The Ministry of Defence say that “positive progress” has been made with Ajax as new in-service dates are confirmed and payments resume to General Dynamics.

UPDATE/CORRECTION 16/03/2023 – Thise headline originally claimed that a new payment was being given to General Dynamics UK, but that was wrong. What’s happening is that payments are resuming, the headline has been amended.

The Ajax is a group of armoured fighting vehicles being developed by General Dynamics UK for the British Army. It has suffered serious development and production difficulties.

According to a Government statement:

“Positive progress has continued on the next phase of Ajax trials, with the Ministry of Defence today confirming the revised in-service dates and resuming payments to General Dynamics for delivery of the programme.

With an initial payment of £480 million, withheld since December 2020 due to challenges with noise and vibration, the MOD will resume payments to General Dynamics as the vehicles are scheduled to enter initial operating capability between July and December 2025.”

Alex Chalk, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, said in an update eon the programme:

The Ministry of Defence have openly acknowledged the problems previously faced by the Ajax programme. Alongside General Dynamics, the Ministry of Defence has successfully completed User Validations Trials to validate the design modifications which have addressed the noise and vibration concerns, allowing the commencement of programmed Reliability Growth Trials on 31 January.

Reliability Growth Trials are a standard part of the acquisition process for military equipment of this nature. These trials stress test the durability of the vehicle’s platform and components through a series of battlefield missions that represent years of activity on the platform. Since starting, the AJAX, APOLLO, ATLAS and ARES variants have driven over 2,260 kilometres through different terrains, completing a variety of representative battlefield tasks such as operating across a range of speeds and terrains, firing weapon systems, using the vehicles systems and communications and completing specialist tasks such as vehicle recoveries and repairs using the integrated crane. Reliability Growth Trials are progressing well. No fundamental design issues have arisen to date. These trials are part of a broader trials programme aimed at validating that contracted vehicle requirements are met.

The MOD have developed with General Dynamics a revised schedule for the delivery of vehicles that is, subject to contract amendment, robust, realistic, and achievable. Revised key delivery milestones set a meaningful Initial Operating Capability of a trained and deployable squadron. This is scheduled to be achieved between July and December 2025. Full Operating Capability will be met when the Army has trained and converted forces to the Ajax platform to deliver Armoured Cavalry capability to the Deep Reconnaissance Strike Brigade and its two Armoured Brigade Combat Teams. This is scheduled to be achieved between October 2028 and September 2029.”

The money is set to resume, too.

“The Ministry of Defence remains clear it will only accept vehicles that comply with General Dynamics’ contractual obligations. The department has withheld payments for work completed and had not made a payment since December 2020. Given the satisfactory progress against the programme, the department will resume payments this month, starting with a payment of £480 million. This is approximately half of what has been held back since December 2020. Restarting payments to General Dynamics reflects the fact that the programme continues to return to a firm footing and supports the delivery of the schedule to deliver operational capability.”

Responding to the government’s Written Ministerial Statement on the Ajax armoured vehicle project, Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said:

“The Conservatives are shelling out billions more of taxpayers’ money on a project which is already six years late and won’t fully deliver until the end of this decade. The Defence Secretary has made Ajax central to the future of the Army and the UK’s ability to fulfil our NATO obligations, yet after 13 years and £4bn investment the Army has still not got a single deployable vehicle.

It is clear the government can’t deliver value for public money or the equipment our forces need to fight. Ministers are failing British taxpayers and British troops.”

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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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PeterS
PeterS
11 months ago

At last some good news. But what an absurd timescale for a new AFV based on an existing platform. The schedule for Boxer also appears to be slipping, not because of technical problems, but supply chain constraints. Ch3 reported as ahead of schedule, but the planned FOC is 2030.

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

I agree, good news however it’s already massively late and hugely expensive. One would hope the army would learn lessons but I seriously doubt they ever will. I suspect the announcement around CH3 is just a PR gimmick. How can’t it be on time and budget when you have not delivered anything.

You just have to look at the kind of army a little place like Finland builds with a budget 10 times smaller than ours to see what can be done in a country with higher wages than the UK and a much smaller industrial base.

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Perhaps a better analagie would be France, broadly speaking similar size budget and similar defence requirements. You only have to look at what the French have achieved via Project Scorpion, to see how poorly we have performed in relation to upgrading/introducing new equipment into the army. Although like you say, Finland and Im sure plenty of others can and do perform far better. The only good news one might argue, is that Ajax et al is back on track for delivery, albeit even later then envisaged.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

OK but places like Finland have zero expeditionary capability. They also rely on reserves which is a much cheaper way of doing things when it comes to generating mass. There is a general culture of shooting and active snow sports which helps with general levels of acclimatisation and fitness. It also helps that the Fins and Swedes (who I have personal knowledge of) try and make the service exercises interesting and fulfilling. I won’t say fun. A lot of French kit is good enough but not the best – there is a rational argument that a lot of UK kit… Read more »

Jim
Jim
11 months ago

Yes true but expeditionary costs are primarily paid by the navy and the Airforce.

Actually I can’t think of a single expeditionary enabling platform or capability the army actually provides.

Our basic Army budget is far in excess of the entire Finish defence budget.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The Points are on Army budget?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

36 Eng Reg, 39 Eng Reg, 17 PM Reg RLC, 29 PCM Reg RLC!
😉
Otherwise Jim, I agree. The other services are imperitive to project the army.

BobA
BobA
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim you completely misunderstand what makes the Army expeditionary – it isn’t platforms – that’s a very Airforce /Navy way of viewing the world. Army expeditionary ability is based around people first, logistics next and finally equipment. I’m not sure exactly where it is now, but when I left in 2017 the entire Army was on 10 days notice to move. When I returned from HERRICK in 2009 we almost immediately went on Spearhead which meant our lead element was on 24 hours notice – 48 hours to effect. That meant people, with Bergans packed, specialist equipment issued not allowed… Read more »

Jim
Jim
11 months ago
Reply to  BobA

How much do those packed Bergen’s cost in comparison to a C17 or an Amphibious dock?

Expeditionary capability is all about logistics and logistics for our of area operations is based on platforms or friendly basing.

BobA
BobA
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Ok Jim, so without the capability to have an affect on the ground, what capability to a C17 or Amphibious dock have? My point is that Army expeditionary capability is people on the ground causing effect.

You’re right to point out that the RN and RAF enable that capability. But I think you were off in saying that the Army doesn’t provide any enabling capability. Even the movers for airlift are RLC.

Simon
Simon
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Finland has conscription, which would seem to mean from what I could find the wage bill is a fraction of the UK army wage bill

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago

Hi mate, that’s not really what I was getting at, probably my bad reply to @Jim’s post. The Finns have the kit to do the job, granted their forces are somewhat more land centric then us, but still agree with @Jim. Our army procurement has been absolutely shambolic over the last decade or so, and yes its not just the army’s fault, but there are always choices to be made, and they have made some bad ones. Yes hindsight and all that notwithstanding. Wrt the French kit, no idea as to how good it is/isn’t, but Project Scorpion has delivered.… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

So long as the french kit has full reverse gears and a white flag packed they are good to go😜😂😂😂
Only joking the french had been doing a lot work around the world. Hopefully this has given them experience of what works well and what doesn’t.

Jonno
Jonno
11 months ago

We could do more to encourage the young to get out and taking healthy exercise.
I agree we have done very badly since Warrior and CH2. We need to form a core of equipment that uses unified parts and maintenance. Presently its a shambles IMHO.
All goes back to the ’80s and the peace dividend. Why has the Navy got its act together and not the Army?
It can be done.

Pacman27
Pacman27
10 months ago

Devils advocate here, take £5bn pa off uk def budget for nuclear and then benchmark we get really poor VFM

you could probably add all the Scandi countries + Israel together & their combined budgets would be similar to ours.

We do seem to spend our money really ineffectively by comparison.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
10 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Off the top of my head these are things that some of the others you list don’t do?

Pensions from to 1950’s -> present – much larger cohort
Nuclear submarines
Heavy airlift
Historic defence estate
Foreign bases
Foreign commitment
Foreign NATO rotations

Pacman27
Pacman27
10 months ago

Indeed, but my point still stands, the nordics & IDF are able to deliver industrial capability and produce some excellent pieces of equipment with far smaller budget.

they have different outputs, but they are getting more bang for their buck..

we should look at every country, what they spend and what they get for their money and benchmark.

