1990.

They were originally built in the 1980s.

The upgrade Programme, once awarded, will run from 2021 to 2029 and will be based at the company’s state of the art manufacturing facility at Ampthill in Bedfordshire. The production and integration work of the digitised turrets will be supported by a skilled and highly capable supply chain. Approximately 80 percent of the WCSP solution is manufactured by British companies.

One of the suppliers to the WCSP development programme is Bedfordshire-based Axis Electronics, who supply the control panels for the turret.

Paul Chaplin, Managing Director at Axis in Bedfordshire said:

“Being a supplier to the WCSP development programme has been an exciting journey, we’ve been able to apply our expert skills and knowledge to the programme and have equally gained new knowledge and grown our skills by working alongside Lockheed Martin’s expert engineers and technicians. Through the development phase, we have directly hired 25 employees, and I would estimate a further 50 new hires within our UK wide supply chain. A production contract for Warrior will enable us to create and retain a higher number of highly skilled jobs in the local area.”

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Levi Goldsteinberg

Lockheed know the only way to get HMG off their overpaid arses and do their job in spending money on defending the realm

peter wait

Think they must be worried that the program will be cancelled, some important people connected to Government invested in Lockheed martin, if you do a search on net you can find them!

maurice10

Good news if the programme goes ahead? This project has been obscenely lengthy and a brand new vehicle might have been 60% completed in the same time and expense? Now for CH2 LEP and the prospect of the Army fielding an eighty-five-ton battle tank!

Peter S.

Warrior and Challenger are closely linked. If Challenger is scrapped (rumours abound)then Warrior loses its main role. If Warrior is cancelled, how does the armoured infantry operate alongside Ch2? Ajax can’t carry enough troops unless it loses its gun. So it’s both or nothing. I don’t see a need to upgrade Ch2 because its gun might be marginally less effective than a smoothbore in some situations. Just get the (whole) fleet back in working order. Then plan for successors to both platforms from 2035. It is no comfort that the US army has made a similar drawn out mess of… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg

Problems with CH2 extend far beyond the rifled barrel – power pack, armour and optics are all obsolete

Peter S.

Yes but I suspect the really big costs would come from new turret and gun. After Warrior, we should be ultra cautious.

Peter S.

The really big bucks and risk will come with a new gun and turret. Upgrading engine and optics should be more straightforward. Does an 80 ton tank need more armour? Tanks are most effective en masse so numbers matter. Having handfuls of exquisitely upgraded machines is a. poor use of scarce funds.

Ian

Was this the problem for the Germans near the end of WW2 , a limited number of super tanks facing 1000’s of massed produced T34’s swarming all around them

Peter S.

Germany spent a lot of scarce resources on their heavy tanks which were individually very effective. Overall however, their most effective tank killers were the 88mm flak and the stug3. These were built in much larger numbers at lower cost. Modern MBTs are much more mobile then the Tigers but are still very demanding of support- fuel supplies, wheeled transporters for long distance movement. Perhaps we could increase mobile firepower with a 120mm armed Ajax or Boxer.What we need above all is a coherent long term plan that doesn’t end up in reducing numbers. What a mess!

Ian

Peter S. thank you for that reply….. we need to make a decision and stick to it……Australians seem to be on the right track……..they steered clear of BAE…..

Daniele Mandelli

could increase mobile firepower with a 120mm armed Ajax”

There was such a version planned. Of course, it vanished. So standard Scout versions will be masquerading as “Medium Armour” in our Strike Brigades.

Ian M.

There is still a planned Ajax with an Abrams turret to offer as the Mobile Protected Firepower version to the the US Army. No reason why this couldn’t be purchased / adapted to a UK role.

AlexS

How can put a M1 turret weight into an Ajax?

Simon m

It’s a lightweight version develop for a previous project it’s not an M1 turret but designed to be completely familiar to an M1 operator

Pacman27

its the X360 turret griffon 2 or 3 is the product name I would personally cancel Warrior and challenger LEP’s and also cancel Ajax in favour of more Boxers and apaches understand this is not to everyones taste, but at least it is a cohesive decision. I would rather have more strike brigades (fully loaded with supporting fires, AAD etc) than a hotch potch of vehicles that are too expensive to maintain and arguably not fit for purpose even when upgraded. Boxer is the future – time we embrace it CT40 cannon has already been proven on a boxer as… Read more »

4th watch

Absolutely, and when the Russians Came up with the JS3, the USA with the Pershing and ourselves with the Comet or Centurion, there was the German’s advantage gone. In 1946 by any standard their tanks were toast.

