The Ministry of Defence is paying for the ongoing noise and vibration tests and trials on the General Dynamics Ajax vehicle programme after soldiers were injured by the vehicle due to defects.
The information comes from a response to a Parliamentary written question.
John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department is paying for ongoing safety tests for the Ajax programme following vibration linked concerns raised in recent trials.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“The Ministry of Defence is paying for the ongoing Millbrook noise and vibration tests and trials on the Ajax programme.”
I wrote yesterday that the Ministry of Defence have confirmed that “there may be a requirement for Warrior to be used in some reconnaissance roles” until the troubled Ajax armoured vehicle is brought into service.
The Ministry of Defence previously stated that while they would no longer upgrade Warrior, the armoured fighting vehicle would remain in service until replaced by Boxer. A total of £430m had been spent on the Warrior upgrade programme. You can read more about Warrior upgrades here.
The Ministry of Defence recently ruled out purchasing an alternative to Ajax as it “remains committed” to the troubled armoured vehicle. 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.”
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.”
Earlier in the year 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.”