Provided General Dynamics are responsible for any issues that prevent Ajax from entering service, it has been revealed that they will ‘reimburse’ the Ministry of Defence.

The information came to light via the response to a Parliamentary written question.

Kevan Jones, MP North Durham, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the scope of the parent company guarantee from General Dynamics for the delivery of AJAX includes reimbursement in the event that the vehicle is unable to reach IOC.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defence Procurement, answered:

“Yes, provided liability for breach is established.”

What’s going on with Ajax?

Back in September, the £5.5bn Ajax armoured vehicle project was effectively placed on ‘end-of-life watch’.  The Ministry of Defence confirmed that “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.”

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

Just under 300 hulls that will one day become Ajax armoured vehicles have been delivered to the UK so far.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Mark
Mark
3 months ago

Get rid, get a proven off the self vehicle, yes it won’t be all singing all dancing but will work and be cost effective. Is there a massive difference between any of the bar cv90, rheinmetall lynx, hanway Ridgeback, I know the Ajax was a shortened wheel based APC which is what’s causing all the issues. But are they that much bigger than Ajax?

PragmaticScot
PragmaticScot
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Should’ve gone with CV90, reliable and been iterated on to be a modern IFV, but as usual we want something bespoke that costs a ridiculous amount to procure with inherent risk and delays. MoD will will never learn.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Agree, will we now look at the CV90?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Ajax hasn’t been binned yet.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Just a matter of time…….

maurice10
maurice10
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Lynx is a more up-to-date design and possibly more future proof than CV90?

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Surely if you choose the CV90 you will end up with the same problems – trying to turn the base Vehicle into something completely different.

Allenb2555
Allenb2555
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

No mate your right there they will never learn, and part of the problem is the majority of the Committee is made up of people who have never even served in the Forces so have no real idea of what is needed.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

We don’t want an IFV – we want a recce/strike vehicle to replace Scimitar.

PragmaticScot
PragmaticScot
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

What is Ajax then? It’s a 38 ton tracked armoured vehicle with a turret and the capacity to carry 7 dismounts, it’s literally an IFV. If you’re referring to Ares which is the dedicated scout variant it still clocks in at 30+ tons, much larger, heavier and costly than Scimitar.

Also the US has short listed CV90 and Griffin/Ajax along side others as part of the M2 Bradley replacement so it’s clearly not a Recce vehicle, first and foremost it’s an IFV.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Ajax. The Scout variant to replace CVR(T) Scimtar. Its primary role is recce/strike not to carry infantry around the battlefield. I don’t think it has seats for dismounts; it will be full of ISTAR kit. Ares is the ‘APC’ variant, of which only a few (93) are being built. It carries a crew of 3 and 7 dismounts, but they are not infantrymen – they will be specialist teams such as engineer recce or AD missile teams etc. In-service IFV is of course Warrior – was to be upgraded with WCSP – but will instead be replaced by Boxer (?)… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Just to clarify some points Mr Scot: AJAX is the turreted Recce variant, crew of 3 plus space for 1 other. ARES is the protected mobility variant (APC) crew of 2 plus 4 dismounts. ATHENA is the C2 variant, crew of 2 plus 3 pax ARGUS is the RE variant, dozer blade and different CSup fit but essentially an ARES. ATLAS is the REME recovery variant, crew of 2/3 dependent on manning. APOLLO is the Repair variant, fitted with a crane, crew of 2/3 AJAX is definitely not an IFV Neither is the ARES really as the dismounts are only… Read more »

PragmaticScot
PragmaticScot
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Hmm, looks like I got a few things mixed up. For the US Army NGCV the Griffin III, which is a turreted Ascod II/Ajax equivalent, is being offered up by GD, is the difference purely down to equipment in the back?

George Parker
George Parker
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Yes, it’s proven and is being upgraded too, in many different variants. It’s practically an off the shelf product. Again, it’s a BAE product.
They even offered to build it in the UK at no extra cost to the taxpayer.
Pay attention MOD to some sound advice. “Try before you buy.”

Granted it’s not always possible with huge aircraft carriers and stealth fighters with huge R&D budgets to cover. But these are AFV’s. Building an example or two for head-to-head testing trials is not asking much, given the size of the eventual order.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Don’t the yanks have Strykers in surplus?