Simon m

ASCOD 42 offered to Czech Republic has a 2 manned turret + 8 dismounts ASCOD is the basis of Ajax so if the Ajax contract could be renegotiated it is not beyond the realms of possibility of not using the Warrior hull without the industry massively losing out.

andy

strange you say that when i was with 2li the warriors were faster and out maneuvering what was challenger 1 and tactics were changed by my co at the time Ben Barry where by the warriors would still go in first but the use of anti tank weapons were relied on until the mk1 challys could get there,even though it sounded stupid at the time it bloody well worked and worked well..but would todays thinking be the same probably not,to easy these days to say get rid and save money,then when the next conflict comes along complain we don’t have… Read more »

Dern

Ajax isn’t so much about the gun, ASCOD that it’s based on has a Mauser 30mm and still seats 8 passengers. The issue with Ajax is it’s internal digital and surveillance systems. In order too turn it back into an IFV it wouldn’t be a simple as removing the turret, it would require an entire redesign of the internals of the vehicle.

Simon m

That design exists as ASCOD 42 & reconfiguration of Scout SV Ajax was/is the whole selling point of the platform

maurice10

The issue is the sheer weight gain of the CH2LEP, and not the Warrior speed or capacity. At 85 tons the upgraded CH2 would be the heaviest MBT in Europe, and considerably compromised when it came to speed and infrastructure? Warrior is a great workhorse just as the FV432 family was before it, and it should be upgraded, regardless. Sadly, the protracted new turret development could place the whole programme in the crosshairs of the Treasury cut backs. There are already worrying mutterings in the press of manpower cuts, especially in the Army? I agree with you, the CH2 should… Read more »

Ron5

The weight has not been established yet for the Ch2LEP because the vehicle is still being designed, so wherever you are getting your 85 tons from, is totally incorrect.

maurice10

Sadly, it has been designed and the Black Knight and Rheinmetall designs increase weight over the current generational CH2, due to smooth bore gun and additional electronic countermeasures packages. The 85 tonnes is broadly recognised as the penalty paid for CH2 modernisation within the industry.

Ron5

No it hasn’t, design is ongoing at the moment. You are totally misinformed about weight too.

“Broadly recognized” my foot, you made it up.

maurice10

The basic design studies have no doubt been completed and trials will begin once the chosen design is approved. This would have been achieved if the project hadn’t been deferred. Obviously, detail design work will continue and it’s this effort that is confusing you, and not the meat of the programme. As for the weight increase, dream on if you think it will be less than predicted!

Ron5

You need to read the very recent RUSI report that describes exactly the state of the program. Your suppositions (“no doubt” is your favorite phrase) are incorrect.

maurice10

Maybe (if you can be bothered) watch ‘Future Of British Tanks’ discussion on You Tube by the Tank Professor. You may find it interesting and will prove that it’s nothing to do ‘With my foot!’ Cheers.

Ron5

No amount of Youtube watching makes up for your lack of knowledge of the Challenger upgrade program.

peter wait

Standard bridge weight 70t classification plus add on TES armour would be somewhere there ?

Ron5

Yes that would be reasonable that will considerable additional armour the tank could get that heavy. But that is not the weight of the tank itself. That’s the weight of the tank with a bunch of other very things bolted on.

peter wait

The leopard turret with auto loader is larger so it could add some additional weight.

Ron5

True

Daveyb

Apparently the M1A3 with TUSK weighs in a shade under 90 tons (short tons)!

maurice10

Weight is a major issue for the CH2 LEP and if it’s approved, it may require portable bridging wherever it goes? Considering the latest Russian tank is so advanced and is possibly one of the lightest MBT’s around. That said, I’d prefer an overweight British MBT to none at all. What a sorry state of affairs the whole current Army procurement process is for armoured vehicles.

Some one told me years ago the Boxer was a poor design and too expensive hence, the UK backing out of the project? If true, what has changed??

Ron5

Which “latest Russian tank” are you referring to? The actual trend in Russian MBT is an increase in size and weight so they are becoming the same size and weight of western tanks.

Your chatter about an overweight Challenger upgrade is just pure BS. You have no evidence whatsoever that the upgrade will result in a tank too heavy for its intended use.

Deep32

I imagine that @maurice10 is referring to the Russian T14 Almaty, it’s a new design, with the crew all in the hull and comes in at around 40ish tonnes!

Ron5

Try 50 to 60 tons and that’s an increase. Russian tanks have always been smaller and weigh less than western. Even to the point of recruiting small guys to man them.

Deep32

Yes they are, this one is still some 20ish tonnes lighter than the current CH2 without any latest upgrades, and is probably the one @maurice10 is alluding too!!

So, he is correct when talking about ‘probably one of the lightest MBT’s around’!!!

Ron5

Not hardly.

Graham Moore

I agree.CR2 TES was 72t. I doubt LEP would add 13t.

