Watchdog to investigate UK AFV programmes

by Tim Ripley

The National Audit Office is to report on the results of its probe into the Ajax reconnaissance vehicle (pictured), Warrior infantry fighting vehicle, Boxer armoured personnel carrier, and Challenger 3 main battle tank upgrade in March 2022. (Crown Copyright)

Four troubled UK armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) are to be investigated by the country's National Audit Office (NAO) spending watchdog.

In a letter dated 30 September, NAO Chief Gareth Davies told the UK Labour Party's shadow defence spokesman, Member of Parliament John Healey, “Having further considered the issues, I have decided to undertake a study looking at four armoured vehicles programmes – Ajax, Boxer, Challenger, and Warrior. I believe that this will enable us to draw out the systemic issues in the [Ministry of Defence's] management of these programmes. The report is currently scheduled for publication in March 2022. Within this approach, I have asked the [NAO defence] team to prioritise their examination of the Ajax programme given the interest you and others in parliament have expressed in it.”

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Janes

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US Army donates M1117 armoured security vehicles to Greece

by Euthymius Petrou

The first 44 M1117 wheeled armoured security vehicles (ASVs) donated by the US Army to Greece arrived in Athens on 26 November.

The vehicles are part of a total of 60 stationed in Germany that were audited by a Hellenic Army committee. They were sent to Greece by rail via central Europe and Bulgaria. The official acceptance ceremony for the vehicles is scheduled for 1 December at the 301 Military Factory in Agioi Anargyroi near Athens.

The ASVs, which were donated without weapons and communication equipment, will be fitted with TRC 92000 radio sets already possessed by the Hellenic Army. They will be armed with M2HB 12.7 mm, M85 50-cal or M-60A1/A3 7.62 mm machine guns.

A second batch of M1117 ASVs will be sent to Greece from the United States. A total of 1,200 vehicles are being audited by Hellenic Army officers and around half are expected to be accepted for Greece.

The 44 M1117s delivered will be deployed to special forces and the next 250 to infantry battalion reconnaissance platoons.

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Egypt negotiating for K9 Thunder howitzers

by Jeremy Binnie

A K9A1 Thunder self-propelled howitzer on display at the EDEX show held in Cairo from 29 November to 2 December 2021. (Hanwha Defense)

The Egyptian military is considering acquiring 155 mm K9 Thunder tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and support vehicles, South Korea's Hanwha Defense announced during the EDEX show held in Cairo on 30 November.

While it revealed no further details of the possible deal, on the same day South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited defence industry officials as saying it would include K10 ammunition resupply vehicles and technology transfer to enable local production of the artillery system.

South Korea has previously transferred technology to Turkey so it can produce its T-155 Fırtına variant of the K9.

If the deal is finalised, Egypt will be first Arab country to order the K9, which has already been exported to several European countries and India.

A photograph of a K9 purportedly taken in Egypt in mid-2017 prompted speculation that the howitzer was being trialled as part of a wider competition that included the French CAESAR wheeled SPH, which was also photographed in Egypt around that time.

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Production commences on Barys 6×6 for Kazakhstan

by Charles Forrester

The Barys 6×6 undergoing assembly at KPE facilities in Kazakhstan. (KPE)

Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering has commenced production of the Barys 6×6 infantry combat vehicle (ICV) as part of an initial order for the Kazakh military's special forces.

The Armed Forces Special Units of the Republic of Kazakhstan have placed an initial order for three vehicles, which is expected to pave the way for a larger order of vehicles to be manufactured by the Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering joint venture between Kazpetromash and Paramount Group. Delivery of the first batch of vehicles is expected by the end of 2021.

The Barys 6×6 is a winterised variant of Paramount Group's Mbombe 6×6 IFV and is operated by two crew members. The vehicle can carry up to eight troops, with the Barys 6 being additionally equipped with fire extinguishing systems, modified hatches, an upgraded mechanical turret, and various systems for attaching and storing weapons and ammunition internally and externally.

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Four troubled UK armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) are to be investigated by the country's National ...

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