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago

The GD Stryker is an ICV (IFV) not a recce platform

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

There is a Stryker recce variant, so maybe that could be considered if Ajax is binned.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

In which case wouldn’t it be more constructive to answer his question so he can be educated on the subject?

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Please see my response to Mark.

Steve R
Steve R
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Equally unhelpful. He asked a genuine question and deserves a genuine answer, not a snarky remark about being an armchair analyst.

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Lynx KF41 – c.50 tonnes in current upgraded version
CV90 Mk iv – c 38 tonnes
Hanwa Redback c.- 42 tonnes but is an IFV, NOT a Recce vehicle

The Ajax is not shortened. The vibration issues are related to various components and the way they are mounted. The noise issues are intercom related and not automotive.

There you go Mr Spyinthesky.

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Vulcanised rubber shock mounts usually cuts vibrations to sensitive equipment Ian

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

Spot on.

Phil Wyld
Phil Wyld
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

Well I’m fairly sure GD know that, Although current performance is abysmal. The problem partly is poor build in Spain. Parts are required to be within 0.25 of a mil positioning. Some of the current hulls aren’t within 25mm. So botch ups mean your not sure which element was problematic.

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Phil Wyld

My god that’s some splitting the hair tolerances 0.25 mm Lads in the field having tòo do changes but at 25mm you could place a rolled up Lads mag in the gaps but seriously how long have the MOD known about these faults or was it down too ” Lost in translation ” with the Spanish?

Matt
Matt
3 months ago
Reply to  Phil Wyld

Depends on the parts and their size. You cannot apply 0.25mm accross the vehicle. On some parts that is far to large a tolerance when it should be closer to thousands of a millimeter. Opposingly, expecting 0.25mm on the length of the body is a waste of time and not achievable or necessary.

Philip Wyld
Philip Wyld
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt

The positional tolerances are critical. And from Warrior build 0.25mm was pretty average.
Tolerances less than that are frequent but would usually be part of the fits system, in that they would apply to say..a shaft in a housing.
Designers do not use unnecessary tight tolerances because they cost more to manufacture to. If your radio should fit onto a pair of 125 mm wide brackets spaced 300mm apart and they’re actually 350mm apart…I think that might make sticking a bit of rubber rather moot

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Meanwhile – please don’t stand up – what is the solution?

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Much better idea!

Jacko
Jacko
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Not quite so easy David! the order book for CV 90 is a very long one and we would be at the back of the queue. So it would be some time before we even had a sniff of them entering service with us.

Ron N
Ron N
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Given the large scale effect on test crews, I suspect that it is not just a bit of suspect communications equipment. If it was just a case of adding a bit of rubber the manufacturer would have done that. The truth is that the vehicle has issues that are not easily fixed. This speaks to me of a compromised flawed vehicle.. one we should kill off.

Mark
Mark
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

The Ajax is a narrow version of the ascod the Ajax was made 30cm narrower for British specs added on a load more armour. They may well get rid of the recce vehicle as since it’s design Ariel combat drones are making then sitting ducts as they have no defence against them. So get rid and replace warrior with like for like new kit. I certainly wouldnt want to be forward of any air defence systems now that even terrorists can strap 10kg of he to a drone and take out a small armoured vehicles. Not unless the are getting… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

A recce vehicle used correctly won’t be a sitting duck – they operate covertly.
You don’t get rid of a capability just because there is a counter – otherwise you would get rid of everything including the dismounted man.
BTW, drones can be taken out too – there is a counter for them.

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

The vibrations are due to way various components are mounted?! We bow to your magnifence, sir!

The post about buying off the shelf is still valid. It is nice to have all of these bespoke options, but look how that tends to end up, unless you have an enormous military manufacturing sector at your whim and disposal, which few do and the UK does not.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Please explain.

Mark
Mark
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

It’s me the armchair analyst who’s paying for it.

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

The cheap antiquated torsion bar suspension does not work with the weight of this vehicle !