Ron5

You are also wrong about the reasons the UK initially left the Boxer program.

peter wait

Think they decided Boxer too heavy to be air portable so did not fit with the thinking at that time!

Graham Moore

Peter, you are absolutely right. It was unusually physically large too, I remember passing through the original Boxer programme office at DPA and being amazed at the sight of a full size mural of the vehicle painted on a wall.

Graham Moore

MoD backed out of the original Boxer programme when it became clear that it would not be C-130 transportable.

Lee H

It would have been more credible if LM hadn’t commissioned the report. The amount of money they have wasted far outweighs any late benefits they think they may bring to the UK and its economy. This has been a shocking exercise by both the Army (forever changing requirements) and the supplier happily spending the money they have been allocated. I think it may be time to knock the programme on the head and cut our loses. Look at what Australia are doing with Land 400. Let’s join that programme, reduce platform costs for both nations and continue to build the… Read more »

peter wait

Land 400 program is too sensible for UK, no one’s chums make money!

Finney

Is there still still a barrel manufacturing and land systems facility at Barrow? I thought it was gone like everything BAE doesn’t use for 6 months.
I also wouldn’t bother with the new gun and turret for CH2, more trouble than its worth, just sort the optics and powerpack out and tick over for another 10/15 years.

David Barry

Good question. They were making the M777 Howitzers for the American forces but will ask the question.

Ron5

M777 barrels are made in the US.

Ron5

The UK has no ability anywhere to build any gun barrel greater than a rifle.

Bae did indeed have facilities but when they asked the MoD if they should be preserved, the answer cam back as a no. So Bae shut them down and disposed of the equipment.

Blame the idiot Drayson who declared that maintaining an amoured vehicle industry in the UK was not required. Bloody fool.

Simon m

Not strictly true AEI UK manufacture 20mm & 30mm weapons and also barrels for CG 84mm, however agree with the premise it’s ridiculous that our manufacturing capability has been so run down. There seems to be a reluctance to purchase AEI Venom LR even though it’s 50% cheaper than m230lf. Despite them selling naval weapons elsewhere in the world the RN hasn’t purchased one as far as I know. So even the little industry we do have is not supported.

Ron5

I’d forgotten about AEI and their Aden cannon line. Personally I think they’d look pretty good on the top of the new Boxers or JLTV.

Finney

Christ that’s depressing.
I’m not sure what’s worse, BAE; supposedly a company that develops and manufactures weapons systems of all kinds, thinking “let’s get rid of our plant to manufacture artillery, why would we need it?”
Or the MoD, on being asked, saying “yeah get rid of it”.
On the one hand I suppose sales of the M777 had dried up, on the other, the British army is clearly in the market for artillery in the next couple of years, would it really have cost them so much to just mothball for a year or two?

Glass Half Full

I wouldn’t fancy operating towed howitzers, 155mm or 105mm, against anyone with decent counter battery fire. We should ditch AS90 and L118 and use a wheeled platform for 155mm and perhaps 120mm mortars on Boxer. More generally we need to be much more mobile and should IMV largely adopt the French model. They have gone mostly wheeled apart from LeClerc MBT, BVS-10, recovery/engineering vehicles and an aging token number of tracked 155mm and MLRS. This includes fully wheeled recce using Jaguar with CTAS 40mm. It appears we can’t put the Ajax recce genie back in the bottle at this stage,… Read more »

Ron5

All right being mobile running around on wheels until you run up against an armoured formation then you’re dead.

The French army is configured for colonial warfare. The Russians would blow through them in hours.

Glass Half Full

Thing is that the peer on peer battlefields of today and especially tomorrow are going to be way more surveilled than in past conflicts, using everything from LEO satellites, air assets (manned and unmanned of all shapes, sizes and capabilities) and land recce assets. No one will be running into armoured formations of any consequence without knowing about them first. We only have to look at the Russian, Turkish and Azerbaijani use of UAVs in Ukraine, Syria and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts respectively to see these trends, which are likely to prevail, at least in the surveillance role, even with comprehensive… Read more »

Ron5

Nothing you have written negates the needs for tanks and heavy support. Which is why every other major country is buying them: Russia, China, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, …….

Glass Half Full

Most countries have tanks including the UK, many are old, some very old, some are upgrading these old platforms, not many seem to be buying brand new platforms and certainly not in large numbers. In other words, tanks represent a legacy commitment to heavy armour based on past threats and strategy. Just because everyone else continues to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do, particularly in a UK context. Technology has advanced significantly in the last decade and massively in the last two decades; tanks are struggling to stay relevant and survivable against modern surveillance and weapons.… Read more »

Ron5

Your assertion that not many countries are buying new tanks is totally absurd. Are you even aware of the French-German project to build a brand new tank?

