A staggering sum of over £4 billion has been spent on the Ajax armoured vehicle programme, yet only 44 of these have been delivered to the British Army, according to findings revealed by the Labour Party.

Labour’s analysis highlights what they call a significant discrepancy in the programme’s budget usage, with over 70% of the allocated funds spent while only achieving a 7% delivery rate of the 589 vehicles ordered since the contract’s inception in 2014.

Manufactured by General Dynamics, the Ajax vehicles are part of a contract valued at £5.5 billion, which has been marred by delays and technical issues.

Notably, trials for the Ajax were suspended in December 2020 due to severe noise and vibration issues, leading to health concerns among hundreds of personnel involved in the vehicle’s testing. Originally slated for service entry in 2020, government officials have now indicated that the Ajax will not see operational deployment before 2026, marking a 12-year delay from the contract signing.

In addition to the programme’s existing expenditures, Labour has disclosed that nearly £1 million has been directed towards external legal counsel concerning the Ajax programme, further inflating the financial toll on taxpayers. The report also criticises the Conservative Party’s handling of defence projects, pointing out that 46 out of 52 major defence programmes, Ajax included, have either been delayed or exceeded budget estimates.

Defence procurement under the Conservatives since 2010 has reportedly squandered over £15 billion in taxpayer money, with more than £5 billion lost since 2019 due to procurement mismanagement. Other troubled projects cited include the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail and the British Army’s Morpheus programme, with the E-7 Wedgetail’s introduction being postponed to 2025 and the Morpheus programme experiencing significant setbacks.

Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey MP, said:

“Ajax is the biggest defence procurement failure for a decade. The Conservatives have spent at least £4bn to date on AJAX and only received 44 vehicles – failing British troops and British taxpayers. Tory Defence procurement has been a catalogue of failures over fourteen years. Ministers have no plans to fix the system, which the Public Accounts Committee describes as “broken and wasting taxpayers money.

Since 2010, the Conservatives have wasted over £15bn of taxpayers’ money through mismanagement of defence procurement programmes, with over £5bn wasted since 2019 alone. In Government, Labour will use NAO expertise to conduct a comprehensive audit MoD waste and drive deep defence procurement reform to ensure our troops have the kit they need to fight and fulfil our NATO obligations.”

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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. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Dragonwight
Dragonwight
15 days ago

Curious. Another website carries this. “General Dynamics Land Systems UK (GDLS UK) has now delivered 143 members of the British Army’s Ajax family of vehicles (FOV), with 44 are already deployed by the field army and another 30 nearing completion.”

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
15 days ago
Reply to  Dragonwight

The question that then arises is where are the other 99, or 69 still to be completed!

Expat
Expat
14 days ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

In a car park as there’s not enough serving personnel to sign the acceptance form 🙂

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
14 days ago
Reply to  Expat

😄

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Dragonwight

Any further updates on the timing?

UK MoD reveals new in-service dates for Ajax vehicle programmeThe Ajax fleet is now expected to achieve IOC between July and December 2025 and FOC between October 2028 and September 2029.

https://

army-technology.com/news/uk-inservice-dates-ajax-programme/

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

So we tell Putin to wait until 2029!

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago
Reply to  Dragonwight

Sounds positive to me that they are being deployed. It suggests that the issues have been satisfactorally resolved and the MOD need to work with the supplier to catch up with the delivery as much as possible.

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Dragonwight

Thought they were being used for training as not fully fit ?

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

Bit confused… is this not a fixed contract ? If 70% has been handed over, why ?

Jacko
Jacko
15 days ago

Would seem to be another dig! If it’s a fixed contract then the cost is not going above £5.5b no matter what’s been spent so far.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
15 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Until general dynamics U.K. turn round and say we are out of money. Can’t finish 300 vehicles without more cash. We are seeking bankruptcy. Then what would the U.K. government do?

Jacko
Jacko
15 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I suppose you can make up any whataboutary you like!

Redshift
Redshift
15 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Until general dynamics U.K. turn round and say we have lots of money. Can finish 300 vehicles for half price. Do you want 600 instead.
Then what would the U.K. government do?

“Whataboutery” works just any old way that you want it to.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
14 days ago
Reply to  Redshift

It’s the most likely situation that companies find themselves in when funds run dry. My comment was in response to people saying it’s a fixed price contract so all vehicles will be delivered no matter what at that price. I’m stating that’s not the case and giving an example of why. The last part is a genuine question as I don’t know what happens in the situation when the defence firm runs out of money to finish a project. In the past the government has had to put up extra cash to finish things usually with strings attached. What about… Read more »

Redshift
Redshift
14 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

You got me on the whataboutism, I realised that shortly after I posted!

On the other hand raising a future possible outcome (running out of money and declaring bankruptcy) and then asking questions about the impacts of that happening is wild, non evidence based, speculation.

I

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
14 days ago
Reply to  Redshift

My wording probably came across wrong. I really wondered what happens in that situation with defence projects.
I think when the nimrod project went over cost BAE picked up some of the bill and the MOD some. Now that’s not a bankruptcy.
I actually think the project should be fine as most of the expensive stuff should have been bought already so there’s still £1.5b for assembly left and what ever GDUK have in the bank.

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Nimrod was flawed because the Government insisted on ex Saudi comets being used. The air frames and bulkheads were extensively corroded and being hand built the wings and interiors did not fit due to variations in dimensions.

David Barry
David Barry
15 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Difference between a Firm price contract and a Fixed price contract.

Should you have been talking about a Firm price you would have been correct, Fixed on the other hand can be increased.

How do I know? Courtesy of UK Civil Service College: Procurement 101.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago

Another opportunity missed. Redback Infantry Fighting VehicleArmament The AS21 Redback IFV will be fitted with EOS T-2000 turret, which offers advanced sensing, engagement and command and control capabilities. The maximum combat weight of the turret will be 6,000kg, which includes weapons, missiles, APS, remote weapon station (RWS), and full ammunition load. The turret will be armed with a Bushmaster MK44S 30mm cannon, a MAG 58 7.62mm coaxial machine gun 76mm multi-barrel smoke grenade dischargers and two SPIKE LR2 missile launchers. It can be fitted with EOS R400S Mk2 HD or R150 remote weapon system and Javelin anti-tank guided missiles. It… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“The Government is accelerating this acquisition so that the first vehicle will be delivered in early 2027, two years earlier than the former Government had planned. The final vehicle will be delivered by late 2028.

