589 modern British 40mm Ajax V8 AFVs may never enter service
LONDON ($1=0.80 British Pounds) — The British Ministry of Defense has no idea, nor does it know when the ordered 589 modern 40mm Ajax AFVs will enter service, and whether the problem of noise and vibration in the vehicle will be solved.
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Criticism came from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee [PAC], describing the situation as a threat to national security. PAC chairwoman Dame Meg Hillier said: “Enough is enough – the MoD must fix or fail this program, before more risk to our national security and more billions of taxpayers’ money wasted.”
The first operational combat-ready Ajax AFV was to enter service in 2017. To date, the British Army has 26 units delivered, but they can only be used for training. In reality, not a single operational combat-ready armored vehicle has been delivered, and British taxpayers have already spent half of the 5.5 billion British pounds [$ 7.21 billion] earmarked for the program.
The PAC released the critical report this Friday [June 3rd]. This report is the second in just a few weeks after the National Audit Office [NAO] of the United Kingdom presented its report on the state of the Ajax program in mid-May. The NAO report is also critical and does not really differ from that of the PAC.
Both of the reports mentioned above describe the development of the program as follows: vehicle manufacturer Ajax General Dynamics Land Systems UK [GDLSUK] never understood the importance of the program and its complexity. GDLSUK makes the wrong decisions, and there is a lack of control on the part of the government in the face of the British Ministry of Defense – both for solving problems and for spending money.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that 700 British citizens are employed in the Ajax program, and the production of armored vehicles is carried out at the GDLSUK based in Merthyr Tydfil. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that years ago some problems, including noise and vibration, were discovered during the training of staff with Ajax AFV. So far, these problems have not been eliminated, and those involved in the training had to be treated due to injuries.
“Between the lines,” the PAC report reveals another problem that indirectly affects national security and increases unforeseen spending of money: Britain needs to invest in the maintenance and modernization of Warrior armored vehicles, which have been in operation for 35 years [since 1987]. However, Warrior cannot meet current expectations.
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.
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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