In fairness for nuclear subs, I think UK is probably the benchmark & will improve further as we are still rebuilding capability

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The CR3 programme is on time and on budget – both design reviews (Initial and Critical) met the timeline. The end point is equipment delivery but the timeline covers everything.

maurice10
maurice10
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Interestingly all the new kit appears to be streaming for a 2030 ISD. How the introduction dates for Ajax have suddenly been extended by 6/7 years is baffling with around 130 already assembled. All I can think it’s a budget / political issue and not a physical reason. One good aspect of all this is 2030 will probably coincide with the rebuilding of the Russian land armour?

Trevor
Trevor
11 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Presumably in the meantime we just have to hope that no potential adversaries would be so impolite as to start something, like a war in Europe…

maurice10
maurice10
11 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

In truth, watching recent manoeuvres in Germany the veteran FV432s, Warriors and CH2s all appeared to be working well but will be about knackered in 6 or so years from now! Yes, it’s a good job that there are no tank battles taking place in Europe right now. It’s obvious that the MOD is not too concerned by the Ajax ISD slipping until the late 2020s. All I can think is the treasury and the MOD believe the Russian Army is in tatters so why panic?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

In truth CH2 would take out any Russian tanks long before they got a look in.

I do think we need to update to maintain our overmatch but I do t think we need to panic about it right now.

The bigger issue is how difficult ancient stuff is to maintain.

The AS90 will contain PCB parts that are NLA for sure. Getting catalogue transistors that were common in the 90’s is close to impossible as discreet transistor production has all but ceased.

maurice10
maurice10
11 months ago

If we look at the time scale of seven years there will be some raggedness in both Warrior and Bulldog, that’s if Boxer can’t start replacing this pair in real volume before 2030. AS90 augmented by Archer may keep the RA reasonably happy, but the flaky words about AS90 replacement doesn’t fill me with confidence. What further evidence do we need that artillery is key having seen just how vital it’s been in Ukraine? The UK Army will be far happier by 2030 and the fighting vehicle strategy should by then begin to pay dividends.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

I find the date of 2030 depressingly distant.
Given that an AFV might have a life of around 25 years, then we should have replaced Warrior, AS90, CVR(T), residual FV430s a very long time ago – and should be fielding CR3 this year.
Everything is so much later than it should have been.

maurice10
maurice10
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The truth is very worrying as both Ajax and Boxer programmes have slipped and automotive hick-ups on Boxer don’t help matters. The Army is facing a crisis due to these delays and fielding the existing fleets will become the key issue going forward towards 2030. I can see a reduction in availability as the life expectancy of each vehicle becomes critical. The workshops can only help to a degree but knackered vehicles are death traps waiting to happen as seen with some Russian vintage armour. This could result in a form of rationing with regiments babysitting their charges until replaced.… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Surprising that Boxer is slipping as it is a mature product. What are the automotive hiccups?
If the army had to fight a peer opponent now or before 2030, it would have a very difficult job.

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Although to be fair, the only real peers of the British army are other western forces. Russia has proven itself to be a paper tiger and gutted its professional army and china is so far away as to not likely to really be a practicable peer enemy from a combined arms point of view. Lucky we probably have time before the British army is likely to be in a high intensity conflict…as for the lighter easily deployed units they are still as good as they have always been. Although you never do know when we will be in a general… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I have never seen a definition of peer or near-peer army so it is unclear if it is determined by quantity, quality or structure. Anyway armies that are currently less effective than you would expect have a habit of learning lessons and refreshing themselves in future. It was often said that the US Army was poor quality in the Vietnam war (ended in 1975) but was first class by the time of Desert Shield (1990), if not before. I would never write off a future Russian army. I agree that I can’t see the British Army fighting the Chinese army… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes fingers crossed and I do think Russia will be be coming back, nations with a grudge only tend to get a worse grudge in defeat. Especially as at best Russia will only be kicked out of Ukraine. No one will take the stupid risk of going into Russia and making a regime change…that will mean our best outcome is nation with an even bigger grudge so it’s likely to be more of a 1918 situation than a 1945 situation…Russia will likely lick its wound and plan its comeback..but luckily for use it’s gutted it’s army so in all likelihood… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s rumoured that there are automotive supply issues due to the post-wobbles from COVID-19 and the Ukrainian war. Most likely to be chips and other electronic shortages and not an inherent mechanical problem.

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Project managers use CPI to determine how their project fairing against budget. Its an internationally recognised project measurement technique use throughout a project life cycle.

Last edited 11 months ago by Expat
Jon
Jon
11 months ago
Reply to  Expat

CPI is management accounting bs. The idea comes from continuous production scenarios where earned value is easily measurable and therefore CPI = earned value / spend is also objectively measureable. In other scenarios it gets changed to “budgeted cost of worked performed” / spend. It measures how good your original forecasts were against reality, not the other way around, and we all know that Defence projects are underestimated by design. Unless one project manager is held accountable soup to nuts, it’s subject to fudging. To win the plaudits, the project manager can move onto the next phase with hidden technical… Read more »

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon

CPI works if you use it correctly, the scenarios you described are just incompetent project managers and poor project practices which are rife tbh.

Jon
Jon
11 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Actions follow incentives. If your system is set up to incentivise bad practice, that’s what is likely to happen.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The worry I have is that the changes made don’t sound particularly convincing or otherwise if the do solve these problems efficiently only raise the question why such measures took so long to figure out? So far from different reports the three reported measure are: 1) driver controls isolated from hull. 2) thicker cushioning of seats. 3) doubling up on ear plugs for crews. Of these the first seems sensible and likely quite a significant change though more a mechanical remedy for reducing the effects than eradicating the origin of the noise and vibration itself at all, the second seems… Read more »

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Wonder why they have not tried Soucy rubber tracks , they can reduce vibration by up to 70% , the latest CV 90 uses them successfully , would seem to be the logical starting point !

Jonno
Jonno
11 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Or the Net Zero E model with trailer for the spare battery pack and solar charger!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

As an engineer and former REME officer I share your concerns that just mitigations have been put in place rather than fixes to solve the problems at source following a Root Cause Analysis using an 8D or otherwise approach. However it enabled the vehicle to complete User Validation Trials in late 2022 and to go onto RGT, whilst dealing with the health and saefty of occupants, which MoD has stated is a very high (not low) priority and has involved the Surgeon-General. RGT will reveal if reliability is or is not acceptable – and will determine if more substantial fixes… Read more »

PeterS
PeterS
11 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

All the information given has been about noise levels and vibration. I believe time limits on crew time in Warrior and CVRT were imposed in 2019 because of noise issues, possibly caused by amplification by Bowman headsets. The mitigation of noise seems to have been fixed and vibration addressed. But what about the inability to reverse over quite a low barrier? What about the poorly constructed Spanish built hulls that were also said to be adding to vibration problems? Maybe the extended period to FOC is because many of the existing hulls will have to be re-worked or scrapped. I… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s the management and leaders that need to learn some lessons and these should have been well and truly been learnt by now. Foot to the peddle now.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

“supply chain constraints,”I wonder what they are?Australia begins local production of Boxer CRVs 20 MARCH 2023 “Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) has begun full-scale production of the locally made Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs) in Redbank, Ipswich. In a joint press release on 20 March, the Queensland government and Rheinmetall Defence Australia said that with the completion of technology and skills transfer to Rheinmetall’s workforce, the full-scale local production of the Boxer CRVs at the MILVEHCOE can commence. With the support of the Queensland government, Rheinmetall secured the USD5.2 billion Land 400 Phase 2 project to… Read more »

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Well the Boxer production lines in the U.K. and Australia will be required to use local suppliers where possible.
So presumably an issue with something being sourced in the U.K.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel, I was only remarking on this today. When I left the Army in 2001, my last job was at Chertsey working on the MRAV Project (Boxer), that MOD withdrew from in about 2004. Whilst working for MAN Trucks, I went to Australia in 2012 to work on their truck Programme and there was talk about Land 400 Phase 2 (Boxer). I returned from Oz in Mar 2015, and RMMVA where looking at building a facility in Brisbane to do the vehicle hand-overs. In Mar 2018, Rheinmettal signed the contract and the first one came out of the MILVEHCOE this… Read more »

PeterS
PeterS
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Don’t know the detail of Boxer production problems in Europe. But Germany has just ordered 100+ Boxers from Australia which I assume wouldn’t happen if they could be sourced closer to home. I think orders have been outstripping supply across European sites including UK and Netherlands.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Thank you for the update PeterS.

