South Yorkshire-based MTL Advanced has been chosen to supply armoured steel for the production of the UK MoD’s Boxer Armoured Vehicle Programme, under a £-multi-million, multi-year contract awarded jointly by WFEL and parent company KMW.

The armoured material will be used in the Boxer vehicle hull assembly, which will be fabricated at WFEL’s specialist ‘Manufacturing Centre of Excellence’ in Stockport.

“MTL Advanced have invested in excess of £2m in new capital equipment to help support this project and meet increased demand. The new investments have been spread around the various manufacturing cells of the Rotherham business, to provide an enhancement in capacity, in line with the production schedules for the UK Boxer vehicles contract.

In a major boost to the local community, this contract award has contributed to the creation of 30 new jobs at MTL Advanced, who have also welcomed 12 new Apprentices to their Engineering & Welding Apprentice Academy during September 2021, demonstrating MTL’s on-going commitment to train the next generation of Engineers. MTL Advanced says that investing in the next generation of talented engineers is critical to their ongoing success.”

MTL Advanced General Manager, Karl Stewart, said:

“We are really excited to have been awarded this major contract, which will give us the opportunity to work in partnership with WFEL and KMW on such an important UK Defence project. We look forward to engaging closely with WFEL and KMW’s engineering teams and leveraging our armour manufacturing expertise to help make this Boxer Vehicle programme a great success for the British Army.”

You can read more from WFEL on this here.

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Mr Bell
Mr Bell
13 days ago

Just a question. Could we not just get Boxer vehicles to undertake all roles that Warrior and Ajax are designed for? Scrap both Ajax (get a refund because its not viable) and get Boxer in multiple versions. Scout, fire support, recon, command, ambulance, mortar carrier etc etc. Im confused why the Army are wasting billions on multiple platforms when we could have just one with commanality of repair, spare parts etc.

dave12
dave12
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Those who are working on AJAX do thinks its viable the media have hyped up the problems I’ve been told.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Dave,
I get my information from MoD and HCDC releases. They are highly damning of the vehicle.

What do those working on AJAX actually say? That there are no noise and vibration issues? That such problems are minor and can be fixed in a few days for a few pence? That several hundred trials personnel have not had noise induced hearling loss? Do they say why it is nearly 5 years late in achieving ISD?

dave12
dave12
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Apparently several hundred trials on personnel is BS and the guy I know involved in the project says warrior and CH2 are not far off the noise levels apparently they are working on the head gear to reduce the problem , vibrations I’m not sure what they doing to solve that , so that will be the main issue I should think. My understanding is don’t expect Ajax to get cancelled any time soon.

Last edited 13 days ago by dave12
Steve Martin
Steve Martin
13 days ago
Reply to  dave12

I also heard with the right headgear the issue is negligible.

Jay
Jay
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Anti vibration head gear?

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
13 days ago
Reply to  Jay

It’s just what I was told.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Jay

Good point Jay

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

That may fix or greatly aid the noise problem. It does nothing for the vibration problem(s).

Jonathan
Jonathan
13 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Unfortunately with occupational injury it can be a small margin that makes the difference, the vibration levels between to vehicles could be minor, but if it tips over to the damaging level to the occupants then it’s a bit irrelevant that it’s a small difference.

Spartan
Spartan
12 days ago
Reply to  dave12

How do noise levels in Ajax compare with older service vehicles I wonder. Are they really noisier than WW2 era machines or a Chieftain?

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Spartan

Nope, not by a long way, but legislation has changed.

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  dave12

👍

peter Wait
peter Wait
9 days ago
Reply to  dave12

The track links don’t clang on challengers sprockets and it has hydro gas suspension, the ajax has old fashion torsion bars which you would only use because they are cheap -boosting profits! Suggest you pop down to the test track viewing area at Bovington to hear it yourself before you pass judgment ?

peter Wait
peter Wait
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If it was that easy it would have fixed three years ago when reported to MOD?

Steve
Steve
12 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

I suspect they only started trying to solve it once it made it to the media, and now they are haggling over who pays what and what’s in the statement about how it went wrong.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

? What did I say was easy? Nothing about Ajax’s vibration problems have been or will be easy to fix.