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

The last I heard it was having trouble reversing over a 20cm obstacle!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

We are too far down the road with Ajax to bin it without trying to save it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Graham Moore
Supporitve Bloke
Supporitve Bloke
3 months ago

And the vital words are

“Yes, provided liability for breach is established”

So basically nobody has a clue who is liable for what.

And it will all boil down to who told GD to do what.

Or likely fall apart because some prat on secondment to the project team from army wrote something or agreed to something in an email that he didn’t understand the implications of.

In any case the life of the project has been so tortured that the mass of paperwork and emails that will exist will be virtually impossible to comb through thoroughly.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago

Yeah I’m sure the original starting point contention that the MoD laid down their requirements and GD asserted that they could meet them, won’t last very long in any clearly defined manner for longer than an instant if this goes to legal examination, arbitration or ends up in the Courts. More costs to the taxpayer either way.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It kicks the can down the road.

The question ‘why didn’t this get stopped sooner,’ isn’t asked/answered because you can say ‘can’t comment, legals’.

It also allows a notions compensation payment into the balance sheet.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

GD has the means to hire lawyers who would run rings around the MoD. If Ajax is scrapped U.K. tax payers will receive nothing apart from more bills and no vehicles. But on the bright side neither will any civil servant lose their job or generals their gongs.

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Nail on the head there Barry can’t have the faceless mandarins of Whitehall losing their Knighthood for services rendered or god forbid pensions do they still get Luncheon Vouchers (Cynthia Payne)

Allenb2555
Allenb2555
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

And what evidence do you posse that proves that GD have lawyers that could run rings around the MOD and win, if it’s shown and proved that GD have failed to meet parameters and requirements that was agreed upon with the contract then they lose no matter who or how good their lawyers are.

Dean Martin 69
Dean Martin 69
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

GD is accelerating the manufacture of the Titanium add on armour so if the MOD comes calling they can hit them with a massive bill

SD67
SD67
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Oh FGS the MOD need to grow a pair. We are a reference customer. If we declare ourselves unhappy and send them a demand for compensation the fallout for GD will be huge. Do they ever want to do business with us again?

Nathan Paxton
Nathan Paxton
3 months ago

Exactly. ‘If’ and ‘provided’ are doing a lot of heavy lifting in that story.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago

I spotted that statement and stopped reading. Sadly, mate you’ve summed it up perfectly, particularly the bit about ‘prat[s] on secondment’. MoD needs to learn to set a requirement with a sufficient amount of growth potential built in and then cast the initial requirement in stone, fix it, freeze it, however they want to damn well phrase it. Just let the engineers get on and deliver to the requirment. If they fail take the money back – no messing. Any change in threat or requirement that emerges during design, build or inservice leads to a) future upgrade / addition post… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Well you articulate it well.

The problem is that nobody ever wants to stop and redraw baseline.

The perception is that this fitter delays the delayed project.

There is also a fear that the budget line gets reallocated during the pause.

Hopefully T31 shows the way forwards. Fingers crossed.

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

We were instructed by US trainers that the main objective of the Project Manager on a big military project was not ‘get it done on spec/on time’ it was to maximise changes to the tendered spec. That way the project ‘got well’ that is the extra costs involved brought the revenue up above the loss leading price in the contract. Seems GD had the same idea.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Mmm, interesting. I take it they were corporate trainers? My point was about the MoD project managers. The MoD has a horrible habit of giving the contractors the excuses they need to increase the costs. If MoD didn’t do that and held the contractor to their contracted costs then the ‘loss leader’ approach would very quickly get dropped. Of course, it could simply that both sides are playing the same game and the taxpayers pay the price. What is really needed is honesty. I did a little bit of cost modelling work towards the end of my defence career and… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes they were, hardcore US. I was working in Military sales for ICL who at the time had the lions share of the computer business in that market. Our whole sales/PM team went on a 4 day course on Government sales techniques US style. It was a bit of an eye opener but I have to say we didn’t adopt much of it, it just didn’t fit our corporate ethos.

SD67
SD67
3 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

That’s the current business model of some of the big Indian Systems Integrators. The change log is the profit – “go get me 10 Change Requests”. Many customers have wised up to it though

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

I’m still at a loss as to how the project could have gotten this far along with this many serious issues still to be resolved…

K O
K O
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris

There’s a saying when doing big projects that there are only two stages. The first stage is “It’s too early to tell” and the second stage is “we can’t stop now!” I thoroughly believe that this is wrong and there are three stages, the last stage is “lessons will be learned and then swiftly forgotten!”