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

So, payments have resumed, with no obvious fines being issued, and as you say, a new timescale. Makes one wonder who was actually at fault for causing this disaster in the first place? Design problems, poor build standards, or, us tinkering with the initial requirements and forcing many many changes on the developers! We will probably never know, but….

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Who specified what to cause the weight growth?

Isn’t that the real story?

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago

Yes, that probably encompasses all of it.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago

MOD, protection, survivabilty. Bosh——weight

Grizzler
Grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Quite a long wait as well…..

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Grizzler

😁

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 months ago
Reply to  Grizzler

i see what you did there.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

I am not aware of manufacturers ever being fined for delivering defence equipment late – do you have examples?

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Only if there’s penalty clauses in the contract, this is normally managed by withholding payment rather than a fine. I doubt their an enforceable penalty clause in the contract

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, thats not where I was going with my original badly written post. It just strikes me as somewhat odd, that a major flaw in this procurement process has added a further 6-7 year delay to it, yet nobody seems responsible!! Payments resumed everything back on track barring the extra delay. While GDUK might be a new concern here in the UK, cant believe that they tendered a bid on the back of a fag packet so to speak, without actually convincing the MOD that they knew what they were doing. Things can go wrong, which you can expect,… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Deep, thanks for that. I think ISD for Ajax was originally to have been 2017, now IOC is 2027, FOC is 2030. So many reasons for delay with many to blame, I suspect. I could list the reasons for delay and failure, as we perhaps all could. GDUK may well have got GDLS USA staff to write or help write the bid, probably, and it would have been well written. But I really wish we had bought CV90 Recce from BAE, or any other vehicle that was proven – there really wasn’t time to develop a new vehicle given that… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Evening Graham, mate it just pains me to see the army in such a sorry state wrt procurement, and that’s the Navy sticking up for you!! (Obviously will need to take myself off into a dark corner and have a good chat with myself after!!!) It does seem odd that we wanted a Recce vehicle to replace Scimitar (7-11 tonnes) and essentially ended up with a 40 ton tank! Indeed we needed to replace the entire CVRT series of vehicles, all in the sub 11 ton weight range, and have managed to effectively produce a somewhat porkier replacement, which could… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

I guess they took a page out of the American hand book- recon/cav forces in the US Army utilise Bradleys if I’m not mistaken. Small and speedy is out, beefy and tough is in. In that context, I guess Ajax makes sense- although it still baffles me how few seats it has in the back. That said, Think Defence did an intereseting piece recently about the importance of having something tracked that was light enough to go in a C130/ sling under a Chinook, which the way it’s going we’ll have none of. A reasonable proportion of our wheeled kit… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes mate, a modern version of Scimitar – fast and light! No chance of that happening any time this decade I would think.

It pains me to compare the vehicles, but said Monsewers across the ditch have a 25 tonne 6×6 that does the same job as Ajax (Recce only), and has a better weapons fit. Not sure if its Recce bling is on the same level, but, they have it in service as we speak! Envy, such a bad trait I know, where did we go wrong…..

Joe16
Joe16
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yeah, the French have done medium weight pretty nicely as far as I can tell- certainly did well in north Africa these last few years. They’ve got the CT40s on their Recce models but with ATGMs, don’t they?
I heard that we’d actually taken a look at some of their wheeled medium weight stuff, but decided to go another route (Boxer and Ajax)- which half makes sense and half doesn’t in my mind. But hey, I’ve never served in any of the servics, so what do I know?!

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Actually I think you’ll find that the French have made a pigs ear of their expeditions in Africa.

Joe16
Joe16
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I’d agree and disagree; like the coalition forces Afghanistan and Iraq, the French combat forces have performed well from the accounts I read. They stopped the attempted takeover of Mali dead and were conducting pretty effective COIN operations with the number of troops they had available. The largest problems to the mission as a whole though, and the reason they’ve failed as you say, is to do with the governments and militaries of the countries they’ve been operating in. They’re corrupt, ineffective, there’ve been multiple coups and takeovers that have fuelled instability inside the countries affected. You can’t win a… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Joe I have no problem with your comments. However, what pisses me off is inane and I’ll informed comments that frequent this site that everyone in the MOD is stupid and they know better, we can’t afford anything and every decision is governed by money and all our kit is useless and everyone else does it better! As someone interested in the field I read not just U.K. sites but those of other nations, so that my comments, when made are as informed as they can be. There are sites which take quite a strong view on childish I’ll include… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

A recce vehicle does not of course need a lot of seats in the back. The so-called APC variant ARES has seats for 4 dismounts – this carries a specialist team – it is not of course an infantry carrier.
I understand it carries a lot of kit internally stowed.
I would have preferred a much lighter, smaller recce vehicle, as we always used to have. They are meant to be covert, not big, bold and brassy and ready for a fight.

Paul Corcoran
Paul Corcoran
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Something along the lines of the Scimitar Mk2 CVR(T) perhaps with the CT40mm cannon?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Corcoran

Scimitar Mk2 is ageing and would probably lack the protection now deemed necessary. Hull is very old. Possibly too small to carry the latest role equipment. Others will be more expert than myself on the fine details of the contemporary RAC requirement.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Lockheed were fined for late delivery of the C130Js off the top of my head. Really depends on the contract.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

FOC for CR3 has always been 2030 (IOC in 2027) – I have always thought this was a very unadventurous timeline. [I worked on the project back in 2016].
What dates have you heard for Boxer?

PeterS
PeterS
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It does seem to lack urgency which matters more because of the change of gun, leaving UK with in effect 2 different tanks.
I’m trying to remember where I read about Boxer timescales. I think one was a report on German manufacturing, the other an answer by a British minister. Again, the project was always rather leisurely with production at @60 per year, so slippage wouldn’t make much difference. Everything ready about 2030?

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Why? I would think that with only two tank regiments due to be equipped with CR3 the change over will take place on the day as it where!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Doubt it. IOC is in 2027 and FOC in 2030 – so there is a 3 year period of issuing CR3s to the army.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

There will no doubt be a period when CR2 and CR3 are in service together. We have been here before – we operated a mixed Chieftain/CR1 fleet from about 1983-1998 (ish).

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

This seems to refute some of the silly comments on this blog;

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

Jon Agar
Jon Agar
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Trouble is yes it was based on a existing Platform that won the procurement criteria set out. and no sooner had it done that. Army top brass took that design which was say a Land rover Defender and switched it to Range Rover. Issue is with Ajax the top brass and senior chiefs. who wanted there case of whisky from LM

Jon Agar
Jon Agar
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Supply Chains are strained due to the shortage of Steal, Ukraine supplies non existent, and due to the energy firms not making steel on priced orders as it not profitable

john melling
john melling
11 months ago

It’s been a complete disaster and should have been canceled
We are now stuck waiting until 2028/29…
Other choices were available 🙄

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  john melling

I understand that only CV90 (Recce) was seriously looked at – and rejected for unknown reasons (speculation being that MoD/politicians ‘had a downer’ on BAE at the time). If true, that is crazy.
When I worked on Future BRV, we evaluated 7 or 8 bids from industry.

Defo2023
Defo2023
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Our Politicians aren’t interested in British or UK bids, more about how much they get in kickbacks from European countries, and BAe is seen has the bad guy?
If the CV90 had been chosen it would now be in service, but the usual throw money at a an already over budget and late in service vehicle puts our troops at further risk in an increasingly unstable world.

Last edited 11 months ago by Defo2023
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 months ago
Reply to  Defo2023

I have not seen evidence of our politicians taking bribes from European countries. I think the days of BAE being the bad guy are over.
I think any option other than GDUK and their Ajax would have been a vast improvement whether it be BAE CV90 recce variant or anything else.
Don’t think Ajax is over budget? why do you say that? It is a firm price contract – GDUK will have paid for the technical fixes.