Your comments about 155mm howitzers outranging tank guns has been true since the first world war, so what?

The same applies to your comment that tanks cannot fight aircraft. You forget to mention they can’t fight frigates, destroyers or submarines.

There’s certainly one person that is investing very heavily in new and upgraded tanks and would be very, very happy if the UK ditched theirs: Putin.

Glass Half Full

Do you have a reference for the order for that French-German tank from either country’s defence department, let alone either actually buying any? Or even an official timeline for planned production? Or are you just referring to various armaments companies producing concept models? There have been numerous concepts/proposals for the CR2 upgrade from armaments companies – no orders yet. 155mm so what? Smart ammunition, mobility and modern ISTAR that’s what. And that applies to rocket artillery and bombs too. No more saturation attacks hoping to hit something. Modern peer ISTAR coupled with smart ammunition is a deadly combination, tanks cannot… Read more »

Simon m

Don’t worry about the French German order for a future tank look at Poland and & their plan for leopards and/or K9s planned to be ordered. All countries are upgrading their tanks spending large sums of money to do so Germans & the French haven’t ordered any because their current tanks are capable of defeating current threats, but the future order shows that they think there’s a future. Look at countries that thought like you & are now reacquiring the tanks they got rid off. How do you plan to take & occupy ground or defend ground with arty &… Read more »

Glass Half Full

The Poles, as a front line state with Russian territory at least don’t have the UK’s logistics issues. However, it doesn’t make their tanks any less vulnerable to preemptive attack or to precision saturation air attack, i.e. an attack beyond the means of the AD, LLAD present and APS to defend against. Focusing on the platform without recognising the enemy has an increasingly sophisticated say is dangerous. “All countries are upgrading their tanks spending large sums of money to do so” … is a rather sweeping comment don’t you think? “… but the future order” – what future order? “How… Read more »

Graham Moore

Tanks do not exist to deliver indirect fire, that is the job of artillery. It makes no sense to view tanks as inferior to artillery. Tanks deliver shock action in support of armoured infantry and are the premier destroyer of enemy medium and heavy armour. Tanks may not have much of a counter to enemy air, neither does many other army platforms, except those with a dedicated counter-air role. So don’t scrap tanks because they can be destroyed by enemy air, instead protect tanks and every other land platform with effective area and point air defence. Thats what all-arms combat… Read more »

Glass Half Full

We are getting to the stage where people seem to be putting the tank up on a pedestal as some sort of wonder weapon, or some sort of status symbol which our lack of would mean the UK isn’t respected … or something. My point – It is just a mobile 120mm gun … that if purchased new is likely to cost $10m+ each. To your point while in theory it could be used for indirect fire, it isn’t, thus its a limited LOS direct fire weapon. So $10m+ is a hell of a lot to pay for one LOS… Read more »

Ron5

I’m sure the Russians will be very obliging in cooperating with your plan.

John Stott

Sums it up perfectly. Tanks are yesterdays weapon.

Simon m

Apparently part of the reason as to why the French were put out on the flank in GW1. I don’t buy that the Boxer is as good as tracks I’ve seen footage of them stuck in the snow & in harsh terrain. It’s simple physics. If WW3 breaks out I don’t think there’s one French vehicle I’d like to be in over German or British equivalents

Pacman27

loitering munitions will negate heavy armours advantage over say a boxer, as will improved ISTAR. Also if a boxer is equipped properly with ATW’s then it isn’t likely to pan out as well for the tanks as everyone thinks. the key with strike is to have the right mix of vehicles operating together and for those vehicles to have great situational awareness. If we get that right – they should only meet a heavy formation on their terms (with air cover) but as with all things in war the key is to get an overmatch on your enemy and it… Read more »

Ron5

Boxers are more survivable than Challengers??? Don’t be absurd.

Pacman27

I haven’t said they are, what I am saying is that there are pros and cons to everything and whilst tanks have their place I believe we will get more value out of an all Boxer force. a set of challengers out on their own is probably more susceptible to being wiped out as opposed to a strike brigade with several integrated AAD units and long range fires If you put the vehicles 1v 1 it is about who fires first – if the boxer fires first the tank is toast – likewise if the tank fires first (assuming both… Read more »

Ron5

Boxers vs tanks will have one outcome every time.

Now go look at who has tanks. Yes, that’s right, everybody.