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 months ago
Reply to  K O

👍

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  K O

How do you know?

That is Top Secret!

It was set out in the well known Groundhog Day Report: “Painfully Relearning the Bleeding Obvious”

The subtitles of the relevant section was “Wheel Reinvention in the 21st Century.”

Some people just don’t learn……

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago

If the Ajax is based on a shortened ASCOD chassis have they also tried the full length ASCOD chassis? Or is that then too long, too heavy and not workable?

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

In general- since ASCOD is in service without these issues, I wonder what has caused them to appear in what amounts to a modified ASCOD design.

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

That’s an assumption Ian. We don’t know what issues ASCOD might suffer from. I am aware of hull weld cracking issues with Pizzaro and Uhlan though.

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

AJAX is NOT a shortened ASCOD. The AJAX hull is based on the ASCOD hull.

Deep32
Deep32
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

So, it’s based on the ASCOD hull, just not as long, about 5-6 ft shorter then the original hull I believe! Just asking!!

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

AJAX is 7.5m long, ASCOD is 9.5m long to accommodate the 8 passengers, running gear is pretty much the same – 7 road wheels, drive sprocket and idler.

Deep32
Deep32
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Cheers fella, not sure where the Ulan/Pizarro IFV fit into all this, but I assume that they are also ASCOD based in some form, but shorter then AJAX I am led to believe.

Phil Wyld
Phil Wyld
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Its like the Warrior, when idiots decided the world wanted a shorter Warrior. Unluckily they took 4 foot out of the Hull length kept the width the same, and got a shopping trolly on tracks. She would drop her nose onto the ground and her arse into the air, she was prone to drifting off to the right or left, occasionaly both, and you lost over half the crew capacity. Cv90 was not the best option. The best option wasn’t put forward because Warrior 2000 and CV90 are both BAES, and the Hagglunds plant has a legal lock against redundancies..A… Read more »

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

It’s 6 feet shorter I think you will find,.

Mark
Mark
3 months ago

It’s also 30cm narrower so if taking length and width out of a chassis isn’t shortening and doesn’t affect its characteristics then it’s the same.

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark

We it’s obviosly both shorter and narrower. You are making a lot of unproven assumptions here – that it was a proportionate ‘downsizing’ and that that will have no impact on characteristics. In fact the shortening and narrowing of the chassis was to fit in a C-130, as that was the (daft) orignal requirement for FRES – of which Scout SV is the only survivor.

Last edited 3 months ago by James William Fennell
Mark
Mark
3 months ago

So modified to fit in the c130s that we are scrapping, is the A400 much wider yes by 3m?
Lol you can’t make it up can you.
What an absolute cluster fcuk. As Gunny Highway would say.

Jack
Jack
3 months ago

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.”

Erm, how about setting a deadline of 24 months to get things sorted or AJAX is binned ? Try showing some leadership for a change.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago

Ajax has become another slow motion car crash. The only victims will be U.K. tax payers.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
3 months ago

Some good news aleast accept liability

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

If proved !! Don’t hold your breath.

dave12
dave12
3 months ago

I’ve actually spoken to some one who is informed on this project ,who says the AJAX project is not as bad as media are making out , and pointed out the fact that noise and vibrations problem are only as bad as a warrior which he also has experience with and also hinted that reported health issues to crew is well asseverated because not that many crews have actually been tested on it as reported.

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Hi Dave, I’m well informed on this programme through various means. Your contact is absolutely correct. My extensive personal experience of UK AFV’s lends me to comparing the suspected hearing damage reported by some troops to be nowhere near as bad as the 432 (still in service, see other thread) which is/was notorious for inducing hearing loss in the drivers and commanders left ears due to the fans on the powerpack. The Warrior is also a noisy truck to be in and around.