Pete
Pete
11 months ago

Headline makes it sound like additional money (beyond contract price) has been agreed to. Clearly that’s not the case. Assume there must be some form of remedial work to be performed on existing units already delivered and hence the timescales now quoted. Good news it’s progressing but those timecales…I’m assuming MOD is slowing cash flow!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Pete

I hear not many units were delivered before the debacle – less than 20 ARES?
Doesn’t sound like the remedial work is complex – little more than fitting new seat cushions and headsets.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

26

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
11 months ago

After pissing yet more £billlions on this failed project – primarily to protect the careers of the senior army incompetents and MoD civil servants responsible for this slow-motion train wreck of a cock-up – it will be left to the incoming Labour government to cancel

This is a bad day for the lads and lasses who will have to work in this thing, sitting on specialist double-sprung seats and wearing hugely expensive headphones that will at best mitigate the vibration/noise problem, not cure it

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Many commentators seem to be on MOD bashing autopilot. I presume GD will make a substantial loss from this contract. It is fixed price, so they won’t get a penny more for full delivery. I presume they have already paid for long lead items and have to bear running costs of factory etc whilst not delivering and will also have to bear the costs of mechanical fixes. Yes they are delayed, but were not involved in any land wars at present and are unlikely to be so in the near future. So yes, it would have been nice to have… Read more »

Ian M.
Ian M.
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

A sensible reply.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

GDUK is a very new company that makes very modest profits – I agree that they are unlikely to make much, if anything, from this project – and may well make a loss.

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Perhaps they follow the tactics of Hamworthy Engineering , they sold pumps at cost and made the profits from marking up spare part prices, due to weight expect track, wheel and torsion bar life won’t be that long !

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I think the main question will be once added to the front line forces how usable and effective they will be in a land war. Too much equipment has been acquired over the years aimed more at passing a Beauty contest in peace time over their utility and effectiveness in a shooting war (our frigates having been a good example in the past). I hope this will be truly solved in this case as the previous expectation that we won’t be going into a shooting war with a serious enemy is no longer a dependable presumption. Still questions to answered… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

So Spy’ where does this nonsense originate? Do you have any proof? Evidence of British “kit” suggests that in most categories it compares favourably with everybody else’s “kit”. I mean are we talking about the German light tank “kit” where a whole squadron failed to start! Or the US destroyer “kit” which had to be cancelled at 3 ships and had guns that had to be scrapped, costing billions? Or the French “kit” the Cdg which has spent more time being serviced than on missions?
Give us a break!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I am no massive fan of Ajax but I have to accept that the armour protection spec looks very good, the 40mm stabilised cannon is a huge improvement on the RARDEN and it will carry a great sensor package with digital conectivity. I don’t doubt their effectiveness in a land war.
Major gaffe to not provide a telescopic mast to elevate sensors though.

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sadly the Rarden was capable of a dual feed and stabilisation when Warrior was being spec’d. These were written out as part of the cost savings “strategy”. I am still surprised that it wasn’t revisited as a mod in later life though.

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

good job nothings really kicked off in Europe then init….

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

Yeah good news Ukrainians don’t need our soldiers just our spare kit!

Ian M.
Ian M.
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Double sprung? No springs involved. The previous headsets and ear protection are also hugely expensive, so no change there. On what basis do you make the statement: “failed project”?
cheers

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Don’t know the details but the seats are indeed receiving extra cushioning whatever means that involves as one of the remedy solutions, the extra ear protection with conformable ear plugs or similar raises questions too which impinge on other compromises we simply do not know and it won’t be advertised if their are other implications. The dampening of the controls and turret seems in principle like something we can immediately comprehend the advantages of however, one presumes without innate related downsides though expense and complexity could be a result.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Have you inhaled a thesaurus?

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Will troops being transported by Ares be given ear protection upon embarkation?

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

All crew and pax wear hearing protection to the same standard.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

If the project was cancelled, it would be a failed project. Ajax is a recovering project.
You attribute no blame to Industry or politicians – why not?
Why would Labour cancel this project in or around May 2025? It will be through Reliability Growth Trials (and hopefully it will have done well).
I agree that GDUK seems to have fixed the symptoms not the causes of all problems – in my day we did a Root Cause Analysis – and then fixed root causes.

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Why would Labour cancel it, just because it was a tory project? Politicians have a habit of doing illogical things based on their politics and to have swipe at the other party.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Well as the Labour bloke has accused Wallace of shelling out billions more on a failed project shows he has no knowledge on the actual state of affairs! So if he cancels it that is £5b wasted on a project now showing progress! Then he will spunk billions on another selection process to select another wagon that will take ages to come into service! So who would waste the money?

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

👍 bob on

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Doubtful as the factory is in a part of Wales with limited job opportunities !

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Not a problem Labour has promised 400k new green jobs.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
11 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Not a problem then as Boxer and Ajax are painted…Green!

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Isn’t that green washing 😀

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

The real scandal is they have been hiding the problems for years and going on with the propaganda of the vehicle being a “step change ” in AFV development !

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
11 months ago

So what was the fix?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

I posted this in another thread, is it a fix or a bodge to save faces? One for the experts on here if this is in fact the case. Ben Wallace is quoted as saying that Ajax has turned a corner, so I guess that’s a positive sign! “The latest version of Ajax includes heavier density foam in the front seats and control joysticks – used to aim Ajax’s 40mm cannon – which are no longer fixed to the hull. The addition of rubber seals between the joysticks and Ajax’s metal frame has drastically reduced the vibrations. For the first… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I’m no expert but it doesn’t look to me like they have fixed anything. What’s been provided is a bunch of mitigations to make the excessive noise and vibration tolerable to the crew. I suspect the platform is still a dud but the contract has been so badly drafted/managed that it’s not possible to hold GD liable. This is what happens when you write contracts to ‘outputs’ instead of defining specifications, manufacturer can (legitimately) argue that outputs are met, with mitigations, even if the underlying platform is clearly a POS. The Army doesn’t have the option to just take the… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Sonik
Quill
Quill
11 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

It is as you suspect. It was reported the excessive vibrations hampered much of the sensors and even led to the vehicle being unable to fire on the move, so if all the current mitigations only focus in crew, what of the vehicle’s systems? Hell this whole debacle by the army has not only wasted billions but led to potential billions that could’ve helped replace the aging Warrior fleet, potentially with the upgrade that was scrapped or a new replacement such as CV90 since boxer is not a single solution that fits all, tracked ifvs still have a place in… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Quill

No sensors were hampered in the making of this motion picture, sorry AJAX. It fires on the move, moving at moving, it reverses up steps, it can hear and see, it can store data, it can transmit data. Get your FACTS right.
Cheers

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

“It fires on the move, moving at moving, it reverses up steps, it can hear and see, it can store data, it can transmit data”

I’ve been following the Ajax saga for months. I have not seen anything anywhere confirming the 40mm gun can fire repeatedly and accurately on the move. Neither have i seen anything about the gear train etc being re-engineered so it can actually reverse, let alone up steps. Where is your source of info, I would like to have a look at it

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Ian has long claimed to be the sole gatekeeper to the truth about Ajax, afaik they’ve never provided any evidence and usually gets a bit insulting when questioned.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Nah, you’ve got the wrong bloke!😳

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

I have never claimed to be the sole gatekeeper to anything, especially AJAX, what I like to do, when I’m able is debunk misinformation or half truths with facts. I have my sources, which are not in the public domain as explained to David Lloyd above.
Cheers
No insults, see👍😁

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Hi Tomartyr.

I don’t think Ian has never “claimed” anything. People ask questions, he replies with what he can say as one of the SME’s on here with regards to armoured vehicles.

Which is fine by me.

Insults? Who? When? I must be reading the wrong Ian’s posts these last several years.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Hi David, my source of information is a contractor employee associated with trials activities so I have no links to post. I have seen evidence presented to the MOD that shows all of the above. Don’t forget, when all of these tests and trials take place, there is ALWAYS an MOD witness (or ten) in attendance.
Cheers

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Why bother mate some idiot makes up some reason or other that has NO basis in fact and all of a sudden that’s the reason for the delays🙄 People ask for someone with a bit of insider knowledge and then proceed with their own agenda and knock said person back!
I mean I did hear from a sailor in the NAAFI queue in Pompey that a Chinese sub fired a Russian hypersonic torpedo at the POW😉it missed but the massive wake caused all the problems with the shaft etc👍 Proper gen that.

Ian M.
Ian M.
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

😂
😂
I try my best to keep the guys and girls on here informed. If I get knocked, then at least they’re leaving some other poor sod alone.
cheers
Ian

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

OK, so you are posting uncorroborated third party information in an attempt to sound important and knowlegeable. No change there then

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

How about giving us your sources then? I’m sure they are impeccable!

