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Watchdog to investigate UK AFV programmes

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 on 4 October, “We want our armed forces to have the very best ships, aircraft, and vehicles, while always delivering value for money at every stage of our procurement programmes. We support the NAO's review as defence continues to deliver its ambitious modernisation plans set out in the Integrated Review. Through new streamlined processes and developing our industry contracts with a focus on delivery, we have delivered over GBP6.2 billion [USD8.4 billion] of Equipment Plan financial savings since 2016 and are on course to deliver GBP3 billion of efficiency savings between 2021 and 2025.”

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