The acquisition also reflects the Defence Strategic Review’s assessment that 129 infantry fighting vehicles is the appropriate number for Australia’s future strategic environment.”

https://

minister.defence.gov.au/media-releases/2023-07-27/delivering-next-generation-infantry-fighting-vehicles-australia

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Back plugging South Korea. It used to be the Gripen. Always bigging up everything that isn’t British.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It is always good to know what you’re talking about and keep up to date with posts on this website! I won’t mention the potential work share or commonality of parts including ammunition between partners. Here’s one such example from a plethora of other offerings on time and within budget. Just ask Poland! September 14, 2021 Hanwha launches ‘Team Thunder’ for UK artillery bid “DSEI 2021 – Hanwha Defense has formed an international partnership with leading defence manufacturers in the UK to develop a local variant of the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer for the British Army. The companies have come… Read more »

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Lots of automatic weapons! I wonder if the ammunition supply chain is also receiving an upgrade.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Yes, here is a recent example. 08 February 2024 South Korea to mass produce extended-range projectiles for K9 howitzers South Korean metal and munition manufacturer Poongsan will initiate the mass production of the extended-range 155 mm artillery shells for the Hanwha Land Systems K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) in 2024, a Poongsan official told Janes on 8 February. Development and trials of the extended-range 155 mm shells were completed in 2023 and the company received a combat suitability certificate from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in July 2023, the official said. The combat suitability certificate is required to initiate… Read more »

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Ajax in any of its variants was never meant to replace Warrior, it was meant to replace the ancient CVR(T) fleet. But due to Ajax’s delays, Warrior has ironically ended up taking up some CVR(T) duties.

Currently, Boxer is set to replace Warrior, annoyingly the only armament carried by most Boxers will be a machine gun, so effectively we are replacing IFVs with APCs.

IMHO, if the army ever invests in a new tracked IFV it should be the CV90 mk4

Jon
Jon
15 days ago

If the Army ever invests in a new tracked IFV it should be Boxer. Why introduce a third medium/heavy armoured vehicle family, with yet another logistics chain? Two could be said to provide redundancy, although I don’t even buy that argument.

Paul T
Paul T
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Has anyone committed to buying Tracked Boxer yet?.

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Not that I know of

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

It’s little more than a concept vehicle as I understand it. Still looks good.

Louis
Louis
14 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Why buy tracked Boxer? One of the advantages of tracked vehicles is their lower profile, tracked Boxer IFV at is considerably taller than any other tracked IFV, with Lynx which it is still a foot taller than. It is two feet taller than Bradley or Ajax, and 3 feet taller than K21.
If we buy a tracked IFV it should be based on Ajax, with Horstman suspension.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
12 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Yes, that’s makes good sense and also if the 🇺🇸 chooses same or similar. Boxer tracked looks too tall, like a huge bloody cupboard!

Last edited 12 days ago by Quentin D63
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Other advantages of tracked vehicles are improved terrain access and higher cross-country speed.

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Tracked boxer would involve new supply chain and more expensive parts and in life upgrades. CV 90 is used by 10 countries so economies of scale reduce costs !

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago

Agreed although to late now would of saved us a lot of time and money

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Proceeding with upgraded Warrior for the two ABCTs in conjunction with a scaling back of the Boxer order to equip just 7 Lt Mech Bde – would have saved us a lot of time and money.

Cripes
Cripes
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hear hear. A very heavy wheeled APC, unable to keep up off road with tracked Challeger, Titan, Trojan and Ajax, and with no cannon to provide suppressive fire, is not a great development and IMO a very expensive backwards step. It would have been a lot more sensible and less costly to upgrade the Warriors for now, fitting a 30mm cannon rather than the problematic 40mm CTA envisaged, and replace Warrior in the early 30s with a new tracked and properly armed AIFV like CV90. Wheeled Boxers should have been concentrated in a Mechanised Infantry Bde, which would give a… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

Hi Cripes, I have jokingly referred to Boxer as the British Army’s ‘Saracen for the 21st Century’ which no doubt will bring howls of anguish from the Boxer fans who will remind me that it is very different to our last multi-wheeled APC (Saxon excluded as it was a 4×4 armoured truck) – 2 extra wheels and a swappable mission module – bah! Mere details. An IFV’s cannon not only provides suppressive fire in the general area of the enemy but actually takes out enemy IFV/APCs – and saves our Inf from a fair few dismounted firefights (and thus saves… Read more »

Grizzler
Grizzler
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

How much was the dear General paid for this insightful decision…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

CGS is currently paid £195k. When Carter was CGS it would have been a bit less.

DJ
DJ
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

One advantage of boxer is you can change the payload. Or add a RWS with light weight 30mm & coaxial mg plus at least one ATGM. Both options already exist in more than one version from more than one supplier. It should be relatively easy to change the module order as the builder would not normally care (with suitable recompense), providing they still get the work. Key is don’t reinvent the wheel. The list of existing boxer modules is quite impressive (some are only prototypes, but they exist). Want a 155mm wheeled howitzer or 105mm wheeled gun system or CRV?… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Thanks DJ. I was well aware of Boxers ‘party trick’. Someone on this site a while back was sceptical of the value of this – I share at least some of this scepticism. Does the order for 623 (so far) include a hundred or so additional modules? I don’t think so. So we have not bought into the feature from the outset. In my 34 years of service, I could not recall a time when I heard an Inf Company commander say ‘I wish I had 2 fewer section carriers and 2 more armoured ambulances’ or whatever. At the macro… Read more »

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

As the warrior 2000 prototype with fire on the move 30 mm bushmaster cannon was produced in 9 months by GKN. Later part of BAE.. Wrong cannon chosen and wrong company to build it !

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago

What would be the advantage over the AS21 Redback? Hanwha AS21 Redback Represents Latest Generation of IFV in the Future of Armored Warfare “Seoul, South Korea, October 18, 2023 – At this year’s ADEX (Aerospace and Defense Exhibition) held in Seoul, Hanwha Aerospace, a leading South Korean defense company, highlights its AS21 Redback, one of the most modern tracked IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) in the world. The vehicle was recently chosen by the Australian army to replace the older M113AS4 tracked APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) vehicles. Earlier in July 2023, the Australian Government made headlines by announcing the selection of… Read more »

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Maybe, not technically, better than the redback (who knows?), but CV90 is mature and tested and European-built

I think it is better to procure our weapons and ammo from European countries if we can because they are geographically closer. Supply chain distance will matter in the event of a major war.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago

That depends on where the war is. If it is in Europe we can still be supplied. If it is in the Asia Pacific region we would have our own factories just like Poland. Just think what they have on offer, and how many jobs this would create. Team Thunder will require 800 UK jobs alone. “Poland will produce over 800 South Korean K2 tanks as part of an order for the Polish army, the country’s defense minister announced Thursday.   “Of the 1,000 tanks (for the Polish army) for which we signed an agreement with Seoul, 180 will be… Read more »

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

North Korea, Russia, China, (and even Iran) have submarines, the lesson learned from WW2 is you need a big escort fleet to keep the subs away, so this is why a distant supply chain is so precarious during war.

I would be happy to see a locally built version of that AFV, but having said that we then have to deal with our current lack of industrial capacity.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago

Hence the reason for having the initial batch built in SK while we do so.

