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British Army received the first batch of Ares armored personnel carriers

LONDON, (BM) – The British Army has announced the delivery of the first six Ares armored personnel carriers to a cavalry regiment stationed in Belfort, Wiltshire, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. This regiment became the first combat unit to be equipped with the Ajax family equipment.

Read more: Rheinmetall and BAE Systems to Start Manufacture the Boxer Multirole Fighting Vehicle in the UK

“Ares” and other variants of armored vehicles from the “Ajax” family should replace the outdated tracked armored vehicles of the CVR (T) family, which have been in service with the British Armed Forces for about 50 years.

As reported by TSAMTO [news agency – ed.], in September 2014, the British Ministry of Defense signed a contract with General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, which was selected by the contractor back in 2010, for the supply of 589 Scout Specialist Vehicle (Scout SV) specialized armored vehicles designed to equip armored cavalry units.

The total value of the agreement was £ 3.5 billion ($ 5.6 billion). In September 2015, the family was renamed Ajax. The equipment will be supplied to the British Army in six versions: armed with a 40-mm cannon of the Ajax combat reconnaissance vehicle (245 vehicles ordered), Ares armored personnel carrier (93 vehicles ordered), Atena command and staff vehicle (112 vehicles ordered), armored the Apollo repair and recovery vehicle (50 vehicles ordered), the Atlas repair vehicle (38 vehicles ordered), the Argus engineering reconnaissance vehicle (51 vehicles ordered).

In accordance with the terms of the contract, the first 100 vehicles will be assembled at General Dynamics’ facilities in Spain, and the remaining 489 at the new GDLS UK plant in Merthyr Tidville (UK).

It was assumed that the supply of armored vehicles of the Ajax family to combat units would begin in mid-2019, however, due to various problems, the transfer of equipment was postponed.

Read more: Rheinmetall Defence Australia Has Been Awarded a €2.1 billion Boxer CRV Contract

In June 2020, it became known that the UK Department of Defense was revising the schedule for the implementation of the Ajax program after it was discovered that the first batch of serial armored vehicles was not ready for delivery.

Details have not yet been released. The cost of the Ajax program is currently estimated at £ 5.3 billion ($ 6.7 billion).

According to the available information, the combat weight of the basic version of the Ares armored personnel carrier is 33 tons. The vehicle is designed to carry 6 people (a crew of 2 people and 4 paratroopers) in special hanging seats.

The armored personnel carrier body provides protection from small arms fire and mine detonation. The armored personnel carrier version uses a remotely controlled weapon module with a 12.7 mm machine gun.

The UK Buys 500 Boxer 8×8 Armored Vehicles

As we reported last November, the British Ministry of Defense has signed a contract to supply the armed forces of the kingdom of armored personnel carriers GTK Boxer with 8×8 wheel formulas of various modifications.

An agreement worth 2,8 billion pounds has been signed with the European procurement Organization for Cooperation in the field of armaments (Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation – OCCAR). Deliveries of armored personnel carriers will begin in the 2023 year.

Read more: Estonia wants to start production of military armored vehicles

The British War Department said that at the first stage, four modifications of the armored personnel carrier will be purchased: a linear armored personnel carrier, command and staff vehicle, a medical vehicle and an armament carrier.

It is planned to equip the BTR Boxer (MIV) at the first stage of four motorized infantry battalions – two in two formed by the new “shock” brigades (Strike Brigade) of the British army.

In total, it is planned to purchase up to 900 armored vehicles with the wheel formula 8×8, while it was previously reported that the contract should provide for the ability to build and export vehicles from the UK, including the complete assembly of Boxer in the UK with at least 60% participation in the production of British industry.

Recall that the UK was originally part of the GTK Boxer BTR development program (MRAV) along with Germany and the Netherlands, but withdrew from it in 2003 to “create its own BTR”. However, in 2018, the UK Department of Defense announced its return to the program. Thus, Britain will become the fifth country after Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Australia, which received this armored personnel carrier.

The Boxer is a multipurpose armored personnel carrier with 8 × 8 wheel formula. This German-Dutch development has a modular design that allows it to carry various weapons, including automatic guns and anti-tank missiles.

Read more: Qatar donated dozens of armored vehicles to the Jordanian army

In addition, based on the Boxer, mobile command posts, armored medical vehicles, etc. Due to the additional composite armor, the BTR Boxer is considered one of the most secure machines in its class. With a full combat load, the armored personnel carrier weighs 36,5 t and is capable of speeds up to 103 km / h.

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