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British Army AJAX Making Positive Progress

AJAX is put through its paces at Kirkcudbright Ranges, June 2023 [Crown Copyright OGL: Mark Owens]

The AJAX Programme is making positive progress towards the delivery of a new generation of AFVs that meets the British Army’s needs.

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News Release, Whitehall, 23 December 2023: The AJAX Programme has turned a corner and is progressing towards the delivery of a new generation of armoured fighting vehicles that meets the Army’s needs, against a revised delivery schedule that sets realistic and achievable milestones.

The MoD continues to work closely with General Dynamics to deliver the 589 vehicles, of which there are six variants, all based upon a common base platform. Reliability and Growth Trials (RGT) are well underway. AJAX, APOLLO, ATLAS and ARES variants have now driven more than 20,000 kilometres through different terrains, completing a variety of representative battlefield missions. RGT allows significantly more activity to be completed compared to regular unit training.

ARES and AJAX deployed with 1 DRS BCT on Exercise SCORPION CYCLONE, September 2023 [© Bob Morrison]

Since June, units of the Field Army have been training on the current AJAX variant (Capability Drop 1), focusing on individual and crew training. This training is enabling troops to learn how to operate the armoured vehicles and use the systems integrated into them. The training will also enable the crew to develop skills, experience and competence ahead of the delivery of the Capability Drop 3 vehicles, the upgraded fully deployable variant. Capability Drop 3 vehicle production continues at Merthyr Tydfil with all production lines operating and all six variants in progress, with delivery to the Field army starting in 2024.

AJAX deployed with 1 DRS BCT on Exercise SCORPION CYCLONE, September 2023 [© Bob Morrison]

Senior Responsible Owner for the Armoured Cavalry Programme, Chris Bowbrick said: “I’m thrilled with the progress made across the programme over the last six months. We must maintain momentum to deliver this new generation of armoured fighting vehicles for the British Army.”

The New Year starts with AJAX Live Crew Clearance Cold Climate Trials taking place in Sweden. This is the first time AJAX will be firing with Field Army Crews outside of the UK, a significant milestone for the programme.

AJAX and ARES (foreground) are put through their paces at Kirkcudbright Ranges in Scotland, June 2023 [Crown Copyright OGL: Mark Owens]

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