Poland has done the exact same thing with their K2BP.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago

CV90 has operational experience too.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

I really don’t understand the present British Army plan…they are replacing a fast, light recce vehicle of 7 tons with what is essentially a 40 ton medium tank ( I’m not sure why the want your recce vehicle to be 40 tonnes and armed with a 40mm cannon ) and yet it’s replacing it tracked infantry fighting vehicles with a wheeled APC…..it’s all a bit bizarre to be honest.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well, I think Ajax (the recce variant) will have better sensors and communications and be much better protected, but really, the world of recce now belongs to drones.

But yeah, replacing IFVs with APCs makes no sense in terms of capabilities/firepower.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi J. After Carters Strike plan went awry and with HMG not committing the money required something gave and that was WCSP. The result is this mashed up, non optimal solution. If one looks at Army2020 ( so pre 2015 cuts ) the army plan was sound, and money was in place for Ajax ( Armoured Cavalry ) Warrior update, and Challenger 3. The 2015 “SDSR” “Army 2020 Refine” threw much of that away and put Boxer as No 1 priority without the money to continue on all fronts. The result is this mash up, billions spent, and CS CSS… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
14 days ago

The summary is correct. What the army needs now is a research dept into armoured vehicles. The hull, engine, drivetrain etc should be in planning for a future IFV and tank replacement. Pair it up with businesses and higher education depts.
the U.K. is needing to purchase equipment from countries that have been doing this like South Korea etc.
This was an area where the U.K. had a lead and threw it away for some tiny savings that are now costing a fortune.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Sounds so sensible mate! Now why is it that the powers that be don’t do such things? In my view, because they line the pockets of the MIC BY DESIGN.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

So bring back FVRDE/MVEE/RARDE/DERA/DRA Chertsey!
It did terrific work.
dstl and QinetiQ is not the same.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago

Boxer….the Saracen for the 21st century!

Boxer is set to replace the Warrior IFV. So how do you think the army can therefore invest in a tracked IFV. Not until Boxer comes out of service, by which time the CV90 Mk4 will be old news.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If the MOD buys some IFV modules for the Boxer then that would be a step in the right direction. I have nothing against Boxer itself, but we should be replacing IFVs with IFVs

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago

There is such a thing as tracked Boxer with a turreted cannon ie an IFV.
I totally agree that we should replace IFVs with IFVs otherwise we are regressing to the wheeled APC.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
12 days ago

There is the Ascod 2 IFV variant which I believe in a run off against the Lynx for the US IFV competition. Might be worth waiting for if the UK goes for a quantity of tracked despite being confirmed with Boxer.

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The Ajax isn’t even original, just a development of the (quite old now) Spanish-Austrian ASCOD. The Redback looks pretty good but you can bet your life that if we bought it we’d give it to someone to mess with it and bugger it up….oh, so we did, with the Ajax.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

Redback is an IFV, not a Recce vehicle.

AlexS
AlexS
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It is what you equip it with.

DJ
DJ
12 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes, agree. An IFV has plenty of room for other gear. Redback has Iron Fist & Iron Vision as standard, plus 2 inbuilt Spike LR2 ATGM. Throw an EOS Slinger with proximity fused ammo on top to handle drones & the standard 30-50mm cannon options below. CV90 also an option. Otherwise go for something low weight & fast. Traditional tracked CRV post Ukraine needs a rethink & Ajax is not the answer.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Ajax is not an IFV and is not intended to replace Warrior. I believe the MOD have said that Boxer APC will replace Warrior. Most commentators think this is a flawed decision. Given that Boxer is funded and there is no more money IMO what the MOD should do is renegotiate the Boxed contract with Artec and swap some Boxers for Lynx IFVs, which is made by the same German companies that comprise Artec. Problem solved. The UK Boxer build rate is glacial anyway.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

the issue with boxer is the armament, if it had a turret with a 20-30mm cannon and a couple of anti tank missiles..the fact it’s wheeled would be less of an issue….infact from a strategic mobility point of view wheeled can be better. Which is why the French army used wheeled…boxer is also as well armoured as you will get…the blaring issue is sticking nothing but a machine gun on the top, which means it cannot support the infantry..stupid and retrograde….no other army has abandoned the concept of the infantry fighting vehicle.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There are other issues with Boxer as an IFV replacement – it is incredibly expensive, the build rate is pedestrian, and it is bound to have poorer cross-country mobility than a full tracked vehicle and so may not keep up with the tanks. Just because the French Army has made a bizarre decision does not make it a good decision that we should have copied.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I will also add to the list that boxer is absolutely massive. It’s bigger than anything that has come before it. Boxer makes a MBT look small and a CVRT like a toy

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I understand. Just making the point that there may well be an practical and affordable, tracked option. Totally understand the standardisation arguments behind Boxer and the speed deployment advantages of wheels.

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

Speed – Tactical mobility. I would bet money that a tracked vehicle will be faster going across difficult terrain than a multi-wheeled vehicle such as Boxer.

The operational or strategic mobility argument is not too convincing – even if you went for Boxer and could deploy it on roads faster, then you still have all the tracked vehicles in the brigade (tanks, Ajax, SPGs) going a degree slower – yet they are all meant to go at the same pace. Any advantage Boxer has will be lost.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel, the article talks about the Ajax, a recce vehicle. Yet you bang the drum for AS21 Redback suggesting that should have been procured instead. Redback is an IFV! Totally different role, hence a very different vehicle. The piece under the headline “Is Ajax replacing Warrior” is misleading. CVR(T) was withdrawn in March/Apr 2023. Some Warriors were fielded as interim replacements as Ajax is delayed. I think that was a very bad idea, but it happened. Thus Ajax will replace those WRs that have been fielded temporarily as Scimitar replacements. Of course Ajax will not replace the majority WR fleet… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Good evening Graham, Yes I do! It can achieve everything Ajax can from what I can see, better armed, and carry eight dismounted troops. Either a 30mm or 40mm main gun can be fitted with a EOS T-2000 turret, which offers advanced sensing, engagement and command and control capabilities. The turret will be armed with a Bushmaster MK44S 30mm cannon, a MAG 58 7.62mm coaxial machine gun 76mm multi-barrel smoke grenade dischargers and two SPIKE LR2 missile launchers. It can be fitted with EOS R400S Mk2 HD or R150 remote weapon system and Javelin anti-tank guided missiles. With a limited… Read more »

Louis
Louis
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Ajax isn’t an IFV…

Comparing its armaments is irrelevant. K21 cannot do what Ajax can do because K21 is not a recce vehicle, it doesn’t have the ISTAR capabilities that Ajax does so cannot achieve Ajax’s primary role anywhere near as well as Ajax can.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Louis

AJAX FOC between October 2028 and September 2029 if all goes to plan. It can be adapted to suit the customer’s requirements. Thus, the AS21 Redback project retains the basic provisions and solutions of the base K21, but has the characteristic features associated with the technical progress of recent years and the wishes of the customer in the person of the Australian army. “During the first presentation of the project, it was argued that the “Australian Widow” could become a platform for the construction of new infantry fighting vehicles and other equipment with one or another characteristic features required by… Read more »

Louis
Louis
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The MOD would have to recreate requirements for the vehicle, which Hanwha would then have to alter the K21 to meet. Hanwha would then have to set up local production, presumably in Newcastle.

