UK MoD and GDUK give update on ‘troubled' Ajax programme

by Jon Hawkes

In an oral hearing of the UK's House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC), representatives from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the British Army, and General Dynamics UK (GDUK) gave evidence on the UK's ‘troubled' Ajax AFV programme on 20 July.

They confirmed that serious problems around noise and vibration present an uncertain future for the vehicle, with significant risk for all parties involved, although GDUK remained confident that the issues can be readily resolved.

In a series of sessions the committee interrogated both GDUK and the MoD on the programme, seeking some clarity on reports that issues with noise and vibration have caused injuries to British Army personnel operating the vehicles during trials and acceptance testing, and the implications these issues have for the programme's future.

General Dynamics UK AJAX tracked reconnaissance vehicle for the British Army.  (Crown Copyright)

General Dynamics UK AJAX tracked reconnaissance vehicle for the British Army. (Crown Copyright)

“I describe Ajax as a troubled programme. I wish it wasn't, but it is,” Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said. “It requires a lot of work from ourselves and our industry partners to get ourselves back on track. We can't be 100% certain that can be achieved.”

The noise and vibration issues led to an independent review in June to identify the root cause, but this was then itself suspended following reports of injuries to members of the testing crews.

“The trials, I hope, will be able to resume soon in Millbrook [Proving Ground],” said Quin. “We need to get through those trials, get the data, and then be in a position to work through what engineering fixes if any need to be applied, and then we will be able to know IOC [initial operating capability].”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-mod-and-gduk-give-update-on-troubled-ajax-programme_19116

In an oral hearing of the UK's House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC), representatives from the U...

Associated services

Related news

Request Consultation

Request a free consultation to discover how Janes can provide you with assured, interconnected open-source intelligence.

Details