The Ministry of Defence has ruled out purchasing an alternative to Ajax as it “remains committed” to the troubled armoured vehicle.
The information came to light in response to a written question submitted in the House of Commons.
Mark Francois, Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford, asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what alternative procurement options he has for the replacement of the capability envisaged from the Ajax Armoured Vehicle programme in the event that that programme is cancelled; and if he will make a statement.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“The Ministry of Defence remains committed to Ajax.”
What’s going on with Ajax?
Trials of the British Army’s new Ajax armoured vehicles were recently halted for a second time after concerns were again raised over noise.
The Ministrty of Defence confirmed that following renewed concerns on the impacts of noise, “all Ajax trials have been suspended and will only resume when we are assured that mitigations are fully effective”.
Ajax trials paused
Following renewed concerns on the impacts of noise, all Ajax trials have been suspended and will only resume when we are assured that mitigations are fully effective.
— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) June 29, 2021
Last month, Defence Minister Jeremy Quin visited the Millbrook Proving Ground where independent testing has been conducted on Ajax. He commented:
“This long-running troubled programme requires ongoing intense work by our industrial partners and ourselves to ensure its delivery. In achieving this, the safety of our personnel will always come first.”
Last month we reported that trials of Ajax armoured vehicles were halted at the end of last year to March this year due to excessive vibration and noise, leaving crews suffering from nausea, swollen joints and tinnitus.
General Dynamics UK said at the time that it is working with the Army on the issues.
“Recent trials have confirmed many of the required capabilities across the AJAX Family of Vehicles, including operations across the full range of speed and reverse step obstacle climb. A small number of remaining issues are being reviewed and closed out in partnership with the British Army and Ministry of Defence ahead of Initial Operating Capability.”
The MoD has launched an investigation which is planned to finish at the end of July.