It will cost Australia 2.4 billion USD and take 6 years from contract to build 129 AS21s, it will take much longer and cost a lot more for 600 of them, plus the 4 billion already spent on Ajax.

You’re looking at up to 20 years, and at least 7 billion dollars for K21, or 1.5 billion pounds and 5 years for Ajax.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Louis

It all depends on when Australia requires them due to their planned budget. I wonder what the eight prototypes will be for. ISTAR for one perhaps? 8 Dec 2023 “Hanwha said the Redback deliveries will commence in 2027, with the final vehicle set to be delivered in late 2028. “A series of eight prototype vehicles will also be manufactured in both South Korea and Australia as the programme develops,” the company added.” 08 December 2023 Australia signs USD2.4 billion contract with Hanwha for IFV requirement” “The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed a USD2.4 billion contract with Hanwha Defense… Read more »

Louis
Louis
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Australia aren’t buying a recce variant, that is what they are buying Boxer for, so the opposite of the British army.

Ultimately, no matter what Hanwha do, they are not delivering 600 vehicles of a new variant in 5 years for £1.5b or less. So going with K21 will now delay entry into service and cost more money, including the money spent on Ajax.

Ajax issues have been fixed, it is now being offered for export, Saudi Arabia being one. Why waste more money and time for a different vehicle?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Louis

What are the eight prototypes for? “Significantly evolving the K21 to meet the specific requirements of the Australian Army, a prototype vehicle was developed in less than six months,” he noted. “South Korea aims exclusively to develop state-of-the-art defense equipment, weapons, and vehicles under fast-track R&D programs targeted towards defense utilization of any country.”He emphasized that the recent deal with Australia complements President Yoon Suk-yeol’s dedication to positioning South Korea as a leading global weapons supplier by 2027.The multi-billion dollar deal with Australia will catalyze the Korean government to further enhance this AS21 Redback variant, aiming to capture a specific… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Nigel Collins
pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Is isolation mounts for seats and controls and noise cancelling headsets fixing or mitigation, don’t think these solutions will lower the 117 db noise printed in the Government report. Vibration will shorten life of electronics and parts. Time will tell , doubt anyone else will buy it as it has same bad press as SA80 A1.

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  pete

Have you ever, ever been inside and AFV, of any type, with the powerpack running, cross country, or worse, on road? I suspect not.

pete
pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

The CR2 fire wire alarm is behind the nav plate giro above the air con evap , vics rear bolt often left out as hard to access.Vic’s pin settings depend on application , standard is tank throws error on display if put in CRARRV without changing . emergency limp home mode red missile type switch lock-wired with lead tag ! GD PR plant !

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  pete

I see you know your CR 2’s, so not a whiney civvy! I stand corrected. As for the “plant”, no, I’m not, just well informed by people in the trade.
Cheers

pete
pete
4 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

You said Morpheus was going to plan a couple of years ago when it was delayed and now its cancelled . You were not that well informed about that ?

Ian M
Ian M
4 days ago
Reply to  pete

Hi Pete, I don’t recall commenting on the (MOD cancelled) Morpheus project but if I did, then my sources were incorrect, not me. I don’t speak to anyone in GD Mission Systems.
Cheers

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

We are talking about vehicles to fill the British Army’s recce role, right? Not IFVs which is a totally different type of vehicle for a totally different role. You say that AS21 Redback is better armed than Ajax which has a 40mm dual axis stabilised cannon? Redback is to have just a 30mm cannon – ATK Mark 44S Bushmaster II 30mm auto cannon – I don’t think it is even stabilised, but correct me if I am wrong. The Chain Gun on Ajax is surely better (higher rate of fire) than the MAG 58 coax on AS21. ATGW – Recce… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

“The AS21 includes the capability to integrate active protection systems into an evolved turret system. The Redback, like its BAE competitor, is capable of hosting a crew of 11 (3 crew, 8 troops), a top road speed of 70km/h, off-road speed of 40km/h, an operational range of 500 kilometres, with armament consisting of a 40mm auto-cannon and a single 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.”

As I mentioned before, it can be built to the customer’s specifications. Just add in the Bowman as an example.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thanks. I was sure the Aussies had specified 25mm Bushmaster for their AS21 Redback purchase. Not sure where you got your quote from – it would be helpful to know. I am happy to stand corrected. All AFVs built by all AFV companies the world over can be built to customer’s specifications. That is not unique to Doosan DST. I am still puzzling why you think a Korean IFV should have been procured for the British Army’s recce vehicle (instead of Ajax). Once again, a recce vehicle does not need to take 11 people, but it does need a damn… Read more »

DJ
DJ
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Australia specified 30mm for both Boxer & Redback (exisiting systems are 25mm).

CV90, also an excellent IFV, has a recce variant. It’s not a new idea. One thing IFV’s have is space for fitting alternate gear.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Thanks DJ. Did Australia specify a stabilised 30mm cannon?

Yes, I am aware that CV90 has a recce variant and that it is not a new idea – BAE bid to build a recce CV90 for the Ajax competition and showed a quite good mock-up way back in 2009/2010. After being rejected by MoD UK, they went on to build 21 recce variants for Norway, contract award being in June 2012.

The GDUK recce Ajax is derived from an IFV also, the ASCOD Ulan/Pizarro.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Has the timeline changed? “Lengthy delays to a £3.2bn battlefield communications system have forced the British Army to extend the life of the ageing one it was due to replace by up to a decade, raising the risk of an enemy intercepting critical information. The next-generation system, known as Morpheus, had been due to enter service from the middle of this decade, replacing the Bowman radio technology first introduced more than 20 years ago. James Cartlidge, defence procurement minister, revealed in a written statement last month that Bowman’s out-of-service date had been “extended out to no later than 2035, and… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, I am not a SME on Morpheus but the thrust of the article you have pasted into your post is all about significant delay.

Some commentators (eg Defence Eye) talk of the whole Project having been callelled but I understand it is one strand only.

Delay to one strand, cancellation of one strand or complete cancellation – clearly means that the timelines have changed.

I think Danielle knows a fair bit about this.

Another army procurement fiasco!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks, Graham, I’ve located a link which seems to confirm this. “The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) stands accused of wasting more taxpayers’ money after conceding that it has abandoned a key strand of the struggling GBP 3.2 Bn (EUR 3.73 Bn) Morpheus programme. The failure also threatens to stymie the British Army’s future digitalisation efforts. However, the failure of the EvO contract will inflict additional and expensive penalties. Writing on X/Twitter on 15 December, military analyst Francis Tusa pointed out that the current Bowman communication system will not only have to go through more updates, but will now probably… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thanks Nigel. So many army procurement cockups – and all of massive scale and impact.

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

A company would need Microsoft’s resources to develop Morpheus open architecture systems from funky power point to completed system in the time scale !