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

👍

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Hi Ian, I wasn’t Army but AJolly Jack Tar the query I have is whether the hearing issue is from the fixed Crew or embarked troops , as I worked on quite a few weapons systems and we were issued with internal earplugs and external ear defenders along with Anti flash hood and/or Coms .So is it a noise or vibration issue causing the problem .Or is it just a Percy with a senior of humour who plays Deaf when given an order ?=

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

BA probably wants a motive to get rid of it.

Goliath
Goliath
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

I can assure you it’s far worse than warrior.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

I hope solutions to the issues with Ajax can be found as quickly as possible.

Ajax is needed.

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago

Daniele, the Army want to get their hands on it again. They want to get it into service and work out what to do with all of the high end sensors it has. The troops on the ground like it a lot.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Hi Ian.

Yes, I recall you informed me of all this in our previous conversations. Which is why in a thread of negativity I am trying to be optimistic that we will get there in the end.

I feel bashing Ajax has become a bit fashionable here, as in it is just another MoD disaster of many for us to all moan about!

I at least see your positivity and try to remain hopeful. Cheers.

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago

👍

apoplectix
apoplectix
3 months ago

For whoever is interested here is the governments review into the issues. Interesting how the army testers reported problems and the GDUK ones didn’t, think they were told to keep their mouth shut.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ajax-noise-and-vibration-review/ajax-noise-and-vibration-review

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago
Reply to  apoplectix

I would put it down to different generations of soldiers.

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

I would put it down to a flawed procurement process, where DE&S, supposedly responsible for all procurement, no longer has the in-house expertise to do so. It has been cut from near-on 30,000 civvies and service personnel to about 11,000, a two-thirds cut. Out has gone a lot of the technical expertise and experienced service personnel. Rather than being a procurement powerhouse, it seems to have morphed into a paper-pushing ‘management’ middleman, which takes in service briefs without much critical analysis and pushes out technical issues to the private contractor to solve, without the in-house expertise to effect either. Ajax… Read more »

Goliath
Goliath
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Simply not true. I’ve crewed CRARRV WARRIOR 434 CHIEFTAIN AJAX IS FAR WORSE..

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
3 months ago
Reply to  apoplectix

I believe that the headsets used by GD staff were top of the range with greater “deadening” capability that the current “In-service” headsets used by the soldiers.
It also doesn’t help that you have a hull, designed for around 25-28 tonne all up weight running around at 35-43 tonne, and all on torsion bar suspension, which is the current Achilles heel on 430 that is now running as “Bulldog” with the additional armour on.

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago
Reply to  apoplectix

A disgruntled GD worker who was leaving his job said “it was a bag of shit” in the DSG car park when asked what it was like lol

Danny
Danny
18 days ago
Reply to  peter wait

I hope it gets canned.

Hetzer38t
Hetzer38t
3 months ago
Reply to  apoplectix

91. Underlying Factor: Ajax was developed with concurrent demonstration and manufacture.

Is there a single military project where the use of ‘concurrent’ procurement has been a success? LOL

Richard Burns
Richard Burns
3 months ago

IF the liability can be proven. And the fun begins! GD: Well it’s the MOD’s fault for the design choices. MOD: No it’s GD’s crap design and engineering work.

Not sure if the US Navy Stealth lawsuit is over yet!

Pacman27
Pacman27
3 months ago

“Yes, provided liability for breach is established.” I will be surprised if they have the ability to prove that, although if the vehicles really aren’t built square as reported this may be easier said than done. Personally I would also cancel Challenger upgrade and place an order for 600 Merkava Tanks and be done with it all and get a proper heavy armour capability. A Merkava with 4 dismounts would certainly be different. give us the capability we so desperately seem to want and at a great price point, with loads of protection. This gives us both the tanks and… Read more »

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago

General Dynamics UK would more likely go Bankrupt to avoid paying back the money as separate concern from US division !

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Roughly how many contracts, in round numbers, would GD UK get after trying negotiating with that stunt?

Normally there is a cross group guarantee from the parent company.

You don’t contract with a shell.

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago

General Dynamics UK is set up as a private limited company and as such its a separate legal entity and as such in the event of liquidation or litigation you only get a share of its assets.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Not if there is a cross guarantee from the US parent company.

There is usually a requirement for that unless the UK company can demonstrate assets or cash flows that could backstop a claim.