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Don’t be silly Jacko m8 I’m subject to the OSA like most who post here!

The Forces News YouTube channel is a good source of into on Ajax. This link was up-to-date a couple of months back

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yelfweglWbM

And this one is three months old however it does show the (clamped) gun firing and if you watch carefully you can actually see it shaking when on the move and the music is good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC3ILjJDmro

Enjoy 🙂

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

No problem but Ian M source is also looking after his job by not wanting to be named etc. there are recent videos on you tube of Ares and Ajax going around Bovington test track filmed by civilians who clearly show the time and date.

peter wait
peter wait
10 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Turret wobble on the Warrior upgrade required the development of the muzzle break for CTA 40 lol, if BAE had fitted the warrior 2000turret and 30 mm cannon the project would have worked !

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Hi David, what’s uncorroborated about time stamped video and verbal evidence from multiple sources, most not connected to the contractor? I have no interest in ‘sounding important’, however, compared to a lot of posters on here, I am relatively knowledgeable on this topic.
Cheers

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Bravo mate, stick to your guns.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago

Cheers👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

You did the same for me once when dealing with unwarranted comments from posters. No worries mate.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago

👍

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ian, being mostly in the know, can you clarify the number of dismounts that Ares can carry, as I’ve seen it vary from 3, 4 to 7?

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davey, ARES carries 4 dismounts;
1x Tactical Commander
3x soldiers
=4
👍

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Cheers Ian. If the comms and recce kit was removed from the cabin, would that allow for another 3 pax? You can see where I’m going with this train of thought.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I can and I don’t like to derail it. With the Tac Cmdr position sacrificed I think 6 pax is doable. But not the seven that Wr carries.

peter wait
peter wait
10 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Ian’s post from December 15 2021 to Blue fuzz “the noise issue is not mechanically vehicle related as stated in the report when the vehicle is driving by its actually quite quiet “. This is still on this website, we think he works for GD sales and marketing lol

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

You are right that the root causes of the faults do not seem to have been fixed, just the symptoms.
If the vehicle does what is required it will pass muster and money will be paid.

Joe16
Joe16
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I did read on a comment on here at one point that the problem is confined to the Ajax variant, as opposed to Ares etc. Don’t know if that’s true, but if so I’m guessing the problems are to do with how the turret fits and interfaces with the hull. A big, heavy, spinning thing, with the associated motors etc. could easily cause issues making the hull (and especially the turret controls such as the gun joysticks) to vibrate and do so loudly. If that’s the case, then a number of these “mitigations” sound more like revising and upgrading a… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Thanks Joe, I had not heard that noise and vibration had been rstricted to the turreted Ajax variant. I have never known a rotating turret to throw up N&V problems. It would account for why the army had accepted 26 ARES vehicles though.
I doubt that GDUK will consider fixes to resolve the problem at source (rather than mitigating effects), if MoD has deemed the vehicle passed the User Validation Trials in late 2022.
Vehicles are now on RGT – remains to be seen what the MoD makes of the vehicle in these quite different trials.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Mitigation I wish that word had come to mind in my previous replies because so far that is what it is, not a cure for the innate problems unfortunately. Only time will tell if it’s enough though having given up on deformable ear plugs when going to bed because they are a pain in the ass I wouldn’t want to rely on them while entering and fighting in a military vehicle in a war zone.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

And your evidence for this nonsense is?

Ian M.
Ian M.
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Not a “bodge” Nigel, an engineering solution to a perceived problem. The hearing protection mods are going to be across the tracked fleet. The crewguard also supplies the connectivity to vehicle comms, these too have been enhanced. AV mounts are now used to hold the control handles (not joysticks) onto the various crew stations.
cheers

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Hi Ian, any news of replacing the steel tracks with the Soucy band tracks? If it works really well on CV90s, why not Ajax?

Benefits would be less generated noise and vibration, easier maintenance, higher road speed and better fuel economy. Plus they save a ton and half in weight.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

There are downsides to band type tracks; short tracking to expedite getting the fcuk outa Dodge after damage is a no go. I’ve seen and heard WR with Soucy tracks, V quiet. As the AJAX programme evolves don’t be surprised to see them at least trialled.
Cheers

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

I spoke to the Norwegians whilst in Afghan, who were trialling the band tracks on a pair of their CV90s. They said they were very impressed, not just because of the much lower noise, but on the durability of the track. This came as quite a surprise, as they thought the sharp rocks that littered Afghan would soon wear them down being made of rubber. We asked the question about loosing a track. One of the guys said it happened a few weeks ago, when they were attacked by a manually triggered IED. They showed us a splicing kit, that… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davey, not heard of a splicing kit (didn’t even know CV90 had a mainbrace! Sorry).
Cheers

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

As I’m now a civvy, I have to use cordiality, respecting other peoples feelings and am not supposed to use the base language that I used in the past – apparently 😉!

Have a look at the Soucy website. They had a video of a track repair using the kit.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Will do, ta.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

It has all the hallmarks of a bodge to me Ian M in order to save face and leave someone else to sort out the mess further down the line. FOC by 2030, if no other faults are found during the 18-month trial period and a partial solution at best as the core issues to the problem have not been addressed. If AV mounts are now used to hold the control handles for example, what’s causing the excessive vibration for them to have to be installed in the first place? Secondly, why two sets of ear defenders if the noise… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

All’s good with me ta.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

👍

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thanks Nigel. These fixes as you report do not seem robust to my way of thinking. Many on this forum have experience of using such vehicles. What do they think?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Agreed.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I left the army in 2009 but I don’t recall any need for hearing protection by AFV crews. Sure they were noisy, but not that noisy. Just standard headsets were worn.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, all tracked AFV’s are fcuking noisy. The reason that ‘back in the day’ there was no problem is because no one was looking for one. I drove and commanded 432 for years and have slightly reduced hearing on my left side, from the fans. Nowadays, H&S are all over noise like a rash so mitigation is the name of the game. AJAX’s noise reduction applies right across the tracked fleet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Hi Ian, your greater experience at working in tracked AFVs is ‘on point’. Thanks.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Mitigation doesn’t fix an issue. The issue always remains. Example. In the RN the twin 30 and single 30 exceeded the H&S exposure limits by a considerable amount. So the hearing protection became not just over ear gun duffs as it was at the time but also in ears ( yellow foamies). That helped to mitigate it. Further studies and there was still an issue with exposure limits being exceeded. Gun duffs changed to active protection ( V Good!) and in ear foamies. Exposure mitigated further but still an issue. Now the guns are remote operated with no one in… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I fully agree. Someone was too scared to tackle the root causes of the noise and vibration because of the resulting time and cost issues.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, the root cause of the problem is trying to force between 40 -65 tonnes of steel to travel on steel tracks with steel wheels. As I’ve explained, this is not a new phenomena! Today, I commented on the CRAARV, beating up the road where I’m currently working. The rejoinder from the crowd was; “fuck me that’s loud!”
Cheers
Ian

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Still quieter than a Leopard 2 though!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

CRARRV – I was Equipment Support Manager for CRARRV in 2002-3 (and many other vehicles of course).

Of course, as you know, the road wheels and return rollers are rubber-edged and the tracks have rubber track pads, but I know what you mean.

Great piece of kit – sort of CR1.5 in technology terms. Don’t think it was ever upgraded? Anyway, replacement is long overdue (ISD was 1988) – I believe we should retire ie replace AFVs after about 25 years or so.

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I do agree Graham, poor old things should be put out to pasture😁

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Not sure I went that far! CSS always gets the next bit of shiny kit years late. I just about recall the HARRV project which was to provide AS90 Regt Wksps with a CRARRV-like vehicle but with newer (CR2?) technology – it could have been the blue-print to replace CRARRVs across the board – project was scrapped of course.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

So basically sit on a pillow and stick your fingers in your ears? Does not sound like a fix, just a lame workaround.
At some point better to just bite the bullet and get CV90. It works and I get the feeling Ajax story is just going to get worse with maintenance etc… just like the Puma has proven to be problematic for Germany.

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

If a chain gun is axially mounted on its side due to turret space constraints it will suffer ejection port jams as was designed with gravity assistance in mind !

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Where do you get this tosh from?