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
13 days ago
Reply to  pete

Now cancelled at a cost of £3.2 Billion with additional upgrades required for Bowman.

https://

euro-sd.com/2023/12/major-news/35641/uk-mod-kills-morpheus-contract/

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  pete

I thought the Morpheus project had been going for many, many years. Wiki: “In November 2014 an acquisition strategy paper was released which described a two-part assessment phase to examine the feasibility of the principal approaches of “Sustain”, “Evolve”, or “Replace” the Bowman system. In September 2015, it was announced that the “Replace” option was not viable and that the chosen approach was to evolve from Bowman through the appointment of a transition partner and other suppliers, to deliver an open agile system, which would be known as Evolve to Open (EvO).[2] The £330m contract for EvO was awarded to… Read more »

Martin
Martin
15 days ago

Its a fixed price contract, what rubbish story. Bend the truth as Labour do. Wait until they get in we will have worse state , if that’s possible.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I highlighted a few “home truths” myself regards Labour and armoured vehicles.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
15 days ago
Reply to  Martin

On what basis? Don’t all politicians bend the truth. One party makes a major virtue of that as we have seen in recent years. The fundamental reason for the poor state of our armed services is the drive for Peace Dividend and Austerity tax cuts in favour of corrupt money launderers. Couple this with the Government’s propensity of creating ever extending capability gaps, which inevitably means massive increased future costs, and of course with the reduction in equipment justifying lower manpower, saving even more money on wages and accommodation. The wealthy rule politics and rely on the rest of the… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
15 days ago
Reply to  Martin

It is fixed price but the company probably doesn’t have anywhere else to get money from if needed. If the company says we are out of cash and can’t finish them what happens?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

M8 if GD are short of money God help the West. They have very deep pockets.

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

It would be GD uk. Groups are not legal personalities and so the UK operation can run out of cash and go bust without impacting the group. It wouldn’t be a good reputational thing to do for the group but there is nothing to stop them.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Steve

When you consider that GD EB is the US end of the AUKUS agreement “Reputational” damage could have severe consequences.

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Practically minimal though, as its just a single defence company. The UK and Australia depend too much on the US for their defence and equipment purchases, that wouldn’t change. Plus the UK depends on the US to allow it to pretend to still be a major world player in global politics.

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Easy for GD UK to transfer money to American parent company with excessive charges for licencing, use of logo , consultants etc

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Might be a fixed contract, but handling over most of the funds early gives you very little negotiation room when things get delayed etc, since you have nothing to withhold. It’s very poor business sense to do so.

We will see if the fixed cost ends up being a fixed cost or if extras are paid before the end.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Steve

MOD suspended payments in 2020 and only resumed them last year, when they saw real progress.

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

If they have paid most of the money, if there are further delays the mod have no leavage. Seems silly to me but only time will tell. Once they are all delivered and the national audit office publishes the full cost of the purchase, we will know either way.

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Payments were for production milestones not quality, keeps the money rolling in if production rolls on while hiding the problems .

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Martin

A fixed price contract can and does include adjustments for economic changes or issue….so the contract costs would go up..especially if the contract was delivered over a period of increased costs or delays causes by something like covid…..you are thinking of firm price contracts..they generally cannot be changes…

Martin
Martin
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

i see, i still feel the story is incorrect, but yes i guess then the cost could rise. how ever most of the delay is down to the poor standard of the equipment, vibrations etc and the total 44 is misleading. 150 approx are built/awaiting mods or final up grade to production standard.

Louis
Louis
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Ajax is a firm price contract, it’s irrelevant how much we spent already because GD have to deliver the 589 vehicles for £5.5b.

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  Louis

That’s better then, people kept using the term fixed price as something that cannot be changed which is wrong, firm priced on the other hand is a firm and unchanging price.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

True. Many people think that fixed price cannot change – but it can to allow for inflation etc etc.

As you say firm price is the one that does not change.

pete
pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Adjustments for unseen circumstances are sometimes built into contracts , these include inflation of raw materials , changes by customer etc

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

Sorry a bit off topic but actually rather important….. Tugs, We have Tugs and Smoke and Artisan and Wildcats and everything…. Even the Tide is behaving ….. I’m so exited now i want to squeem and squeem …… Rule Britania, Britania rules the waves, never ever ever ever and so on and so forth…… 😂💪👌…..

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

And Sampson…. Oh deep joy….. Please God let her go now with no more problems……

Anyway back to Ajax, I actually like the specs of these different systems, the 40mm gun is a hard hitter and all the other tech seems to be a fair step up…. No expert at all so please go gentle on me !!!

pete
pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Barrel life 750 rounds , expensive rounds , complicated loading system. High recoil required muzzle brake and reinforced turret ring to be developed . As Bushmaster was effective at disabling T90 in Ukraine no need for the 40 mm white elephant gun.

Ian M
Ian M
9 days ago
Reply to  pete

How many rounds did the Bradley have to fire at the T90? The CT40 rounds aren’t cheap by comparison but fewer are needed to achieve the effect! Most weapons have a muzzle brake of some sort so not an issue there. The AHS is aircraft derived so reliable, enabling rapid engagements.
Cheers

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Are you still glued to the warrior webcam mate? You need to get out in the fresh air and chill….go for a ride on that bike!

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

Ha ha mate…. You got me well and truly…. I’m Itching to get out on the Tuono ATM but the lure of watching POW actually sailing is just too much !!!! Tomorrow, I promise i’ll be out there though….. Weather permitting…. where roughly do you live ? My Tuono sounds rather LOUD. (ps, It’s an Aprilia, It’s a classic piece of Italian and Austrian engineering…..and a pure joy to ride, not sure if you are in to two wheels but trust me, it’s fun….. ) 💪

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Guildford mate. Only been on a bike once as a pax in Rome, and that was more than enough!

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

Guildford ? Bugger me backwards…. I spent a few years travelling to that place and Farnham and Godalming.. A3, A31 and the A 272 were pretty epic biking roads….. Loomies was always a good stop too……

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

A3, A31 Hogs Back, v much my home turf.
I’m originally a Londoner, mind. Did you stop at the cafe westbound on the Hogs Back?

farouk
farouk
15 days ago

When I did my basic training at Gib Bks Farnborough we actually did one of our map reading practical’s behind the Cafe. Stopped on convoy many a time in the layby

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  farouk

😀

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

I lived down that neck of the woods for a while as well farnborough and that lovely place called aldershot….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Ahh, Aldershi**

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago

It really was a bit of a hole when I was there to be honest..Farnborough was not to bad…fleet was boring but aldershot was a hole…lived in all three.