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, Whilst you are correct in saying that the HCDC report is not too complementary about the current state of the AJAX noise and vibe issues, it is much more scathing in it’s wording regarding the MOD’s management of the programme. In the HCDC report the numbers of troops described as suffering hearing issues is broken down quite precisely and if I recall correctly there were only 5 or 6 personnel with permanent damage which may or may not be attributable to working on or near AJAX. IOC is currently on hold due to the MODs moratorium on trials. GD… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ian, you are a very optimistic and positive fellow! The HCDC report criticised everyone (not by name of course) and every organisation connected with the Ajax debacle, including MoD staff, as you say. MoD programme management has been lamentable, but then so too has the performance of MinDP (disinterested until it was too late) and the manufacturer. The only people who come out of this well is the army trials unit, especially the CO. I too understand that GDUK has supplied a (small) number of Aries variants to MoD and they seem to have been accepted, but I don’t know… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, the 5-6 guys have been working in/ next to/ around AFV’s of all types so it’s a sweeping statement to say “There is nothing apart from close proximity to a moving Ajax that would have caused such hearing damage,”. Funnily enough, a moving AJAX is surprisingly quiet, even at speed. On concrete it’s a tad rattly, but cross country, from the front it’s very quiet, as per the MOD requirements.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thanks Ian, I spent a fair bit of time with AFVs but never heard of permanent hearing loss due to the in-service AFVs, hence my comment.
The Noise Induced Hearing loss in this case (Ajax) seems to be from a defect in the headphones, which picks up engine noise and magnifies it, so I heard. I also heard these were noise-cancelling headphones – so engine noise should have been cancelled, not magnified. The info is all over the place.

peter Wait
peter Wait
13 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Too much noise, size and weight for reccy vehicle and not air portable. The Aries at Bovington is louder then CR2 when being marshalled out of ATDU. Final drive sprockets clang as links pass over them, how’s shot detection supposed to work?

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  peter Wait

ARES doesn’t have “Shot detection”.
Any tracked vehicle driving on dry concrete will “sprag” when making sharp turns at slow speeds.
AJAX is airportable (admittedly after removal of armour packs)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Without the armour packs, you might just be able to transport one Ajax in a A400M – or very easily transport two in a C-17.

We don’t routinely fly such heavy vehicles in AT though as it would take so many sorties to move a significant number.

I struggle to recall seeing a photo of any British AFV being flown into Theatre.

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, you’re correct. It would be a monumental task and waste of valuable resources to airlift armour to a conflict, however, that’s what the MOD wanted. RORO is the way.

Steve
Steve
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I suspect it will come down to just how bad the issues really are and whether they are fixable within a sensible budget.

The issue is the last thing we want is for them to go from Ajax to Boxer, as you can guarantee they wont’ order another equiv number and will use it as an excuse to cut numbers.

Same thing appears to have happened with warrior, there was no annoucement of extra boxers being ordered, just that they will be used instead.

Marked
Marked
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

That would be too easy, too sensible and not waste enough tax payer money…

Maybe we just give up on armored vehicles and mount our army on horseback…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Because when Ajax and Warrior CSP were ordered we were to have both Armoured and Strike Brigades.

Now, with the latest cuts, they are in effect merged.

Boxer came after Ajax and Warrior / Ch3.

Why did the army not get the tracked element fixed before rushing off and deciding on Boxer AS WELL as the other programmes? Without the money to do all properly?

Boxer is a bigger issue than people realize.
Not the vehicle. The billions spent ordering it.

Rob
Rob
13 days ago

Daniele, for me the problem is that we have sourced vehicles for both Strike and Armoured roles, then cut the Strike concept but kept some of the vehicles and stuffed them into the armoured role. This is effectively the worst of both worlds. With such a small army we should concentrate on doing one or the other properly. That means either doing: A. Armoured (Challenger 3, a tracked IFV, tracked 155 SPG, GMLRS, a tracked recce vehicle & a tracked utility vehicle. B. Wheeled light armoured (everything on Boxer with IFV, 155 SPG, HIMARS, recce & utility variants – maybe… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Pretty much what I briefly outlined, Rob. The 2010 SDSR bet heavily on your option A. 2015 SDSR watered that down, by way of a cut, to include Option B. People forget up to then there were also 2 “deployable” Infantry Brigades in 1 ( UK ) Div, in that regular CS/CSS for them existed. The army/HMG COULD have put Strike into them and kept the 3 AI Bdes. Nope. They cut 1 Armd Inf Bde, a process still in progress. Mixing the two is a despairing attempt by the army to salvage some sort of brigades out of the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Have we cut the strike concept? – its not been around that long. I accept that we no longer have brigades called strike brigades. Problem is no-one really ever even defined the word strike, let alone developed a CONOPs. I have my own definition of strike – essentially the destruction of high value enemy targets (eg. medium and heavy armour, arty and strongpoints) – and I think we still need to do it. We have always had a golf bag of capabilities – eg. back in the day we had armoured infantry (WR), mechanised infantry (Saxon) and Lt role infantry… Read more »