Airborne

Correct in most respects, certainly about the fires/depth fires issue. We are weak in most areas, and while we need a modern and kinetic armoured force, we need a realistic and rational concept for the Strike Brigades, and at the moment we have not got that. The strike Brigades COULD be relevant and strategicly and tactically sound, but with so many areas deficit, such as AD, LLAD, direct fires, indirect fires, comms and logisitics, they are a means of getting professional and dedicated people killed. We need an armoured force, but, 9 times out of 10 our future ops will… Read more »

Glass Half Full

You won’t find me using a mobile for typing, you have my respect! I agree that a peer conflict is unlikely, but it requires that we and NATO partners have credible conventional deterrence as an insurance against it. What drives my thoughts are that I don’t believe UK heavy armour moves that needle at all. Forward deployed in the Baltics, it would be taken out within minutes of a conflict starting, it’s a trip wire in this role, realistically nothing more. Based in the UK, it fails to get there in time to do anything but possibly counter attack with… Read more »

Ron5

So your dastardly plan is to kill all the bad guy’s tanks with your aircraft and long range guns/rockets then send in the Boxers?

Good grief.

Glass Half Full

Not quite as simple as that, but we just saw a proxy for this type of warfare with Azerbaijan vs Armenia. Much simpler and low end of course than a potential Russia-NATO conflict but the core principles of ISTAR and long range effects cost Armenia a lot of armour.

https://www.rusi.org/commentary/democratisation-precision-strike-nagorno-karabakh-conflict

Glass Half Full

And look at the difference in losses of both sides, linked from the RUSI piece.

https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2020/09/the-fight-for-nagorno-karabakh.html

Ron5

If you think Boxers are the solution like the dude above, you are as bonkers as him.

Glass Half Full

Whether Boxers are the solution rather depends on the question. Using Boxer or Ajax to directly attack modern tanks in LOS is probably not survivable, unless they get a lucky ATGM shot in. However what if Boxer, or JLTV or even lighter vehicles, perhaps even unmanned attritable land platforms such as Milrem THeMIS, controlled from a Boxer and armed with Brimstone as an example, are given indirect fire solutions from ground troops, surveillance UAVs, etc etc. Or maybe Boxers with 120mm mortars using precision anti-tank munitions. Or taking a leaf from the latest Chinese weapons, a mass launch suicide drone… Read more »

Ron5

So all these lightly armoured vehicles are survivable while heavily armoured tanks are not.

Yep, that’s logical (eyes roll).

Glass Half Full

Didn’t say that did I Ron? You’re great with the drive by comments, real gansta of you, but rather lacking on any detailed positions or arguments.

peter wait

FH70 was a towed howitzer with a vw beetle engine to move it short distances, tended to get bogged in on soft ground. It seems the American M109 with regular upgrades was more cost effective than the UK’s route !

Mr Bell

I can think of better things to spend £1 billion on. Like a few more type 31s or if possible 1 more type 26. With Boxer programme fo we need Warrior?
Keep challenger. Get it upgraded by Warrior??? Not sure we do need it. Anyone Army focused care to comment?

James

The boxers are planned to only have a machine gun on. If they come under attack the troops have to disembark or have to wait for ajax to turn up who has been left far behind.
Future plans leave the army with not much firepower as it is.

AlbertStarburst

Across all armed services the story is the same. We always seem to come out under-gunned on everything. It’s almost like somebody wants us just to be target practice for peeps with bigger guns.

David Barry

They’ll still have bayonets as C/S Bourne would say…And a bayonet, sir. With some guts behind it.

Laugh or cry? I’ll it to you.

Ian M.

Boxer won’t leave Ajax “behind”!

James

Wheels vs tracks, wouldn’t it be sensible to have an all wheels strike brigades?

Ron5

Wouldn’t it be sensible to have an all tracked armoured brigade?

James

It appears the army doesn’t really know what it wants, which is part of the greater problem of the military not really knowing what its direction is.

Ron5

That I agree with.

peter wait

Tracks only have a relative short life, didn’t last long in Iraq. This is why they go on transporters. Add transmission, suspension and engine life!

Simon m

Have you heard of composite rubber tracks? & read what studies have found regarding these?

Ron5

Yes, they don’t last much, if any, longer than conventional tracks and they have weight limits that rule them out for tanks. Their advantages do not include long life in deserts.

Airborne

Mr Bell read my quick posted opinion below. Massive subject but Warrior is way past it’s sell by date, and some ballsy decisions are needed soon mate.

