General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) (Stand 03-C07) is showing for the first time in the Middle East a model of its new infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) it has proposed for the Australian Army Land 400 Phase 3 requirement for a mounted close combat capability (MCCC), and other potential export customers.
This leverages from the Ajax family of tracked vehicles that GDLS –UK has developed to meet the requirements of the British Army to replace its Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) Scorpion family.
The new vehicle for Australia is fitted with a GDLS-designed two-person turret armed with a stabilised 30mm dual-feed cannon and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, coupled to a computerised fire control system. Hull and turret are fitted with a modular passive armour package to provide a high level of protection, especially against mines and improvised explosive devices. For improved protection against rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank guided weapons, a hard kill defensive aids system is fitted.
In addition to its crew of commander, gunner and driver, the vehicle can carry six dismounts, who can rapidly enter and leave via the power-operated ramp.
The Land 400 Phase 3 requirement is for 450 vehicles to replace the currently deployed M113AS4 series vehicles. There are two elements to the MCCC: an IFV and a manoeuvre support vehicle (MSV). Australia issued the request for tender in August 2018 and these have to be returned by 1 March 2019, with a down-select to two contenders for a risk mitigation activity before final down-select to one vehicle. Projected initial operating capability is in 2024/25. The British Army is due to take delivery of 589 Ajax series, with initial production being undertaken in Spain, followed by transfer to the UK at GDLS’ facilities in South Wales.
In addition to the dedicated Ajax reconnaissance vehicle fitted with a two-person turret armed with a CTAI 40mm Cased Telescoped Armament System and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, there is a family of variants already developed. These are the Ares armoured personnel carrier, Athena command and control vehicle, Apollo support vehicle with crane, Atlas recovery vehicle, and the Argus engineer vehicle.