Safety warnings on Ajax were not acted upon, UK MoD says

by Tim Ripley

Safety warnings on Ajax were not acted upon, UK defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin told parliament on 15 December. (Crown Copyright)

A string of safety warnings about noise and vibration problems with the Ajax family of armoured vehicles were not acted upon by the British Army, according to a review by the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) Director of Health, Safety and Environmental Protection, David King.

UK defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin revealed on 15 December that engineering solutions to the problems, which led to the exposure of 310 soldiers to unsafe levels of noise and vibration, had yet to be agreed with Ajax contractor General Dynamics Land Systems.

Quin told the UK parliament, “The review finds that the failure was complex and systemic. It finds that a culture exists of not treating safety as equally important as cost and time in the acquisition process, and from a cultural perspective, the British Army did not believe it was potentially causing harm to people, especially from vibration, as it was tacitly expected that soldiers can and should endure such issues.”


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Czech Republic to receive Leopard 2 tanks from Germany

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany will supply Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic. (Bundeswehr/Detmar Modes)

Germany will supply Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic, the two countries' ministries of defence (MoDs) announced on 18 May. The German MoD, in a press release, described the donation as backfill in support of the Czech Republic supplying heavy equipment to Ukraine.

However, the Czech MoD told Janes on 23 May, “The German decision to provide 15 tanks is a sign of appreciation to all the efforts of the Czech Republic to provide as much military equipment as possible to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. However, it is not tied to any specific Czech deliveries.”

The German MoD said that Germany would pay for the tanks from industry stock, and the Bundeswehr would train Czech crews. Germany will also provide ammunition and spare parts for the tanks.


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Slovenia signs Boxer contract

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Slovenian Boxers will be based on the Lithuanian version (pictured), which is equipped with a Rafael Samson Mk II RWS. (Lithuanian MoD)

Slovenia, represented by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), signed a contract with Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) consortium Artec to purchase 45 Boxer armoured vehicles in four variants worth a total of EUR281.5 million (USD296.3 million), the consortium and its two constituent companies announced in a joint press release on 17 May.

The Slovenian Ministry of Defence (MoD) originally announced the decision to procure Boxer through OCCAR in February 2018 for its Central Battalion Battle Groups.

OCCAR said on its website on 12 May that the Slovenian Boxers will be based on the Lithuanian Boxer design, including the Rafael Samson Mk II remote weapon station (RWS). Rheinmetall told Janes on 18 May that there would only be minimal adaptations to the Boxers to Slovenian requirements thanks to the vehicles' modularity. OCCAR expects the first Boxer deliveries from KMW through Artec in 2023 and the consortium said they would be completed in 2026.


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BMPT Terminator makes combat debut in Ukraine

by Miko Vranic

A 90th Guards Tank Division BMPT providing fire support to T-72 tanks during a March 2021 exercise in Russia's Central Military District. (Russian MoD)

Russia's RIA Novosti news agency on 18 May confirmed the deployment of the Boevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov (Tank Support Fighting Vehicle, BMPT) Terminator, three days after footage showing four of the vehicles accompanied by a couple of T-72 family main battle tanks (MBTs) purportedly taken in the Luhansk oblast in eastern Ukraine began circulating on Russian social media.

The BMPT is a heavily armed and armoured vehicle, the protection and mobility of which matches that of a MBT, is designed to provide suppressive fire against enemy infantry.

The vehicle has been assigned the Main Automotive-Armoured Tank Directorate (GABTU) index code Obyekt (Object) 199 and was initially dubbed Ramka (Frame) 99. It was marketed as Terminator to foreign customers, likely inspired by the blockbuster US film of the same name, which was later also adopted by the Russian Ministry of Defence.


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A string of safety warnings about noise and vibration problems with the Ajax family of armoured vehi...

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