Paul T
Paul T
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Haha yes today was a good day for a blast but work usually buggers up my riding, luckily spring is near 👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago

“he Conservatives have spent at least £4bn to date on AJAX and only received 44 vehicles – failing British troops and British taxpayers.” How ironic then that under Labour 97 to 2010 almost nothing was developed, delivered or advanced regards armoured vehicles for the British Army and Tracer, MRAV, and FRES, which went on to become Ajax, went round in circles, with over a billion spent for ZERO outcome. Exceptions were Titan, Trojan, Terrier. Healey might well highlight procurement problems, but flipping heck, the root causes go back to the Labour term in office regards armour especially, as all was… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
15 days ago

Whilst I can see where you are coming from – lets not conflate different arguements.
It’s been 14 years since 2010 ..and the Ajax debacle – for that is surely what it has been (if not continues to be) -is the here & now.
The fact its a ‘fixed price’ is an irrelevance and is used on here as if to justify or absolve the farce that the procurment has been .
It has still not – so far- been delivered.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Absolutely. I’m not budging on my point, mind. The saying pot calling the kettle black springs to mind.
How many armoured combat vehicles of Ajax type did Labour deliver in 13 years?
This alone is 44 MORE!

grizzler
grizzler
15 days ago

Fair comment 🙂

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
15 days ago

Tbf if they didn’t say anything we’d complain about the opposition not doing anything.
It’s just a consequence of our style of voting system where the choice is between the devil you know and the devil you remember.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Hi T. I know. We would. But what Healey is implying is cobblers. Like a lot of defence related content that come out of Labour mouths. Yes, it’s late. Whoopy do. So are many programmes. It is now making progress. 44 so far for x price is not relevant other than to make I’ll informed headlines where real relevant details don’t matter. The delaysare valid concerns, plus the issue of whether it was the right choice over CV90. All water under the bridge. Now if he was grilling the government over falling numbers, not expanding the budget, and gapping capabilities… Read more »

Expat
Expat
15 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

I think Daniele point is neither party has any notable success when it comes to procurement of platforms for the British army. The reality is the problems lie outside a typical politicians area of expertise and therefore procurement is largely run by the civil service no matter who’s in power. One simple fact that highlights this, only 20% of politicians have worked in business in the private sector, which is shocking which you think the private sector is 80% of the workforce!!! So most of the political class have been at the proverbial teat all their lives living of you… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Expat
ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

There is only one MP with a Degree and background in engineering.

Thats just scary !

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
15 days ago

A lot of defence focus then was on Afghanistan, and Urgent Operational Requirements, post Gulf Wars.

AlexS
AlexS
15 days ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

That irrelevant, the money was there, but not much out of it.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
15 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Not irrelevant just a different focus. The need (2010 etc defence reviews) assumed the likelihood of state on state conflict was insignificant. Another case where our ‘politicians’ always know best and pander to their own self-interest. Tax cuts took precedence over defence, and a police expeditionary action was seen as the only thing to really plan for. That also then reintroduced the imperialistic world wide view where a couple of carriers would support similar police actions.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago

Daniele As you know my field of knowledge is Sub Surface Navy and U.K. supply chain, so Army isn’t (way too Green and Brown for me). I am also Blame Neutral when it comes to figuring out who is responsibly for the situation we are in now. They are both useless and clueless when it comes to Defence, it’s a toss up between which is actually worse. However after 40 years involvement I’m pretty clued up on Political Shenanigans In Defence Procurement. Mr Healey is like a boxer pressing forwards in the ring, hoping to get a quick win. Unfortunately… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by ABCRodney
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Love the boxing analogy mate.
Graham, not George.
I thought the contract was signed in 2015, not 2010. Cameron had a bit of a grandstand about it, with Ajax behind him, about building them in Wales.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago

March 2010 contract signed, then design stages etc etc, numbers firmed up in 2014 and the announcement re Wales in 2015. But the initial choice to go with GD was Labour. And yes of course it’s Graham not George my mistake.
Healey should just have left it alone.

Peter S
Peter S
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

No. The decision to award the contract was announced in March 2010, with GD winning out over BAE.
The first actual formal contract was signed by the coalition in July 2010. A £3.5 manufacturing contract was signed in Sept 2014. Presumably up to that point,the project could have been cancelled at a relatively low cost.
Healey’s promise to get the NAO to sort out military procurement is nonsense. The NAO has been crawling all over and reporting on all major contracts for years. But if no one is capable of making drastic decisions, it makes no difference.

klonkie
klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Your post sums up the essence of the thing perfectly ABC -well said:
“They are both useless and clueless when it comes to Defence, it’s a toss up between which is actually worse.”

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

Just get a ship with a plank on each side and Toss Labour of the Portside and Tories off the Starboard.
Damn just remembered the ships aren’t ready yet and the planks are “Fitted For but Not With”.

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

Yep,

Frank62
Frank62
15 days ago

I get cold sweats everytime there’s any mention of the A-word!

Value for money lost years ago. Probably the worse defence project for decades, but at least it is finally on track to deliver some useful kit. Monumental spaffing of money up the wall. For the money spent each vehicle should have a stewardess, massage table, sauna & integrated swimming pool!

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
15 days ago

An absolute bargain then. Just as well we didn’t order those horrible Bae things. CV90 was it? We could have had them by now.😥

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

If the government and army had insisted on the amount of changes they have to the ascod to the CV90 we may still be in the same position.
The MOD never learn. First ask what the contractor can deliver for a price. Then test the prototypes thoroughly.
Wrong way is making up a load of undeveloped ideas and saying make these work please. Then when it’s all coming together throw a load more changes and ideas at it.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I don’t think i can add apart from saying I fully agree.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
15 days ago

and so the saga continues….MoD procurement at its best…..

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
15 days ago

There is an election coming. I can think of several civilian projects that were years late and massively over budget that are today delivering value.

Incidentally, what has that bloke on the left in the photograph got on his head?

Ian M
Ian M
15 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Looks like a civilian “bump cap” that a lot of shop floor workers have to wear nowadays.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Fetching? (Thanks mate!)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I can’t see the need for it when in the open air. What is going to fall on his bonce? Wallace and Sunak aren’t wearing one, I notice.

Ian M
Ian M
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

VIPs aren’t made to look daft!

Ian M
Ian M
15 days ago

Biting my tongue. Oh soddit. Do the Labouring partly actually understand how defence businesses work? OK, £4 Billion apparently spent already, so what? Paying GDELS for 589 hulls, paying for the development of best in class ISTAR, paying the staff that produce all of the platforms (throughout Covid), buying spares, producing a huge range of training assets including Full Motion driver trainers and gunnery trainers. This is a fixed price contract, if GD wanted to spaff it all on ice creams and bottles of bubbly then that’s up to them to manage but there’s no more cash from HMG. Rant… Read more »

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Somewhere the MoD has over specified the vehicle and General Dynamics stupidly agreed to supply it as over specified. First rule of agreeing contracts is make sure you agree to what you are going to deliver. I talk about this having done this many, many times. Don’t agree to something you can’t deliver it is as basic as that I’m afraid.. Whoever agreed to deliver an insanely over specified vehicle that was too heavy (with other numerous issues) should be fired in General Dynamics. Yes the MoD can ask for the world but it is the sensible engineers that need… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Andrew Thorne
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

In what areas has Ajax been over-specified?

pete
pete
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

CV 90 mk 4 35 – 37 tons with 2 tons extra payload designed in. So it would take the weight gain . M10 booker light tank is 42 tons with hydro pneumatic suspension and does not seem to have the problems of Ajax although also both based on ASCOD .