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

Good spot. Strike is something you do; its not a permanent structure. Whatever assets you use to strike must be able to do other things. The failure of the Warrior upgrade is a blessing in disguise. But Ajax with its 40mm CTA must work.

Last edited 12 days ago by Paul.P
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul, I am not sure why it is a good thing to fail to upgrade Warrior, let it further lose capability over several years, then scrap it. We will lose a very effective IFV for the armoured infantry, that is an excellent ‘partner’ for Challenger. What replaces it? Boxer, which is unlikely to have as good mobility (especially in mud and snow) and I doubt each one (if any) will have a 40mm stabilised cannon. Apart from anything else a new Boxer (hopefully with turret and cannon) will surely cost far more than a WCSP upgrade. So we will… Read more »

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

Hi Graham, not arguing the procurement debacle or the WCSP screw up; and as a layman am not going go argue tracks vs wheels etc, And agree there will be less money but…let’s assume Ajax can be made to work and that its the only vehicle which can mount the CTA 40mm. Some thoughts…we have bought over 500 of these cannons; that’s 500 light tanks / reconnaissance / APC gunfire support go anywhere vehicles whose cannon can defeat a T72. One question I have ( my ignorance) is why so we need both Ares and Boxer; aren’t these both APCs?… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

A demonstrator ARES equipped with Brimstone (I think) has been shown by GD. BTW, ARES is not an APC in the traditional sense as it carries only 4 dismounts.

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Interesting about Brimstone; thx. I confess I was being lazy. Did some research and found as you say that Ares carries only 4 dismounts. So that clarifies things. Boxer is the only candidate we have to replace Warrior in the IVF role. Their are several 30mm turreted versions on the market. But JWF posts below that OA’s say that Boxer doesn’t work as an IVF even with a cannon. So unless we buy another proven IVF we have only one option; to create the functionality of an IVF by combining Ajax and Boxers; which the OAs say does work,

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ian,

Good, detailed info on Ares is hard to find.

This article says that Ares carries 7 dismounts (plus crew of 3)
http://www.military-today.com/apc/ares.htm

Under the FRES programme a vehicle was postulated to replace Spartan and that would have only 4 dismounts, but of course FRES was cancelled and all the money channeled into the CV(F) programme (allegedly).

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, just read the article. Badly written, full of factual errors or inconsistencies and not even spell checked. No wonder some people are misinformed.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Hi Ian, thanks for that. So it is 4 dismounts then? I wonder why there are not seats for more dismounts given that it is a Warrior size vehicle. I wonder what is taking up the rest of the space inside an Ares.

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The space is taken up by all of the garbage that British Squaddies like to hang from the outside of an AFV, stored in racks inside, plus an awful lot of “other kit”.

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

Ares is the APC version of Ajax and is non-turreted and is intended for small specialist teams such as engineer recce, anti-tank teams etc.
It is not being bought for the infantry as their main APC.

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

Thx for this. I’m getting there 😂

Rob
Rob
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham. Yes they have cut the two strike Bdes. The original CONOPs was that the 2 Bdes would be light armoured wheeled formations that could deploy rapidly, if necessary by driving directly to the area of operations to produce immediate affect, thus the term strike (which is an awful, misleading Americanism).

