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British Army AJAX Cold Weather Trials in Sweden

The AJAX firing and moving in extreme weather conditions in Sweden [Crown Copyright]

The British Army’s AJAX has successfully illustrated its capacity to operate in extreme cold weather and snow on trials in Sweden.

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News Release, Abbey Wood, Bristol, 06 March 2024: Members of the DE&S AJAX delivery team worked with the British Army Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) to put AJAX through its paces in sub-zero temperatures in Sweden.

AJAX, the British Army’s new generation of armoured fighting vehicle, successfully illustrated its capacity to operate in extreme cold weather and snow (temperatures plummeted as low as -36 degrees Celsius), as well as firing on the move with accuracy. In doing so, HCR marked a significant milestone in becoming the first Field Army crew to fire the AJAX. The vehicle comes equipped with cutting-edge Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) technology, at home and abroad.

The AJAX being tested in extreme weather conditions in Sweden [Crown Copyright]

One of the key DE&S personnel at the cold weather trials in Tåme was Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Paul Martin. As the Range Conducting Officer, he ran the range and firing serials in Sweden as he does in the UK. He said:” It was great to work alongside our Army colleagues and industry who all have one common purpose, and that’s the end goal of delivering this exceptional platform to the Field Army.

“It was an extremely challenging environment, but working as a group we were able to successfully deliver our objective of demonstrating that AJAX can travel long distances over snow-covered terrain, and fire on the move with great accuracy.

“Ultimately, AJAX exceeded our expectations, and the exceptional work across the group saw us gather more data than expected, which will inform the wider team and help them understand exactly what this exciting platform can do.”

Also present in Tåme was Lieutenant Colonel James Glossop, the DE&S delivery team’s Operation and Army HQ liaison. He said: “It was very impressive to see AJAX perform in Sweden. I was lucky enough to see the platforms fire during a snowstorm and use its sighting systems to identify, engage and hit targets that were simply unable to be seen by the naked eye. It was incredibly impressive, and a reminder of the competitive edge this armoured vehicle will bring the British Army.”

AJAX is an advanced fleet of Armoured Fighting Vehicles that provides deep reconnaissance and strike effect in contested battlespace. It enables an all-weather capability that can rapidly find and understand an adversary using its advanced sensor suite at increased range.

Major Robert Gardner, Trials and Capability Development with the Army, said: “Over the trial, the AJAX demonstrated itself to be very effective in this environment. We’ve seen no drop in its effectiveness compared to those in the UK, which is really positive. And now we’ve proved the cold climate, the next step is to prove it in hot weather this summer, at which point it is essentially proven and deployable in all situations.”

The programme is centred around the delivery of a family of 589 tracked and fully digitised AJAX platforms, comprising sic variants through a contract with General Dynamics Land Systems (UK).

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