Graham Moore

The Royal Navy and its supporting RFA has had an amazing decade or so of procurement and the optimism runs forward into the T26, T31 programmes and the SSBN replacement programmes. They also get the benefit of top cover from the RAF’s new MPAs. The Army has been well and truly left behind for all sorts of reasons. All of the ‘heavy metal’ needs upgrading or replacing and those programmes that are mooted to do this are running slow, running late, may be scaled back or scrapped. The army needs a mix of equipment as the terrain and the opponent… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I read this as LM trying to save their arses on this project, having taken a decade and hundreds of millions already for naught. From what I’m hearing, Tanks will remain, in 1 Brigade of 2 CH2 regiments rather than 1 in each of the 3 current AI bdes ( was due to reduce to 2 raegiments anyway ) Warrior CSP is being halved in scope, from 4 battalions to just 2. The resultant armoured bde will thus be “square” of 4 manouvere units ( armour and infantry) We’d be back to the 2010 SDSR plan of 3 brigades, only… Read more »

Graham Moore

Just hope we don’t come up against the Russian Army in a future conflict, unless we are hiding behind or providing flank protection to the US Army, which seems to still take armoured warfare seriously and maintains and upgrades sufficient numbers of equipments for the purpose.

Grubbie

Cancel immediately. If LM, Boeing or BAe recommend anything, do the opposite.

Jack

Exports ? Oh please.

Ron5

8 years for 275 vehicles? Could they work any slower?

Ian

Type 26/31 Ron5

Ron5

Very good Ian!

peter wait

Hard to finish a vehicle design while the CTA 40 was still in development and possibly wrong choice!

Ron5

Feeble excuse by GM & LH to explain their poor performance. Didn’t stop the French from developing their armoured vehicles using the same gun.

Truth is that GM UK and LH UK had zero experience, knowledge or workforce in designing and manufacturing armoured vehicles. The MoD would might as well have placed the order with Asda. The result is that the British taxpayer is paying for those companies to learn how do do it. And that isn’t cheap or quick.

peter wait

Look who’s funds invested in these companies, think a lord is on the board as well!

Simon m

People keep using the French argument but no-one seems to be able to find an article to say a CT40 vehicle has been accepted & in use by operational units.
The amount being initially procured is quiet low as well.

Plus in reality the blame doesn’t really lay on LMUK – when was the last new turret built in the UK? It’s the astute program all over again we lost the skilled workforce that knew how to put one together

Ron5

You need to do some more research/googling Simon.

The last new turret in the UK before Ajax was probably the CT40 turret developed and trialled by Bae for their losing entry into the Ajax competition. Video of it in action can be found on Youtube.

And yes, Bae lost to a PowerPoint turret from LM which when developed, didn’t work and had to be thrown away and replaced with a German based design.

peter wait

Thought they tried to put the CTA 40 in the old modified warrior turret, think the larger recoil caused cracking. BAE said it would need a new turret which is why their bid was more expensive. If you read the 1996 American state department report into the $200 million they spent on CTA no sensible person would have bought it! CV90 would have been delivered on time as already has production line in Sweden

Ron5

Agree with most of that. I think the problem with CT40 in the old Warrior turret was that the turret just wasn’t big enough. LM ran the ammo feed outside of the turret to alleviate that problem until the army told them to stop being so effing stupid. Cue new turret. I don’t know that the Bae/CV90 bid was more expensive. No financials have ever been released. I would be surprised. It’s certainly true to say that it would have been cheaper over time and into service a heck of a lot quicker. You could also imagine the lower cost… Read more »

john melling

Cut the losses and go for an up armed Ajax Griffin or Boxer variant so we can have commonality with equipment.

Ron5

Cost a lot more, where will the money come from?

Ryan Brewis

Up to 275 vehicles. Up to. What’s the betting that it’ll be quite a bit less than that? If the rumoured recruitment/budget freeze is true, then it’ll just mean even more vehicles not up to par anymore. Anyone with more knowledge than I, would something like three fifteen thousand man divisions split into 5k strong self contained combat brigades built around mobility and deployability work? Is that large enough for a decent sized fighting contingent including arty and a support contingent of engineers, signals etc? Might not be viable against a nation like Russia or China, but odds of that… Read more »

Simon m

Well there’s 245 CT40 cannons on top of those for Ajax with some vehicle’s name on them! So if they don’t go on warrior they’ll have to go on Boxer which will need the turrets anyway which is the major cost of the warrior program

BB85

Warrior needs scrapped. There have been enough warning signs the hulls are knackered. LM completely screwed up the turret, the whole thing should have been abandoned 4 years ago when the problems where clear and either additional ajax or turreted boxer ordered.

Ron5

Meanwhile upgraded Warriors are passing all the required tests as we speak. Not enough money to buy brand new replacements.

peter wait

Don’t know why the turret was a big issue when textron systems can supply a stabilised turret which 30mm to 105 mm fits. The cockerill commando would have been good reccy’ vehicle in the CVRT style concept !

Simon m

Because of the insistence on the CT40 and the fact we haven’t built a turret for years & didn’t have a knowledgeable workforce to produce them.

peter wait

Rumours they did not factor in cabling thickness when the designed the fit out of turret. This backs up your knowledge theory!