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Thanks Rob. It is ridiculous to incorporate Americanisms in to British military use, thus we have ‘Line of Departure (instead of ‘Start Line), ‘fires’ (instead of ‘artillery support’), and Rivet Joint (instead of Airseeker) – to name but a few. However I recall seeing the word ‘strike’ in British use years ago. I seem to remember the ‘Find, Fix, Strike’ mantra from my army days 15 or more years ago. Strike in a modern context, though, needs defining – as said I have had to produce my own definition as I can’t find a MoD one. Clearly Strike will be… Read more »

BB85
BB85
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Why does everything have to be tracked. The logistics are horrendous. If the Finn’s are happy to use 8×8 to navigate snowy terrain then we don’t need everything tracked. Boxer never should have been cut to begin with its cost us billions in wasted UOR’s. It’s too big to be a scout vehicle but then so is Ajax. Had we not pissed away 7bn in failed procurement decisions we could have had 600 boxer delivered from 2011, selected bae to deliver warrior LEP from 2016, teamed up with the French for Griffon MRVP and Jaguar Scout and had money for… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by BB85
Pacman27
Pacman27
8 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Spot on

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The issue is that Boxer can’t do IFV even with a cannon. There have been operational assessments and it doesn’t work. However these same OAs say Ajax used as a light-tank (so-called medium armour), working with Boxer APCs can provide the same capability. So in this scenario each Boxer platoon will have 2-4 Ajax attached as Fire Support Vehicles. Thus 2 Ajax regiments will be used a Medium Armour with the Armoured BCTs and the other 2 as Armoured Cavalry with the DRS BCT, directing deep fires. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FH4dcf5XoAUDOMJ?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

Last edited 13 days ago by James William Fennell
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
13 days ago

When were these tests carried out and what was the reason given?
I was under the impression that it could? Very interesting.

4th August 2021

“This is the first time that the Boxer has been seen with the RT60 turret integrated offering a capable IFV Boxer variant. (Photo: Kongsberg)”

cd16bdc3286ce75a108f3a5f0dfdfcb8.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

June 17, 2021

“UK details Boxer variants and confirms plans for bigger fleetThe UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has released more details on what variants of Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles (MIV) it is acquiring and confirmed it is looking to increase the overall size of its Boxer fleet.”

“While the UK has not ordered a turreted variant of the Boxer, the British Army is analysing potential lethality enhancements that could see an infantry fighting variant of the vehicle procured in the future”

https://www.army-technology.com/news/uk-details-boxer-variants-and-confirms-plans-for-bigger-flee/.

Louis
Louis
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thank God they may actually get some IFVs. Good news to hear some will be anti tank variants.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Finger crossed we increase our order!

“The IFV variant can transport up to 8 soldiers, besides the driver. A variety of individual modules allows for either a two-man or a remotely controlled turret design – one concept with two configurations.

RMMV presents this latest Boxer IFV internationally, these including specific demonstrations of mobility in rough and adverse terrain, HVAC (heating ventilation and air condition) capabilities, and live-fire events.”

https://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/en/rheinmetall_defence/systems_and_products/vehicle_systems/armoured_wheeled_vehicles/boxer/index.php

Louis
Louis
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I think we have to because 4 infantry battalions cannot only have 85 section vehicles between them

Paul.P
Paul.P
13 days ago

That’s an elegant solution. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

What else to do with 4 regiments worth of tracked vehicles at around 5 billion in an army that wants to be lighter and more wheeled!

Paul.P
Paul.P
12 days ago

I knew you’d be happy Daniele. 😂
As I’ve written before, indecision is the signature characteristic of the British psyche. you just have to love it. If the OAs say it works then I’m good, What I’m missing now is a Boxer variant for AA, Can the Ajax 40mm do that?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

No idea. RA expansion should include a SHORAD Regiment with AA vehicle mounted guns. RA expansion should include a Precision Fires Regiment with Brimstone, mounted on Boxer / or tracked vehicles. RA expansion should include a MRAD Regiment to augment Starstreak/Sceptre. RA expansion should include a HIMARS type Regiment. That is 4 regiments, get the headcount from cutting a few cap badges! RA should be priority to expand firepower across the board. Instead, we have talk of a future ER CAMM, and a handful of GMLRS which will be upgraded after all with the new longer range rockets being procured.… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

max elevation is c.45 degrees. CTAi have developed an Anti Aerial Airburst round for the 40mm.

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thx.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago

Yes, correct. Even back in Strike Bde days 2 were to be Medium Armour.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago

James,
I would love to see those operational assessments – are any ‘Open Source’?