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

You remind me of Don Quixote , first you say it does not need fixing , then you think its wonderful its fixed with mitigation solutions. A guess at your profile would be ex lower league public school , a spell as officer in Logistics Corp’s and now something like GD supply chain manager, white and divorced ! Ajax will be accepted into the Army in its bit rubbish state and when the fuss has died down they will spend another billion on rubber tracks and suspension upgrades when they think the fuss has died down !

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

I is white, correct!
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Ajax will be accepted if it sails through RGT (and other end of programme hurdles).

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
11 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

There wasn’t one. The MoD says “its turned the corner” and shelled out £450 millions of their new defence settlement to GD.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Well unless you have concrete proof no fixes have been made you look a bit silly spouting off on it! They haven’t wasted any money of the new settlement it’s just renewing payments now it’s going ahead as you would see if you bothered to read the article properly🙄

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

This would not come out of the new settlement. The money was budgeted for years ago.

Bulkhead
Bulkhead
11 months ago

I smell shite 😎

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

Check your shoes!

Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Or your pants.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

😂

Bulkhead
Bulkhead
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Trouble is Nigel it’s a scam. The vibration and noise problems are still there, they’ve just done a work around. If the vibration is not sorted they will have mechanical problems all the time, reliability will be a nightmare 😎

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

The next 18 months will tell us more no doubt. “The defence committee are so frustrated now with all of these endless procurement problems and cost overruns and delays. “We’ve established a special subcommittee to conduct an inquiry into what’s wrong with our procurement, specifically to look at (DE&S),” Mark Francois said. “But I think it’s probably not giving away, you know, the Trident codes here to say that we are likely to look very closely at the Ajax Problem program as an example of something that went horribly wrong,” the Conservative MP added.  The MOD project to build 589 state-of-the-art… Read more »

Bulkhead
Bulkhead
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

🖕

Ron
Ron
11 months ago

I am a bit confussed with the timescale. From my understanding 143 vehicles are almost complete, 416 hulls are ready and 120 40mm turrets are complete. I am starting to wonder if the issue of the schedule of 2028-29 is to do with the Morpheus communication system being problamatic and a change in concept from Bowman replacement to Bowman Evolve to Open.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Having to rework all completed vehicles perhaps?

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
11 months ago

Ajax washes whiter.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago

Off-Topic, but some more positive news! Unsure what the FOC will be.Update – DSEI Japan 2023: Aeralis, ShinMaywa sign contract to collaborate on digital engineering
21 MARCH 2023

“The UK-based Aeralis signed a contract with Japanese company ShinMaywa to collaborate on the implementation of digital engineering processes for military aircraft design and manufacturing in Japan.

Using digital engineering, the UK firm has developed the Aeralis modular aircraft system that can perform a range of training and operational tasks, the company’s business development director Richard Eastment told Janes at DSEI Japan 2023, held in Chiba from 15 to 17 March.”

Last edited 11 months ago by Nigel Collins
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
11 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Have Aeralis actually manufactured anything that actually flies yet ?

Does “digital engineering” mean they have done some really fancy modern versions of 3D CAD and have some nice looking CGI representations. They’ve digitally made the aircraft – not physically, yet.
Didn’t even need models in wind tunnels or prototypes – they did that digitally too.

Last edited 11 months ago by Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago

And the answer to the problem is?

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago

😄

Sean
Sean
11 months ago

Very misleading headline.
Instead of “Ajax gets more money”, it should read “some withheld payments for Ajax now being made”.

In other words, when issues were identified with Ajax, the MoD rightly withheld making further payments to GD. Now that fixes appear to be working the MoD has begun to make some of these payments. Both the withholding and resumption of payments would have been covered by the contract.

Expat
Expat
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Yep, spot on. But you’ll never make a politician pointing out the obvious 🙂

Sean
Sean
11 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Oh I’d fail on the being ‘dull and boring’ requirement too…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean

👍

George Amery
George Amery
11 months ago

Hi folks hope all is well. As you may gather I’m not as expert on military matters as most of you on this site. However, we have the recent news on POW aircraft carrier and the cost of repairs. Now the issue with Ajax’s issues, the MOD have quite rightly withheld payment until the concerns are resolved. Nonetheless, there must be a level of compensation rather than handing over more tax payers cash. I think we can all appreciate the development of a new brand of military vehicle is complex keeping pace of technology, nonetheless issues about noise; a very… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

Well if you make the contact too tough you pay more for it. It is that simple. Or at the worst case nobody will touch it.

The issue here is The Good Ideas Club and upping the specs

There is a rule of thumb in construction about potential compensation payments:basically the price increases to cover them off.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

Compensation? For delaying the programme? I don’t know where & when that has happened before.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 months ago

If we get one fully re-equipped armoured brigade this side of 2030 I will be amazed. Twenty years to replace Challenger with Challenger; Ajax eight years late and counting and where is Boxer exactly.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
11 months ago

‘ … yet after 13 years and £4bn investment the Army has still not got a single deployable vehicle.’

No fan of Labour but that’s the issue in nutshell. This project should have been cancelled and monies recovered from G.D.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Barry, If we cancelled every cutting edge defence project that had technical or other issues in development and was delayed, we would not have much kit in the inventory. We certainly would not have two aircraft carriers.

grizzler
grizzler
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

how much kit do we have in the inventory …tbh atm we dont even have 2 carriers we have 1 – and ironically thats also due to technical design/acceptance issues as well from what I can see.
All a bit of a joke really….

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, I am old and we have. The Supermarine Swift I recall quite well. These issues with Ajax are in a class of their own.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago

Beyond all the predictable snipes and moans, good news.
This capability is needed, quickly, the RAC is already retiring the CVRTs, and vehicles like Sultan are already gone.

Deep32
Deep32
11 months ago

And that mate is the real crux of the matter this extra delay will cause. It does look as though we will have a capability gap depending on when Ajax/variants are delivered and CVRT series are finally retired! We really don’t help ourselves do we?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

They are using Warrior apparently as a stopgap, and I’d read one of the Regs has had its ORBAT changed considerably as there are not enough vehicles for the Recc Sqna.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

Is the RAC retiring the CVR(T) family too quickly?
I know some Warriors are being prepared (and crews trained) to replace Scimitar as a stop-gap recce vehicle until Ajax is fielded – but what is replacing Sultan and all the other CVR(T)s until Ajax variants are fielded? If we go to war tomorrow, what do we go with?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Retirement, so I read, is 2023 for the CVRT family.
Re Sultan, no idea. It is not great is it? The RAC Regs will be going round on foot or in MAN trucks at this rate.

Simon
Simon
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We also sold 123 vehicles to Latvia 2014

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon

That was OK – we built over 5,000 CVR(T)s for the British Army which was then cut several times since 1970, so we had quite a few to spare!

Sleepy
Sleepy
11 months ago

I can’t see why Labour are acting all high and mighty, the Ajax project is a hangover from the old FRES project 0f the 2000’s and it was the Labour administration in March 2010 that decided to go with GD and ASCOD as opposed to BAe and CV90.

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  Sleepy

Now now you are not supposed to remember stuff like that🙄😂😂

David Steeper
David Steeper
11 months ago
Reply to  Sleepy

Ssshhhh !

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Sleepy

First Tracer. Then MRAV – Boxer. Then FRES. Then FRES UV. All cancelled by Labour with over 1 billion spent.
Oh how I’d love to be on TV having a nice chat with the Shadow DS.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago

UK defence spending as share of GDP drops despite Ukraine war By Deborah Haynes, security and defence editor “UK defence spending as a share of national income fell last year compared with 2021 despite Russia’s war in Ukraine, new figures released by NATO have revealed. In total, only seven countries – including Britain – met the minimum threshold of allocating at least 2% of GDP to their armed forces in 2022, down by one nation from the previous year. Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general, said: “The pace we have when it comes to increased defence spending is not high enough.… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 months ago

Well it’s good news Ajax is performing better with CH3 ,Boxer, and Archer platform coming into service it’s time we look after our Army been forgotten about far to long 🇬🇧

Tim
Tim
11 months ago

The 2030 are looking pretty good.

Ch3, ajax, boxer, type 26, type 31, type 45 sorted out, both carriers thoroughly shaken down, f35 fully into service, dreadnought coming online, all astute up and running etc!

Surely the future is looking good?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Yes, hopefully, but that will be a long 7 year wait.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Don’t say positive stuff, the suicide squad will hate you. We all know the country is in decline and nothing done by MOD is successful and we have the smallest military budget on the planet!