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

No they don’t understand how Defence Business works and never have, The proof of that is obvious because it was Labour who signed this contract in March 2010. GE was in May (they lost).

Tom
Tom
15 days ago

Dear oh dear… the epic failure of the ‘Ajax Saga’ goes on and on.

Jacko
Jacko
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Have read any of the above?Healy is talking bollards trying to make a political point.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

He was in the last Labour Cabinet under Brown, they negotiated and signed the contract 2 months before they lost power.

Last words were “we spent all the money”.

Tom
Tom
15 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Political point or whatever… unfortunately the facts are the facts. £4billion + wasted.

Jacko
Jacko
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Where is the £4b wasted? So are you trying to say the Ajax program will cost £9.5b?

Joss
Joss
15 days ago

Just bin off this nonsense and get something cheaper. Couple of technicals with Browning on top would be more effective.

Ministry of Dogs Breakfast

Sailorboy
Sailorboy
15 days ago

You have to wonder how we manage to waste so much money on bespoke equipment for such a small armed forces. Considerable development and design phases followed by extended in UK build means that the equipment is dated when delivered. Why do insist on going alone to build high spec carriers. Destroyers, frigates, submarines, tanks, AFVs etc all on the basis of preserving jobs and our own defence industry. As a result we pay far too much for bespoke equipment which means limited supply. Surely far better to buy established production lines elsewhere and get best in class equipment but… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  Sailorboy

Hello Sailorboy, this is a bit uncomfortable but, please could you switch names? Not to sound rude, but according to your profile I’m on this site a fair bit more often and I’m a bit worried that people will think you’re me and will get confusing as we seem to have diverging views.

PhilWestMids
PhilWestMids
15 days ago
Reply to  Sailorboy

Completely agree that the MoD waste too much money but if we was to find ourselves in a world war 3 like situation then we need to be in a position to build stuff ourselves which means keeping work in the UK so we have facilities to build frigates, destroyers, carriers, jets and tanks as quickly as possible, if we rely too much on buying outside the UK then we would suddenly be rushing to secure orders with nations that are building these military assets among other nations doing the same and wouldn’t be in a good position. The stuff… Read more »

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
15 days ago

“NAO expertise”. That is being a tad optimistic. The NAO used primarily external third-party audit firms and contractors to conduct in-depth technical MoD audits, e.g. IT systems. The MOD got fed up with all the vetting required, and the potential national security risks arising, and since 2005 has refused to cooperate with the NAO on these type of audits. Instead it uses its own internal audit team. The NAO’s work at the MoD is now restricted to high level value for money reports, for which it has a legal mandate too explicit for the MoD to ignore.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

There is a lot of miss understanding of fixed price contract…just to be Clear the cost of a fixed price contract is not ummm fixed…it does change and go up: The only contract in which you will not see an increase is in a Firm fixed price contract..so a firm fixed price contract is not subject to any adjustments..where as a fixed price contract will likely contain provision for economic adjustments The different adjustments you get in fixed price contracts include: 1) fixed price contract with economic adjustment..these will include changes in costs of materials or development issues and things… Read more »

Sheffield Steve
Sheffield Steve
15 days ago

Oh no…. Normally every post on here ends with fighting about Labour versus Conservative or the relative merits or damage of Brexit, how many/ how big the guns are on any given ship and the only other end point is the “A” word … Ajax. But if you start a post with one of these four defined end points then I’ve no idea where the conversation should go 🤷‍♂️

Sheffield Steve
Sheffield Steve
15 days ago

Got it! Is there anyway this could be blamed on the SNP? Are the Ajax vehicles being delivered to the British Army by Ferguson built ferries?

Sam
Sam
15 days ago

This is taken directly from Army Technology: In a UK parliamentary written response on 17 January 2024, it was revealed that 152 Ajax vehicles had been built, representing just over 25% of the planned total fleet number. In addition, it was stated the latest standard of the vehicle, known as Capability Drop 3, had “now been accepted” by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), with deliveries “on track” to achieve initial operating capability (IOC). It is understood that IOC is achieved once 50 units of the 589 total have been delivered, which will see 27 used by a deployable squadron,… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
15 days ago
Reply to  Sam

So the shadow defence secretary not keeping up with defence questions IN parliament🤔

Sam
Sam
15 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

It would seem so, as:

“ A further written response published on 19 January 2024, revealed that since manufacturing began, 461 hulls have been delivered to General Dynamics Land Systems UK (GDUK).
According to a UK Parliament report published in March 2023, the UK MoD has a firm price contract of £5.5bn ($6.9bn) with GDUK to deliver 589 vehicles, though the MoD’s Equipment Plan 2022-32 gave an estimated forecast cost to completion of £5.4bn.”

Jacko
Jacko
15 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Well well well! Firm contract as well 👍

David Owen
David Owen
14 days ago

The money would have been better spent on a bigger fleet of boxer variants ,the tory government is worse than the Scottish government for procurement (2over priced ferries)now a load of very expensive tin boxes on caterpillar tracks that took years to fix the problems (billion and rising ) how much of a bribe were these idiotic people who bought this crap ,the us army laughed at ajax and said no,fxxxxxxg tory government oh good another corrupt over priced procurement, dirty greedy fingers in the pie 🥧 🙄 👏

Jacko
Jacko
14 days ago
Reply to  David Owen

Of course you have bothered to read the comments in the thread before your little rant haven’t you?(probably not)

David Owen
David Owen
14 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

How am I ranting ?clown ,British taxpayers money has been squandered, duff equipment being bought and if you had bothered to read my input about the us army not wanting it ,the us department of defence publicly stated it would not touch it ,our people deserve better ,if your ex service much respect to you but our service people have been short changed for decades and so it’s very wrong to criticise those who decided to buy this equipment? 14 years on and so only many units bought and still waiting and British taxpayers getting screwed over and over

Jacko
Jacko
14 days ago
Reply to  David Owen

All your questions have been answered in the comments above! As you have no experience of military kit how do you justify Ajax as “duff”. The people who have to operate don’t seem to think so!Was the US offered AJax? The Aussies were and yes they did reject it as they wanted an IFV not a recce vehicle so why it was offered in the first place who knows.

David Owen
David Owen
14 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I will burst you bubble ex rn ,I’m more navy savvy ,

Jacko
Jacko
14 days ago
Reply to  David Owen

Right so what bubble have you burstI have no knowledge of ships so I can’t commit on them and yes I am ex RE.
done some digging for you the US army was offered Griffin a derivative of the ascod/ajax hull for their fire support vehicle now being filled by the Booker! So they were NOT offered Ajax or any of the variants.