So we move from an AI Platoon of 4 Warriors (that would/should be upgraded with WCSP), to a Mech Inf Platoon of 4 Boxers plus 2-4 Ajax. So many disadvantages (all of them serious) and absolutely no advantages.

maurice10
maurice10
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

If you look back to the 1950s/ 60’s the UK army relied heavily on a single-wheeled platform called, Saladin FV601, and its sister Saracen. Tracked armour started with FV432 before most wheeled armour was phased out. Today, Boxer appears to be as flexible as the FV601, so why not expand the fleet to replace some if not all tracked vehicles? The burning question of wheeled V tracked appears to be fuzzy, however, the Ajax plans do avoid reliance on just one traction system?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Silly man … that would be far too simple. 😂

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Boxer is a really big vehicle to do recce (by stealth) from. Recce troops are well forward and need to have outstanding mobility as they are out on a limb – not sure a wheeled vehicle will be as good in snow and claggy mud as a tracked vehicle. It would take time to develop a recce vehicle from Boxer, time we don’t have.

Alexander
Alexander
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Can’t be any worse than Ajax, which is a very big vehicle weighing 40 tons and deafeningly loud. But yes you’re right it wouldn’t be suitable either. Realisticly we need something small and tracked on the same lines as CVRT but more up to date.

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Alexander

I’d love to know where some posters on here get their information from. Alexander, you state that AJAX is “deafeningly loud”. Is this from personal experience, scientific data, do you drive it or crew it? Or, do you watch it at the public viewing point at the all weather track in Bovvy?
cheers

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Alexander

I think that British cavalry officers were perhaps biased by the American experience with Bradley CFV during the TRACER programme and became convinced of the idea of a large replacement for Scimitar.

To me it is crazy to go from a 8t recce vehicle that epitomises the British ‘recce by stealth’ approach to a big and tall, badly built, noisy, massively expensive 40t behemoth that injures its crew, has limited airportability, might lose tactical mobility due to weak bridges/culverts – and is many years late into service.

Just can’t find anything good to say about Ajax.

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Oh, now come on Graham, be fair. The behemoth is a direct result of MOD requirements, has a fully digital architecture that is light years ahead of a CVRT equipped with M-SPIRE, is much better protected than any other vehicle in it’s class and can “see” a sparrow at 10kms. See, good things!

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

😂👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thanks Ian. I think the Combat Development and the Requirements guys got a bit over-excited and gold-plated the requirement. Looks like it’s ‘fools gold’ they used. The concept with CVR(T) was that if you recce by stealth and do it well, you won’t be seen and won’t be engaged, so you don’t need 40 tonnes of armour to protect you.

Those sparrows better watch out when this thing finally gets into service!

Ian M
Ian M
10 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

😆😎

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
12 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Has a lot of logic on paper but experience in conflict can surely so often be different to that perceived beforehand so surely some flexibility between options is preferable I would say. The balance needs to be right though and that’s where budgetary restraints effect desirable decisions adversely for the most part though, as alluded to elsewhere sometimes necessity creates a better more focused choice even than so called experts, though wouldn’t want to rely on it even when the MoD is involved.

john
john
11 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

That is a good idea,but the MOD are no noted for them.

Farouk
Farouk
13 days ago

South Yorkshire?
There’s only one noun used to describe Gods own country:
“Yarkshire”

Matt
Matt
13 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Not in a Sheffield accent…

Farouk
Farouk
13 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Matt wrote:

Not in a Sheffield accent…

Southerners..

Mark
Mark
13 days ago

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmdfence/659/65907.htm

Had this pop up in my news feed. It’s a very interesting read says alot about what everyone argues about in this site.

Farouk
Farouk
13 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark , thanks for that, the foreward to that doc says it all: Summary The recent history of the British Army’s armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) capability is deplorable. Since the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, the Army’s AFV fleets have been characterised by increasing obsolescence and decreasing numbers. In 1990 the UK had around 1,200 main battle tanks in its inventory, today has 227, and those that remain are in urgent need of modernisation. The perceived loss of a challenging but known threat in the form of the armoured forces of the Soviet Union and the… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Farouk
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
13 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

And that sums it up very nicely indeed, reduced to a token force.
Shameful and people wonder why it’s soo difficult to get the younger generation to sign up? Obsolete equipment, fitted for but not with the list goes on and on.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
13 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

