Britain expects 589 40mm Ajax AFVs, but delivery is threatened

LONDON, ($1=0.77 GBP) — 5.5 billion British pounds [$ 7.21 billion], half of which has already been paid to the Ajax [General Dynamics Land Systems UK – GDLS-UK] contractor for the production and delivery of 589 major Ajax combat vehicles to the British Army. However, it turns out that the Ministry of Defense on the island does not know when the AFVs will be delivered at all.

British tanks for $ 5 billion defective two years after delivery
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The National Audit Office [NAO] of the United Kingdom has come out with a detailed report on the state of the Ajax program and the report is definitely more than critical. The problems are many, according to the report.

First, GDLS-UK has already extended its service life by another four years. Thus, the British military still does not know when they will remember to operate vehicles. There are dozens of technical problems, including disagreements over safety between the guarantor and the contractor. It is not known when these problems will be ironed out and resolved.

New version of the British military combat vehicle Ajax
Photo credit: GDLS UK

The criticisms of the NAO?

NAO criticizes the contractor. According to financiers, GDLS-UK has never been able to understand the scale of the program and its complexity, which has led to wrong decisions. Stages have been missed and unsolvable problems have been allowed, the NAO report said. Last but not least, the NAO recalls that the British government has already spent more than half of the funds provided, but the state of the program does not currently show the real value of the money spent.

The NAO concludes in its report that the British Defense Ministry must learn from its mistakes, which, as experts note, have been “made before”. It is not known when Her Majesty’s Royal Ground Forces will be able to operate the promising combat vehicles.

General Dynamics Ajax

Ajax is an armored combat vehicle that needs to be fully digitalized and increase the combat capability of the British ground forces. At present, however, only 324 corps have been built, only 143 armored vehicles have been assembled and completed, and the British Army has received only 26 units.

Britain expects 589 40mm Ajax AFV, but delivery is threatened
Photo credit: Wikipedia

For years, stages and target dates in the production of the armored vehicle were missed. The NAO says that the problem of noise and vibration and their impact on the health of soldiers have not yet been resolved.

Otherwise, Ajax is a 38-ton “monster” with the ability to reach 42 tons, depending on modifications and armaments. It is powered by MTU Friedrichshafen 600 kW (800 bhp) V8 engin and RENK 6 speed HSWL 256B transmission. The maximum speed that Ajax develops is 70 km / h.

The main armament consists of a CT40 40 mm gun developed jointly by BAE Systems and Nexter. The L94A1 coaxial 7.62 mm chain gun Kongsberg Protector Remote Weapon Station is also located on the turret. The vehicle is driven by a crew of 3 soldiers and will be able to transport an additional seven.


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