David Owen
David Owen
14 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Jacko,I have my point like you but mine probably is a bit out of date ,yours is more accurate than mine ,if your ex army much respect 🙏 🫡 👏

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  David Owen

The US Army is not known for buying non-American AFVs, whether British or otherwise. They have their own programme to replace Bradley M3 CFV – why would they ditch that?

Ajax is now fixed – it completed User Verification Trials and MoD resumed making staged payments. It seems to be going through RGT satisfactorily. Equipment is in the hands of a cav unit and a REME unit and no complaints have been heard. You must know that?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
14 days ago

£!!!!!! The navy could have four T45 For that amount(better than blowing it on a truck

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Ajax is a complex and sophisticated tracked, dual axis stabilised cannon-equipped recce vehicle with a state-of-the-art ISTAR suite, data processing and data dissemination capability and is fully digitised. It is clearly not a truck.

pete
pete
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Light trucks have torsion bars like AJAX because cost takes priority over performance and handling characteristics !

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  pete

Pete, it is not just some light trucks that have torsion bars although GM abandoned their use on light pick up trucks as far back as 1963. A huge number of tanks have them (historically and recently) ie the T-72, Leopard 1, Leopard 2, M26 Pershing, M18 Hellcat, M48 Patton, M60 Patton and the M1 Abrams.  So it’s wrong to equate torsion bars solely with trucks (not all of which even have torsion bars). My objection to torsion bars is from a REME POV although I have not heard the User state that torsion bars are responsible for poor performance… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Graham Moore
pete
pete
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Whilst torsion bars can be designed to function on tracked vehicles the problem was the weight increase. 24 tons ASCOD to the 38 -42 tons of AJAX. If considered a good solution then you have to ask why the M 10 Booker which is also ASCOD derived now has hydro-pneumatic suspension. It was originally going to have the same torsion bar with rotary dampers as AJAX .Also loosing 12″ in width from ASCOD would have reduced length of bars and space for dampers changing performance characteristics .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  pete

Thanks Pete. We were talking about torsion bars rather than Ajax weight per se. I don’t know the design approach to M10 Booker and why specifically they rejected the torsion bar suspension that was on the base ASCOD vehicle, but hydropneumatic suspension units give a better ride (increased crew comfort and permits faster x-country speed) and they are more easily repaceable – perhaps that is what swayed it for the Americans. Many APCs and IFVs (as do many tanks, as discussed) have torsion bars – they are a valid and probably low-cost solution. My preference is for hydro-pneumatic/hydrogas, especially when… Read more »

pete
pete
10 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If the Americans read the MOD report into Ajax they would reject the suspension due to noise and vibration !

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  pete

Perhaps I had better re-read the report. I don’t recall that Ajax’s NVH problems were principally caused by having torsion bar suspension. They were ‘solved’ without alterations to suspension!

Ian M
Ian M
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Correct

Ian M
Ian M
9 days ago
Reply to  pete

Suspension was not the culprit i this case.

pete
pete
8 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Excess track tension causing noise and vibration at the track sprocket interface would indicate over loading of suspension ?

Ian M
Ian M
8 days ago
Reply to  pete

Nope, all AJAX have hydraulically adjustable track tensioning from the drivers crewstation.

pete
pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

If you take a pack out a vehicle the suspension rises up as the weight is removed , if your staging is too close it lifts it with it lol

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  pete

Sounds like fun and games.

David Lee
David Lee
14 days ago

Should have just bought cv90 off the shelf already used by some natural countries and has the same capabilities as the ajax system this is more like jobs for the boys from procurement in general dynamics when they leave the army

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

I assume you mean the recce variant of CV90? Why not indeed?

David Lee
David Lee
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Exactly there’s a number of variants available

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

I never knew why the MoD/politicians picked the GD Ajax over the BAE CV90 Recce; both were considered.
Most think that the politicians wanted to distance themselves from BAE after ‘the Nimrod fiasco’.

David Lee
David Lee
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We had some ajax at the rear a couple of years ago and they didn’t have any bv,s in them that’s alarming

David Lee
David Lee
13 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

Rsa not rear

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

Really? Then they are not fit for purpose. Pretty sure most of our AFVs have had BVs since about the end of WW2.

David Lee
David Lee
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Certainly all current tracked vehicles in the British army have one or two bv,s

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

Two BVs? Would that be on Warrior?

Not just fitted to tracked vehs – All the British Army MAN trucks in the support vehicle fleet are equipped with
BV as well as Mastiff, Jackal, Foxhound.

[The Americans were very slow to adopt BVs, only later marks of Abrams having one, whereas we had them from the Centurion era].

 

David Lee
David Lee
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As90 and 432 have two bv there is a bv for the landrover but you never see it

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

I had a BV in my FFR LR years ago.

David Lee
David Lee
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I was the number one of an M109 in Germany they didn’t have bv.s being american so we ran one from the back of the slave socket in the drivers cab bloody godsend during granby

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

Thanks for the dit David. The Americans have been very slow to learn the value of the BV.
Ukrainian tankies are absolutely delighted that their CR2s have BVs.

David Lee
David Lee
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yup there’s two in the As90 they received and the others they’re getting

pete
pete
4 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

M109 at top speed on a road used to vibrate your chest making breathing weird. Aluminium hulls not the best material to use for a hull although popular in the past.

David Lee
David Lee
4 days ago
Reply to  pete

I know the vibrations I was on M109 82 to 93 still a good bit of robust kit the M109 A7 is new from the track pads up

Ian M
Ian M
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They all have BV’s

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Sorry, who does, what does? All American AFVs?

Ian M
Ian M
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Nah! The AJAX family if vehicles!😎

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thanks Ian. It would verge on a ‘criminal offence’ if a British AFV did not have one.

Ian M
Ian M
9 days ago
Reply to  David Lee

They all have BV’s

taffybadger
taffybadger
14 days ago

Nimrod MRA4..the revenge!

pete
pete
12 days ago
Reply to  taffybadger

Should shame the idiot who thought you could make it out of recycled old comets!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  pete

That would be a senior bod at HM Treasury. BAE advised firmly that new airframes were required.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
13 days ago

Seriously, I can’t believe they’re smiling here…just for the photo? That would soon change if they’d read all our ukdj posts! 😂

pete
pete
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Its not smiling its baby wind !

Mark B
Mark B
11 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Clearly an old photo. That said they are perhaps now pleased they didn’t have to start from square one on this project. That would have been far more expensive both in financial terms & time. I only hope this turns out to be a decent piece of kit.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 days ago

A bit OT, but picked this up from yesterday’s UK Land Power post (Nicholas Drummond) for all you ORBAT buffs!: “Although it has not yet been published, the British Army’s revised “Future Soldier” strategy plans to adopt a two division model. 1st (UK) Division will be a light division with two light mechanised brigades (7th and 11th) plus 16th Air Assault Brigade, while 3rd (UK) Division will be a heavy division with two armoured brigades (12th and 20th) plus 1st Deep Reconnaissance Strike brigade. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but is not yet an ideal structure.… Read more »