RobW
RobW
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Don’t forget Tempest, E3, FC/ASW, FSS ships, all manner of drones, more M270 with long range fires, MFP (more Archer perhaps), Dragonfire, etc etc

There is also investment at Barrow which could enable SSN(R) to be built in greater numbers than Astute.

There is lots going on. Could do with a little more cash though to bring it all together and spend on enablers.

DFJ123
DFJ123
11 months ago

So imagine that this does play out on time from now, what are we going to do with 500+ tracked scout vehicles given that we’ll only have 150 tanks and no tracked IFV? Isn’t the ratio of tracked scout/recce to tank meant to be around 1:1?

Secondly, will recce even be done by manned vehicles in the 2030’s? Ajax has no integrated drone or ATGM unlike the new CV90’s. It’s going to be born out of date.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

245 of the Ajax family being procured are the turreted Ajax, of which 198 are in the Recce/Strike role. I have never heard of a magic ratio as you describe – where does that come from? I fully agree that we may well mourn the loss of a tracked IFV – all Boxers replacing Warrior must have a beefy stabilised cannon (ideally 40mm) and we will have to trust (hope) that they will have the ability to keep up with CR3 in all terrain and weather conditions (especially in deep, thick glutinous mud, isce and snow) – otherwise it wil… Read more »

DFJ123
DFJ123
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

There is no magic ratio, there’s just common sense. When you have a shortage of money and assets, devoting the vast majority of your force to scouting rather than fighting units is a problem. There’s no point in finding the enemy if all you can then do is wave at them. Ideally the British Army’s HBCT’s will have a balance of options. The Ajax order was placed when the British Army intended to field a full heavy fighting division and had significantly more tanks than it will possess in 2030. We do not need 500 Ajax family vehicles for the… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

I speak as a layman. I think you have proposed some promising lines of thought. I note that GD Griffen is based on ASCOD – given Akeron, Ajax might have as much of a future as a light tank than a discrete recce vehicle. Ares only carries 4 men I think so is not an IFV but I wonder if it might be feasible to make an IFV version. Would the army prefer such a tracked option to a turreted wheeled Boxer?

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul.P
DFJ123
DFJ123
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The Ares version has room for 6 if you remove some of the stowage. I think the army has already entirely ditched any hope of a tracked IFV in the foreseeable future so it’s all irrelevant anyway. It’s not based on what they want, they’ve fucked their equipment plan so badly that they have to make the best of their bad choices. Remarkably they’re still even then making bad choices on top of the old bad choices but they’re committed to Boxer and Ajax.

Last edited 11 months ago by DFJ123
Paul.P
Paul.P
11 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

Well, as the saying goes, ‘we are where we are’ and the finances mean we will have to think carefully where to spend next. The received wisdom is that Boxer is very expensive. A CTA40mm module IFV would be nice …but at what cost? Would you have a workable / cheaper / sooner ( and tracked) IFV solution if you put a Kongsberg RS60 or RT40 on Ares? I’ve no idea…just asking the question. I notice the US have chosen the RT40 for the next version of Stryker ( a vehicle which is reportedly more popular among US troops than… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul.P
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

MoD declared that Warrior would be replaced by Boxer in May 2021 – it would not have been my call! But that is what they want to do. It must at least have a decent stabilised cannon.

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

Too late to consider stretching ARES to make an IFV – anyway it has no cannon. The MoD has decided (in May 2021) to replace Warrior with some type of Boxer – many think it will just have a MG – hope not – it needs a 40mm stabilised cannon as that was the army’s requirement as stated for the cancelled WCSP programme.

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

Sadly you are probably right about the chance of creating an IFV from Ares. If the Boxer IFV is a done deal then the discussion reduces to a) rs4 0.50 cal plus Javelins b) rs6 with a 30mm (same as US Stryker) c) a remote turret with a 30mm ( lots to choose from) d) a new project….fit the CTA 40mm turret; I doubt we have the money in the near term. I think it will enter service with option a) …we have ordered the rs4 and the kits which take a brace of Javelins + a mortar carrying version… Read more »

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

Paul, the CT40 cannon and it’s associated ammunition handling system is, in my view ideal for integrating into an unmanned turret. This would remove the need for a large volume turret on top of ARES. Add in an extra roadwheel, hence length and TADA an IFV. Just my ponderings.
cheers

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

Hi Ian, so far, most folks seem to dismiss the possibility of modifying Ares from a 4 man engineering support role to either an APC or even an IFV. It’s fundamental engineering looks good; impressive speed, tracks, armour, Startrek comms…it seems a pity not to evaluate the possibility, though I appreciate it might be regarded politically as a high risk expensive ( unaffordable?) project. As regards dismounting, the door at the rear seems very small compared to Warrior …I think that’s a basic issue.

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

Agreed Paul, whilst powered, it is a tad tight for 6 guys to bail out rapido style.

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

The Defence Command Paper of March 2021 is very clear – Boxer will replace the upgraded Warrior (WCSP).

If those Boxers specifically to replace Warrior (not the other ones) does not have a cannon (just a MG), then it is not an IFV – it is a mere APC – and this will be a huge retrograde step – mission failure is highly likely and lives will be lost.

We have ordered 28 Boxer mortar carriers which replace FV 432 mortar carriers.

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

I didn’t know we had ordered the 28 mortar carriers. So what it looks like is that we are waiting for the funds to put the CTA cannon on Boxer.

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

MoD announced the main order on 5 Nov 2019. From Wikipedia: ‘In terms of numbers, 285 personnel-carrying variants are on order, divided into 85 infantry carriers, 60 engineer section vehicles, 62 recce/fire support vehicles, and 28 mortar carriers. Another 50 of the APC variants are to be configured for equipment support as repair vehicles (MIV-REP) and these are dependent on source presented as the fourth variant. A total of 177 Boxer are ordered in the C4I configurations, again divided into 123 command-and-control (C2) and C2 utility vehicles, 19 observation post vehicles, 24 beyond-line-of-sight observation platforms, and 11 EW and SIGINT… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I’m still curious how there are more C2 vehicles than infantry carriers, and how just 85 infantry carriers will be enough spread between 5 Battalions.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

Yes, I wonder if the army has screwed up! If a Platoon commander has an infantry carrier rather than a C4I wagon, that is 4 per Platoon ie 36 per battalion – so enough for just two battalions.
Of course that breakdown in Wiki was for the main Tranche 1 order and did not include the 100-vehicles follow on order, so don’t know what type they are.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Maybe the C2 and support variants situation vs personnel carriers is compounded due to Strikes demise.
When there were to be 4 deployable Bdes,
2 AI Bdes and 2 Strike, the CS CSS elements of each, REME, RA, RE, RS, were going to split tracked to the AI with Ajax versions and wheeled Boxers with the Strike Bdes. They’ve now reduced to 2 and the remains in 7 LMBCT and 4 LBCT have no real use for either Ajax or Boxer being too light for either.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

Hopefully someone in MoD has recut the order to reflect the change to Structure. REME wagons (Ajax and Boxer) will of course be at both First Line (with Combat Arms units) and at Second Line.

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

Thanks for that detail; and for confirmation of the design capabilities of Rarden – appropriate for that era. Now I agree, time has moved on and we need to upgrade to fight the same way and win. I’ll bet Ukrainian forces would give their eye teeth for Warrior with the 40mm.

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

Thanks. I bet our own Infantry also would give their eye teeth for a fully modernised Warrior complete with 40mm cannon – rather than a wheeled Boxer which might only have a MG.

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

Reflecting on your summary of the firepower available to a platoon today, I find it difficult to believe a way will not be found to replace what Warrior brings. I’d go so far as to say it is necessary to the very definition of armoured infantry. I think that’s why it continues in service …while they figure out what to do / what we can afford now that WCSP is cancelled. That said I’m sure Boxer with MG will enter service as an APC. Scholarship question; having made a new turret for CTA 40mm is it cheaper or more expensive… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul.P
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Warrior was a very fine vehicle when it was first fielded from 1987 – our first IFV, replacing ‘old school’ APCs. It later got Bowman and thermal Imaging (BGTI) but did not get the major upgrade it required ie WCSP. It continues in service because its successor has not yet been delivered – that successor is Boxer. If Boxer enters service with the armoured infantry (those who work with tanks) with just a MG, it will be a mere APC and we will have been thrown back to the ‘old days’ notwithstanding that it will be a new vehicle and… Read more »

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

So all we need is an oversized camera adapter 😉

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

The problem is DFJ, you assume that everybody but you is stupid, everyone in the MOD, that is. So you are either a technical wizard of the highest order….or?