First question is where did the money go from the 23 Years without any delivery? Was it cut at the start and has not been returned? Was it moved to other procurement stuff? They need a very honest talk with mod and parliament to say we messed up for last 20 years and now if we are to have an armoured division we need this many tanks. This in turn means we need this many ifv’s, recce vehicles, artillery, air defence etc etc. With this we can deploy a fighting division of this many soldiers. Also show what would happen… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
12 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The problem is the Army have pissed away the last 25 years worth of AFV budget. The RAF and RN are not going to agree to pay the price for the Army’s flip ups. Why should they ?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
12 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Hi David, “The Army have pissed away the last 25 years worth of AFV budget.” Sums it well – sadly. The problem is the secondary impact of that is that the UK has lost its AFV industrial base as a result of the foul ups and with our historical AFV customers have gone over to other suppliers. In effect, we do not have a creditable AFV stance anymore, not for a tier one military power. Some progress on rebuilding the industrial base is being made but it is struggling to deliver. It was the same with the SSN programme, but… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
12 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

You make perfect sense in my opinion except on 1 point. The Army isn’t being punished with a smaller headcount. There are 2 parts of Army spending wholly within the Armys control. Manpower and equipment. If it needs to spend a bigger % of it’s budget on one then it must spend a smaller % on the other. The disasters of the last 25 years means the Army has to catch up on AFV procurement and that will not be cheap even they manage it brilliantly. Admittedly recruitment has been affected by the end of the war in Afghan as… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I don’t think the raf or navy will have to pay for the army mistakes. It would have to be extra money. As a multi year one off kind of thing. Go to Rheinmetall and ask for help to make lynx ifv, artillery guns, challenger upgrade etc put together in the uk. Then over the next few years try and make more of the parts in the uk that can be made easily without massive cost increases. Get research teams to look at improving and developing designs. Or Bae or suitable company. It may cost but it’s the only way… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The forces have just had and are having a big increase in the budget over the next few years. One that was not popular anywhere in Whitehall outside of 10 Downing Street. There’s not going to be another one at least this decade thanks to Covid.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Well chosen words, although a minor point is that I am sure we did not have 1,200 tanks in 1990 – maybe they are adding in tank variants. No matter. Since that piece was written we are of course heading down to just 148 tanks (albeit modernised CR3s). That statement that between 1997 and 2020 there has been no armoured vehicles delivered into core, less Viking and Trojan/Titan is damning. Pretty much like saying the RN had received no warfighting ships or submarines over that time. Yet no-one important made a fuss at the time. Also the lack of major… Read more »

Jay R
Jay R
13 days ago

Congrats to the team! (I am an employee there in the laser cutting dept).

Tommo
Tommo
12 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Shame we can’t arm them with Lasers

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

More than a possibility.

US Army moves ahead with Stryker-based 50 kW-class laser weapon test plan13 JANUARY 2022

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/us-army-moves-ahead-with-stryker-based-50-kw-class-laser-weapon-test-plan

Tommo
Tommo
10 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

👍

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Well done for the order. Great the uk can still do some stuff. Can u cut a person with the laser lol. Metal cutting must take a powerful laser. Is it because it’s cut really close or something else that makes cut through hard steel?

Jay R
Jay R
11 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The laser heats the steel surface, an exothermic reaction does the rest. Incredibly precise cut. Btw all steel for these kind of military projects comes from Sweden. Basically the same stuff JCB buckets are made from.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Thanks for the info

Alexander Smith
Alexander Smith
13 days ago

Just glad the contract has gone to a British company.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
12 days ago

News’s just in … Lego gets contract to supply ‘modular’ armour for Boxer.

Tommo
Tommo
9 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Small or junior Large Brick assembly?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
9 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Oh it’s got to be the small ‘retro’ blocks, I was thinking 2 layers…

Tommo
Tommo
8 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Why didn’t the MOD procurement team look into this or better check out Ebay?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
12 days ago

Whichever way you look at it we are now planning to have Challenger 2.5 for what purpose exactly; tracked Ajax at huge expense to go (?) with wheeled Boxer with pop gun to be deployed where? Add in virtually no ATGM or AA support and a complete lack of FIRES support of a modern long range type for at least ten years and I would say that the army is in the manure. Think what we could have spent this money on. More Apache; increased medium lift, more transport planes or we could have kept the Herky Birds, improved light… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

They do appear to be in the manure and struggling to find reverse.
I did see a challenger tank in Iraq after 2003.