Graham Moore

The ARES variant of Ajax could take an infantry section of 8 men, as it is configured for crew of 3 and rear seats for 7. With a 12.7mm MG though it lacks the firepower of WR.

Ron5

Incorrect. Ares can carry 6 soldiers including driver and gunner.

Airborne

Massive subject into a few lines….chin off 2 Battalions worth of Warrior upgrade, put the 40mm cannon and turrets on boxer, use the turretless Warriors to replace all the 432s that are still knocking about with the RAP and medics, the REME lads etc. Use Ajax for what it’s for, Recce and overwatch, get a decent square Bde up and running with 2 Chally, 2 Warrior, Ajax recce, AS90 with base bleed GPS rounds (bare minimum capability upgrade), with GMLRS and all Engineer assets. Then take a long hard look at the Strike concept, equip and arm ONE strike Bde… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Pretty much my thoughts mate. The CS and CSS enablers need protecting and enhancing.

Airborne

Then if you think its in the right direction, then, it’s in the right direction, cheers mate

Simon m

The only slight problem is we have signed up for 589 Ajax which is way more than we need for recce? I think renegotiating Ajax to Ajax plus Ajax(ASCOD 42) would be more the way to go? Re-jig the turret to numbers needed AI/strike. Then still use warrior to replace FV432?

Daniele Mandelli

The Ajax contract includes other variants Simon.

Only 200 something ( forget the exact number ) are the “Scout” recc version.

Dern

I’ll be honest… I’d take a good long look at 16AA and ask “Do we really need them?” Parachute infantry is a thing of the past, Airborne Assault is around but, as someone once said, anyone can do Helicopter based Assault, the proof is in the Helmand Pudding.

Airborne

Correct to a degree but we only have a Coy group realistically able and ready to drop. The rest would Air land. However as with other capabilities in the British Military, if you get rid of the capability you will never get it back. When it’s gone it’s gone, and the Battalions also provide very high quality infantry for any other taskings required. You could also use your logic for 3 Cod Bde…..this is a big subject for discussion on another thread maybe. However don’t forget the 3 Parachute battalions also provide an average of 65% of successfull SF volunteers…..

Dern

But do we need it, we Parachute operations are a sunset capability, once out of the aircraft they provide only a very limited effect, and limited mobility, and require other, heavier assets to back them up. If we just want something that can Air-Land, we have no shortage of light infantry formations that can do it, again the proof is in the Helmand Pudding. As for 3 Cmdo brigade, yes you could use that logic for them, and it seems like the Navy is using exactly that logic for them. As for high quality infantry, I don’t think so, at… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Dern
Airborne

I could argue a few points that’s for sure, ceetainly in regard to individual standards, skills and drills, but I agree with other operational concepts you have suggested. And there are still 3 Battalions mate, and yes surprising to say I’m aware one is SFSG, but in everyone’s eyes it’s still 1 Para. Anyway if you read most of my posts, aside from the ones baiting sad Harold, I’m aware of the limitations of Air insertion, fully support changes to the Army in its current form, and actually think priority for funding should be RN, RAF, then sad to say… Read more »

Dern

Right but my point is I didn’t say “Disband SFSG.” I said “Disband 16AA” That’s two very different things, hence why when the subject of “drawing from all three battalions” came up, I quickly pointed out why SFSG is irrelevant to my broader point.

Airborne

I didn’t think or said you stated diisband SFSG, I’m confused on that point?

Simon m

Depends if you are only going to fight one sort of conflict likelihood that we won’t & we do have responsibilities across the world that may need a rapid response to conduct ops such as civilian evacuation and peacekeeping plus I’d think you’d find most other countries have kept this type of capability. I think paras isn’t the reflection of the role necessarily but also the acknowledgement of the eliteness of the force based on its history and requirements yes they could go to other units but entry requirements will be lower as will expectations & ops/training carried out. Therefore… Read more »

Dern

Doesn’t require 16 AA to be a rapid response unit, that can be done by anyone. The “eliteness” of the force is terribly overstated, as I said in my experience the Paras are just good light infantry but with a slightly psychotic streak that makes them unsuitable for low intensity operations, but hey, I said disband 16AA not the Paras which is interesting because everyone seems to be conflating the two. (As for the SF thing, I’ve already pointed out that I do not for a second believe that the deletion of 16AA would mean those individuals wouldn’t apply for… Read more »

peter wait

The training is all part of what makes para’s tough crack troops. Just look at the damage they can do to a bar or NAFFI. Don’t think other units would have a chance in brawl !

Ron5

So basically ditch Strike and concentrate on building credible heavy armoured formations. That’s one option but rather going against current climate of opinion. Most folks would say you’re stuck in the past.