Contacts are not formed with empty shells.

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago

Why else would GD set up limited company for UK division, MOD not known for contract expertise hence no proper spares support package was negotiated for T2 and final mod state paid for by MOD ?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

VAT
Quantifying local costs and spend
MOD rules
EU rules in the past
Appearance of local manufacture

Some of the contact terms will have nothing to do with MOD but be broader government procurement rules..

Engineering Bod
Engineering Bod
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

GDUK was formed when GD decided it wanted help getting into the European defence market, which at the time was not an easy process to complete. It purchased control of Computing Devices in 1997, which was a well established Avionics supplier on multiple European platforms. GDUK still has a good focus on this and that is covered by GDUK Mission Systems. GDUK Land Systems was setup to cover AJAX and other mechanised interests and i am sure will be focussed on sorting AJAX issues which I feel have been given the “media” treatment.

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago

When Mark Francois (Conservative MP) asked the question of what liquidated damages clauses were in the contract the Secretary of State for Defence declined to answer on grounds of commercial sensitivity and contractual secrecy, perhaps you can draw you own conclusions !

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Part of the issue was that the whole UK defence supply was allowed to wither on the vine with no regular drumbeat of orders. You then had the over consolidation of the defence industrial base often forced by HMG into BAE’s slightly unwilling arms. Added to the fantasy that armoured vehicles were a box with an engine + gearbox + gun + blokes and could be made by Fred’s garage down the road. “Leave it to the market” was the clarion call after a few rip off contracts. We are then where we are. Finding it very very hard to… Read more »

Greybeard
Greybeard
3 months ago

Interested to know whether the parent company has made a financial provision for any liability. If it is big enough to matter, it should be declared on their balance sheet and show up in annual reports. In which case the market will notice and the share price dip. Ergo if the share price hasn’t dipped, no significant provision is made and GD aren’t taking the risk of liability seriously – or are confident they can wriggle out if need be. This is now about politics and economics, friends, not I regret, military capability.

Stuart Dangerfield
Stuart Dangerfield
3 months ago

It is all academic until they give up or solve the issue. The Ajax is key to the current British army operational plan it cannot be removed so it must either enter service or be replaced. If and when we finally opt for replacement I should imagine that the ASCOD base unit would be a frontrunner perhaps incorporating some of the improvements we developed for AJAX that still fit and work. As I understand the decision was made to go with GDUK was to diversify the suppliers and construction fabilities available in the UK, so as not to rely so… Read more »

James
James
3 months ago

Good, get a decent legal team in to make sure that we get the money back, get it back in the bank and buy something else.

Also bill GD for shipping the 300 tin cans back to Spain for them to dismantle.

Steve
Steve
3 months ago

It’s just typical of our Ministry of Defence and the other departments responsible for the requisition of Military equipment for all our Armed Forces. Such as the Desert Issue boots that melted in the extreme heat. The Navies new ships that can’t operate in certain waters because the engines are designed to operate only in specific water temperatures . Or the ships where the seals around the propellers are faulty and allow water to enter into the engine room. The replacement for the old SLR Rifles that kept jamming or breaking. Allowing these Arms suppliers to either exceed the delivery… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Very little corruption in DE&S – most can only remember the Foxley ammunition contract fiddle from the mid-80s.
One problem is senior army officers leaving the army and joining defence industry. But there are a whole host of problems beyond that one.

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

I imagine GD’s lawyers would be able to find multiple ways to get out of that clause. For example, how many times have the Army made changes to the requirements since the contract was signed?

That said, the basic ability for the vehicle to move around without causing permanent hearing damage should be a given in any contract surely…

Wollaston
Wollaston
2 months ago

Excessive noise in the headsets implies poor electrical design. If noise is getting into the headsets where else is it going and what is the affect of that noise on those systems. While the noise can probably be easily filtered from the headsets, a root cause solution would be the best solution, which may imply an electrical redesign. Mechanical build isues e.g. non-square chassis, imply very poor quality control. Each chassis will have to be assessed and those deemed beyond economic repair scrapped off (at GD expense, unless the MOD signed off on accepting units to that quality standard). So… Read more »