Pacman27
Pacman27
11 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

fair assessment Geoff It all starts with the organisation, what do we want from the Army Home Force (20%) Northern Flank (20%) Central European Heavy Armour (25%) Commonwealth (10%) Ceremonial (5%) Peacekeeping / constabulary (10%) Special Forces (10%) If the above is accurate, then we need to decided who and what we need to deliver. Royal Marines (14.8k personnel – 3 Bgdes of 4.8k + 400 Staff) Northern Flank -Tracked Light – CV90, Ripsaw, Viking, Bronco etc. Army (65.2k personnel (7 divisions of 9.2k personnel +800 Staff) Div Home Force – Wheeled – Jaguar, Foxhound, Boxer, HX3 Div BEF –… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Hi Pacman, Your first breakdown list – interesting – where did you get it from or is it your own construct?

Pacman27
Pacman27
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi graham, it’s my own I am afraid. I have done more work on it I part as a response to another thread on UKDJ about the size of the army and the ongoing conundrum of how to deliver everything and have come up with the following 1. Double the size of the RM and integrate into a UK land force 2. Quadruple the royal armoured corps to provide full mechanised capability across the whole force. 3. Each division has 18 battalions of 400 people split into 5 companies of 80) with an all arms regiment being circa 1280 personnel.… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

We have discussed a few of your ideas in the past, but I cannot see why you would put the AAC under RAF control – the RAF has no expertise at flying light/utility or armed/attack helicopters – that is army business to be done by army helicopters. Would you also put the Navy’s helicopters under the RAF?

If anything the RAF should hand over Chinooks and Pumas to the AAC (with the requisite headcount of aircrew and maintainers) as these are solely used to support army operations.

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think we are now at a size where we merge into a single force, we will be far more effective. I don’t care about cap badges etc. I do care about our service people having great kit, leadership and excellent housing and benefits. I do think we should have a set of Commands that are aligned to the capability required. an example would be the Northern Command that would have all the required assets to fight across the Northern Flank. by being clear on the capabilities and geographic spread of those capabilities Strategic Command HA: Europe 16 ABD: Global… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 day ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Hi Pacman, the only armed forces who have merged their forces were the Canadians a few years ago – pretty much disastrous for morale and esprit de Corps – and did not markedly improve efficiency. You may not bother about capbadges, but everyone in the army does, and I doubt the RN and RAF would like to lose their service identity. The Canadians have largely reverted to seperate services after the ‘failed experiment’. Their Navy and the Air Force are once again proud to be the RCN and the RCAF. We have smaller armed forces than before but they are… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 day ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You raise valid points and perhaps there is a way around this, all air is raf, all land is army and all sea is navy, but importantly it is one command I would like to see the command structure flattened and layers of duplication removed, it is also very clear that inter service rivalry is becoming counter productive. If my old cap badge can go, then any can. We can accommodate individual units but I do think force commands should now be capability aligned instead of service aligned and then it becomes far clearer whether a capability is needed and… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
6 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Hello Pacman…sorry for the delay. …been away. I agree with you about the U.K. and the Baltic/Scandinavian idea. As you know we are involved with the Dutch and the Poles at the moment with the expeditionary force. A logical step would be for the U.K. to further it’s contacts and build resources in the region for peacetime deployment and reinforcement on behalf of N.A.T.O. Given our limited armoured resources, and the agreement of the locals, I would build a brigade with Challenger and Ajax in the Baltic states. Add in a regiment of Apache and FIRES support and the Russians… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff It’s really difficult to do anything witch the size of Uk’s armed forces now, it’s almost a bit like hitler in the last days moving divisions that only exists paper. I do think we should invest in a reserve armoured division as quite a lot of the training can be synthetic and it would be a good recruiting aid as who wouldn’t want to drive tanks in their spare time!!! Given the time to generate a HA division it also works well with timings and readiness. Whatever we do, we need to stop the debilitating inter service force… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
6 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