DFJ123
DFJ123
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I’m just another layman and my thoughts are formed from reading in depth what the people who are very clued up are saying, like on pretty much any topic. The Army is a total clusterfuck however and I’m not going to give the MOD the benefit of the doubt. The Ajax program is a complete and utter clusterfuck, that’s just a fact.

I’m very very very happy for someone more informed to go through my post and explain why I’m wrong.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

Well Mr. Layman, the trouble is you keep repeating the nonsense of the popular press headlines. If you bothered to pay attention to some of the knowledgeable posters on this site who actually work and have worked within the defence industry and have served, you would know that everything looks easy to a “genius” that never has to do the job. You would also know that many of your comments are nonsense,if you read what those with Experience know. But hey why bother to look intelligent…..

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

Very interesting post – many thanks. Armoured recce vehicles are of course found as close recce assets in armd inf bns and armoured regts – plus medium or formation recce deployed in the FEBA and sometimes on the flanks. So are not uniquely ratiod to the number of tanks in the deployed force. Interesting that we bought over 5,000 CVR(Ts) and now 589 replacements draws criticism – albeit the army has shrunk since the 1970s. Not all the 589 vehicles are deployed in scouting, but I understand your point about imbalance. Our armoured BCTs (ABCT) of course can do more… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

GM, for telescopic mast read “drone”. There is no future in telescopic masts outside of subs!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

No future in telescopic masts! They are everywhere. I think in my first fieldcraft lesson in conducting recces in the army cadets it was stressed the importance of gaining height for an uninterrupted and longer range view – and better radio comms. When I worked with the Canadian Forces I was always impressed by their Coyote recce vehicle with a telescopic mast (ISD 1996). There are several other countries which elevate surveillance sensors (and radio transceivers) by means of a telescopic mast, too numerous to mention. Vehicle can be under or in cover whilst using mast mounted sensors. So you… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

GM comments appreciated and noted. However, my comments emphasised “future”, whilst telescopic masts may have been great in the past, they are the past. With drones, you ain’t seen nothing yet. They will, over the coming years get exponentially better. AI in drones is at a nascent stage. Future drones will be set a task, do it and return autonomously. And I’m talking 2/3 years not 5/10 years.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Thanks mate. I still think my list of negatives is valid, no matter how much more clever drones get…and are we talking only one drone per vehicle? If that drone goes u/s or is shot down or jammed, then the expensive Ajax will be useless.

Why have Ajax if drones will be so good. Why not just launch multiple drones from a flatbed truck many, many km back from the FEBA?

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Infantry are beginning to carry drones anyway. They usually come in batches of 2/3/4 and there is a trade off between size endurance etc

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 months ago

Still seems like appalling time wastage with these delays here. Can’t they really improve on these timetables? Even saving a whole single year would be something! Any time management experts here?

David Owen
David Owen
11 months ago

This bloody useless tory government has a lot to answer to ie the British people, conned into buying crap that doesn’t do its job ,work or anything else ,like the said tories, general dynamics got chased by the us army pile of shit ,quote an American general ,so could please some let the British people know when they come into service ,

Jacko
Jacko
11 months ago
Reply to  David Owen

I’m sure someone will be along soon to give you Labours record on defence procurement!(it isn’t good) As stated above this saga actually started with them👍

David Owen
David Owen
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Exactly jacko,Labour are just as guilty and what they will come up with?our boys need the stuff now not years from now ,start praying all of us ,personally if Labour do nothing shit creek here we come but I forget we all ready are

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 months ago

I’ve lost “track”, pardon the pun, but can someone here confirm that the Warrier upgrade is dead in water and there’s not even a smidgeon of a partial upgrade happening? It seems it’ll also be ages before the Army sees a new tracked APC/IFV.

Ian M.
Ian M.
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Correct, not even a smidgeon

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

What I am wondering is whether serious consideration might actually be being given to the notion that you can construct an effective armoured infantry battalion without a Warrior replacement i.e. with currently known Ajax assets, additional Boxer variants ( e.g. mortar, overwatch) but not a turreted IFV.
Or are we just finding it difficult financially to fund a 40mm CTA Boxer project or even buy one of the available 30mm cannon turrets?

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul.P
Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul, without any real depth of knowledge on the subject I can only offer an opinion. My thoughts are that everything Army wise, at the moment is driven by a financial imperative, rather than an operational one. So, will the MOD spring for a 40mm CTAi turret? Only because they have c. 250 cannons lurking in Donnington.
Cheers

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

I suppose that’s what I was I was driving at in a tangential way. As far as I understand the IFV came into being for a reason. If that reason has not gone away it’s still needed. And you can just imagine what the press would make of a fire sale of 40mm cannons.

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

Totally agree Paul.
Cheers

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

An IFV (by definition is equipped with a cannon) is central to the structure and role of an armoured infantry battalion. We have had a cannon since 1987 (ISD of Warrior) to provide fire support to infantry whether they are advancing to contact, debussing or in a defensive position. Why do you want to lose four cannons per platoon? Are you a bean counter? The troops need this firepower to seize objectives or defend positions. With a very small army, organic firepower is even more vital hence the army requirement to boost that capability to a stablised and larger calibre… Read more »

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

Well, not a bean counter..a tax payer of course 🙂
I agree the cannon is at the centre of the discussion. If you don’t have one then you end up using a (very expensive) Javelin or similar.
In some of my reading I have formed the impression that in many situations 30mm is not enough so I can appreciate the desire to move to 40mm and not just any 40mm; the CTA cannon shells appear to be a quantum level above other 40mm.

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

Paul, the CT40 round is a very effective beast in all of it’s variations. APFSDS will penetrate 140mm of RHA at 1500m, the airburst round (to be introduced) is very good against troops in cover or behind cover, the HE round carries a lot of bang in it’s 40mm.
cheers

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

The RARDEN 30mm cannon’s primary targets are enemy APCs/IFVs at ranges of 1000-1500m but can also penetrate side armour of most Russian tanks. It also provides general suppressive fire in the general direction of the enemy whether the enemy are dismounted, in strong points, buildings etc A Platoon with 4 Warriors will have 800 rounds of 30mm cannon ammo that it could put down against a variety of target types, before resupply. It is not remotely comparable to loosing off 1 or 2 Javelins at a MBT. The reason that the Warrior upgrade included a 40mm cannon is of course… Read more »

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

Excellent! Many thanks. So now we get to core of the matter…the Warrior – Rarden combo is actually pretty good except that the cannon is not stabilised.

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

Yes. The 30mm RARDEN cannon was designed by RARDE in 1966 and has given very good service over a long time both on Scimitar and Warrior; it was designed to defeat an APC at a range of 1000 – 1500m and to penetrate the side armour of a MBT – but it also delivers general supporting fire, essential for the success of the armoured infantry in seizing and holding ground.

But the army now requires a stabilised 40mm cannon on their IFV.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Warrior upgrade (WCSP) was cancelled in Mar 2021 and announced in the Defence Commmand Paper – and will be replaced by some type of Boxer – such a crap decision.
https://www.overtdefense.com/2021/03/23/warrior-capability-sustainment-program-axed-in-favor-of-boxer/

Clearly the army (or some unnamed politician or bean counter!) apparently no longer wants a tracked IFV (forget APC to carry a rifle section – we moved on from that type when Warrior (IFV) was fielded in from 1987).

Matt C
Matt C
11 months ago

What a canned reply from Labour. Clearly they had nothing concrete to respond with.

Tim
Tim
11 months ago

Unless the latest technology and capabilities are utilised and not the specifications demanded ten plus years ago, it may still be a viable replacement.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
11 months ago

Just a thought. Since the army plans on a tank force of 148 Challenger 3, does it make sense to have 580 Ajax/Ares?
From my understanding these are supposed to support tanks, so why so many for such a limited number of tanks.
May have been more sensible to purchase 300 CV90 and with the rest of the money more boxers (40 CTA, Shorad, 120mm mortar, 12.7mm APC, command, ambulance versions), archers, and himars, much better suited for air transport and quick expeditionary force
My 2 cents

Last edited 11 months ago by Lordtemplar
Ian M
Ian M
11 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Daniele M will explain the proposed Orbat I’m sure.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
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