Airborne

Strike will work if it had reasonable kinetic effect, but it doesn’t. Look up the actual concept of operations and you will see it will not work with the vehicles, weapons and logistics available. It’s a good concept, totally let down by what is physically available to conduct operations with. A Coy sized group, with 4 Ajax, 8 Boxers and a recovery vehicle, with no AD, no close support, no depth fire, maybe 2 x 81mm….limited logistics, limited comms and a casevac chain god knows how long, absolute chuff. Look up the concept of operations and expectations and you will… Read more »

Ron5

Agree.

Simon m

I’ll second that

Peter S.

Sounds like a sensible and affordable plan, so what chance of it happening?
Re-purposing Warrior as a turretless APC looks relatively low risk and cost and will help rationalise the vehicle fleet.

Ron5

Because they are already executing a sensible and affordable plan with WCSP. So yes, your alternative plan will not happen.

peter wait

Don’t see how Ajax replaces a small light CVRT with 30 mm with Warrior sized vehicle that’s not air portable without side armour, engine, tracks and fuel removed. Is it doing reccy’ by flying drones?

Airborne

Not sure what you mean in your post, sorry?

Simon m

I’m pretty sure that most forces have access to thermal viewers & highly capable optics, radars etc. & therefore the visual difference is overstated. It terms of air portability it is a niche & if you think 16th AAB is required then it is one that needs filling.
But you don’t forgo required protection required, power generation, sensors etc. just to fulfil a niche. Yes drones will be an important part of recce for Ajax.

Ron5

Good answer.

Andy

With how old design is would it not make more sense to chip in on new USA or off shelf design? Maybe alter boxer? Even get one with 120mm on it? I’m no expert but some of issues I’ve already read, is it worth it while times are hard?

Liam

So you take £1 Bn from taxpayers and spend it and that’s adding to the economy?

JohnN

Actually it does add to an economy, regardless of being in the UK (or here Oz for example too). There are various studies that suggest that one pound/dollar circulates 6 or 7 times. In simple terms, companies pay tax on activity and profits, employees receive a wage, they pay income tax, and are not being paid unemployment benefits. They purchase goods and services, tax is paid on those goods and services, the local businesses also spend the money they receive and on and on it goes, around and around in the economy many times over. If Governments stopped re-spending taxpayers… Read more »

Liam

Oh dear the old broken window theory of economics trotted out. The billion is already in tax payers’ hands and they can make their own rational spending decisions and indeed at a lower even zero cost. The billion spent by government attracts additional costs to spend and is not a rational allocation necessarily. My point was not about government spending per se but the idea that the billion suddenly forms part of the economy because of government spending. It already is in the economy.

SD67

Warrior CSP and CR2 LEP are both absurd and should have been scrapped years ago. Warrior would be 40years old by the time the “upgrade” started, and given that it has been worked hard in the middle east and never properly renewed it will end up being a total rebuild a la Nimrod.
CR3 would be over 80 tonnes by the time it’s finished which pushes the limits of a whole range of infrastructure and will massively reduce its mobility.

There are many alternatives. GD are offering the Griffin IFV to the US army – which is Ajax derived.

Ron5

We’ll let you go to war against the Russian tanks in your Griffin with its thin armour and weak gun. We’ll also give you a good burial. Well that’s if there’s anything left worth burying.

peter wait

They would ok against the T55 tanks lol

peter wait

Nimrod could only have been a political decision, some idiot bought ex saudi comets Prob to sweeten some arms deal. These were hand built of varying measurements and corroded. This proved expensive and problematic when trying to fit interiors lol re- Aim aviation

Simon m

How old is leopard 2, M1 Abrams, Bradley, M113, T72, T80, T90? So what’s the absurdity? It won’t be a Nimrod no-one is trying to mix composite wings with airframes that were handcrafted. M1 SEP v3 will also be heavy & leopard 2 is no lightweight it’s just not often equipped with TES bolt on armour. Medium armour is not designed to slogging it out with MBTs & that is not what the US army is buying it for.

Ron5

Very true.

Rob N

Perhaps we should be moving away from manned systems and going for drones…

A mix of small inexpensive ones a more capable ones. I feel the age of manned land systems may be numbered.

Ron5

Phasers too.

Stevo H

Right…… where do we start? For me, it’s the 4th and 5th paragraphs in the article that stand out for me and worries me a lot. “The Warrior, an essential asset for the British Army, has been deployed in every UK operation since Iraq in 1990”. “They were originally built in the 1980’s.” Now, I have a major problem with that as most of them are around 40 years old, give or take a few years. We are now trying to extend the life of these ancient workhorses which, in my opinion, is utterly insane and what makes it worse… Read more »

peter wait

Until recently Warriors went through a full strip down and rebuild program at DSG Donnington. This means they are not in as bad a state as you imply !