There is time to really get things done but does anyone have the will to grasp the nettle. I think your other comment about inter service punch ups and who gets the top job is and always was called the old boy network. What school old boy, what club old boy, what money old boy. Sad but true.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 day ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff, Sadly we will have to wait a few years until Ajax is fixed and available in significant numbers for deployment to the Baltics. I wonder how many Apaches we have available for ops whilst they are being remanufactured into E models.
What about the Infantry! But it looks like you are focussed on displaying potent weapon systems to the Russians rather than manpower holding the ground. Fair enough.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff, I am sure you know what Challenger tanks are used for! We would deploy Ajax (if they fix it) and Boxer overseas on NATO and US-led Coalition operations as they are teed up – no change to past practise.   We have never had, aspired to or wanted an army that was just light, anymore than we would want a navy that just had River class patrol boats. Our army has always deployed overseas in a detterent or warfighting role and has to be able to deal with any enemy threat and for our vehicles to protect their occupants.… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, I think you have missed the point here. My suggestion was about trying to do one thing well, not spread ourselves thinly over too many disciplines. It is a point that is true of all our forces. Spread the butter thinly and there is no jam for anyone.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff, thanks for the reply. ‘Role specialisation’ is the buzz phrase, of course – and to date our wonderful armed forces have never done it – we have a full spectrum of capability in each service (albeit thin and with elderly equipment, in part), as befits a country that has a global role and is the 5th biggest defence spender in the world. That sounded like a politician’s sound bite – sorry! But as politicians over the last 70 years have somehow managed to spend huge sums on defence (albeit at a lower %age of GDP since the Cold… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, Interesting phrase “role specialization” isn’t it? Could be a politicians excuse or in the right hands it could make sense. I make no excuse for my rabbiting on on UKDJ about the need for us to do somethings well instead of trying to do everything. You have picked this up yourself in some ways. Inefficiencies and shambolic and painfully slow procurement are a constant irritation. I am not even against heavy armour. What I am against is the years of the army being messed about, sometimes of their own making, with constant restructuring and projects badly handled. Similarly,… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 day ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff, even small countries fight shy of doing role specialisation (which to some is code for dropping some capabilities) with the possible exception of Belgium – they finally decided to give up tanks – they retired the Leopard 1A5 tank in September 2014, although they had fielded a full Corps in the Cold War. Canada seriously considered retiring their Leopard C1’s without replacement but had a rethink and equipped with Leo2. I find it hard to imagine what the British Army would ever contemplate dropping as a capability, although parachute forces came close to being lost or at least… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
2 hours ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham…answering your last paragraph. My point about the army remains. It’s not that I want it to. It’s just that I don’t see how we can run the whole gambit of being on the ground in real force, ie BAOR, without the funds to match. With regard to the RN and the RAF I don’t really see it as specialization, more like prioritization. As I say the carriers and amphibious warfare would be the main role but this wouldn’t stop the other activities other parts of the fleet are involved in. The RAF would look after the northern flank… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 minutes ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff, we will never recreate BAOR (centred on a Corps of 4 armoured divisions, which totalled 55,000 – plus a Brigade of 5,000 in Berlin), or its smaller successor, BFG. That was Cold War. My reading of the Future Soldier Guide shows that we will in future have a Deep Recce Strike BCT, two armoured BCTs, a Lt Mech BCT and a Light BCT. Plus a Global Response Force (16 AA BCT and 1st Avn BCT at its core), a Special Operations Brigade (Ranger Regt at its core) and a Special Forces Assistance Brigade. Sounds a lot but there… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
11 days ago

Anyone fancy manufacturing a turret as well, with a 40mm?..30mm?..20mm?
anything a little lethal, or even dangerous?…..ah bugger GPMG and harsh language it is then!!!!!

BobA
BobA
11 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I seem to remember frozen water bottles thrown from an armoured vehicle being quite deadly…not intentionally obviously

Ian M
Ian M
11 days ago
Reply to  BobA

Or boiled sweets from Compo, twanged with an elastic band. Or, tinned pom/jam fired out of a 432 exhaust extension using a Thunderflash, now that was deadly!

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
9 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I always thought the margarine tinned for the use of, was a terrific accelerant.

Airborne
Airborne
10 days ago
Reply to  BobA

Never intentionally……;0)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

The only use for Cheese, Possessed in a can was as an offensive weapon!