Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

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Lord Jim
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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

They are obviously hoping Ajax will fade in to the background and nor cause any public shaming etc. I wonder how the Defence Select Committee will look at this turn of events. There is no way it should take a further six months to work out what to do with Ajax. The independent testing of the platform was supposed to identify the actual issues and the solutions before the end of last year, but something has obviously come up or we would have had headlines that Ajax is fixed and back on track as it is one of the Army's key programmes, or so they say every time they defend the programme.

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

Post by SW1 »

https://static.rusi.org/312-Ajax.pdf

The travails of the Ajax programme have been widely publicised in Parliament and the media. This Emerging Insights paper provides an interim analysis of how and why this situation has come about.

It argues that the plight of the programme must be understood in the context of over 15 years of British Army and Ministry of Defence (MoD) failure to follow through on armoured vehicle projects, resulting in a loss of expertise in both the industrial and governmental sectors. It also confirms that the MoD, the Army customer, the procurement body and industry have all contributed to the programme’s shortcomings. The paper identifies four preliminary lessons.

First, it underlines the necessity for government to maintain a drumbeat of orders if it wishes to maintain a national industrial capability in a sector.

Second, if government runs down its in-house expertise, it must rely on corporate claims about what is possible in a period of time for a fixed sum of money. Yet, especially in a competitive context, companies can be driven towards excessive optimism in their offers.

Third, when projects involve an extensive development and production effort, a team approach that brings together suppliers, procurement bodies and customers is likely to work better than arms-length relationships.

Fourth, looking for individuals and bodies to blame does not incentivise transparency and effective lesson identification and learning.

The paper recommends that the planned inquiry focuses on holding to account individuals who were involved not only in recent years but also from the start of the programme, requiring them to identify the decisions they took. There is a need to understand the pressures that directed them to behave as they did so future acquisition programmes can be managed differently. The paper includes key questions for all the parties involved.
Many defence budgets overrun their schedules and budgets, and do not fulfil all their requirements. However, it is rare for an order to go into production that is fundamentally unsafe for its crews and simply not fit for purpose.

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

Post by mr.fred »

The Russian advance on Pristina airport has to be one of the most successful military operation of all time. 200 paratroopers on light armour disrupted Western armour development for twenty years and counting.

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

Post by RunningStrong »

SW1 wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 17:25 However, it is rare for an order to go into production that is fundamentally unsafe for its crews and simply not fit for purpose.
That's somewhat of an exaggeration when taken in the context of AFVs. And more specifically noise and vibration. Let alone CO, Cyanide and shock...

Literally anyone with first-hand AFV experience will attest to that.

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

Post by SW1 »

RunningStrong wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 19:03
SW1 wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 17:25 However, it is rare for an order to go into production that is fundamentally unsafe for its crews and simply not fit for purpose.
That's somewhat of an exaggeration when taken in the context of AFVs. And more specifically noise and vibration. Let alone CO, Cyanide and shock...

Literally anyone with first-hand AFV experience will attest to that.
They are not my words simply a copy of the report summary. I have no experience of afv to say if it’s true or false.

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whitelancer
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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

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RunningStrong wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 19:03 Let alone CO, Cyanide and shock...
Sorry you have lost me, not sure what you mean!

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army

Post by mr.fred »

whitelancer wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 19:26
RunningStrong wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 19:03 Let alone CO, Cyanide and shock...
Sorry you have lost me, not sure what you mean!
At a rough guess, he means carbon monoxide and cyanide from gun fumes in the fighting compartment. Shock… from driving over obstacles, maybe? I’ve seen footage of a Challenger bouncing across a desert and one particularly energetic bump rattles the loader around his hatch like a basketball in a hoop before dropping out of view.

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

Senior Managers, both Military and Civilian who have worked on the Ajax programme at DE&S Andover are going to be in the crosshairs of the report. If their actions give GDUK the evidence they need to show that DE&S accepted and signed off on all stages so far including the IOC vehicles. If as a result this allows GDUK to state that they have not breached any of the terms of the contract and are entitled to compensation up to the remaining value of the contract, it will be the equivalent of the Night of the long knives with senior individuals trying to point the finger at anyone but themselves. How this will effect staff from DE&S who have moved on to other jobs within the MoD or moved to the civilian sector is going to be setting a huge precedent for the future. Could we even see legal action being taken against individuals ? The report is going to have major implication for the MoD and DE&S in particular as will affect all the Armed Services. It could also see GDUK expelled from future work of the MoD in areas they do not have a strong foundation of expertise.

However I cannot see the media getting excited about the report or its ramifications. They will still be concentration on "Partygate", or whatever new red top headline takes its place. No doubt the Defence Select Committee will have mush to say on this subject but their recommendations will not have any real impact as usual.

We can just keep our collective fingers crossed that the Boxer and Challenger 3 programmes are more successful and do form a foundation of a future Land Industrial Strategy. If Rheinmetall and its partners do not deliver the MoD will be looking for platform that are manufactured overseas form then on. A very sad end for a Country that developed the AFV and was a world leader for a time. It could be compared to teh USA leaving the aviation business! :lolno:

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army

Post by RunningStrong »

mr.fred wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 19:39
whitelancer wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 19:26
RunningStrong wrote: 21 Jan 2022, 19:03 Let alone CO, Cyanide and shock...
Sorry you have lost me, not sure what you mean!
At a rough guess, he means carbon monoxide and cyanide from gun fumes in the fighting compartment. Shock… from driving over obstacles, maybe? I’ve seen footage of a Challenger bouncing across a desert and one particularly energetic bump rattles the loader around his hatch like a basketball in a hoop before dropping out of view.
Correct. That's why you tend to see fume extractors on larger calibre weapons, it's not for ballistic reasons!

Prior to WCSP being scrapped, it had no separation between the breech and the crew compartment, whilst AJAX does have this separation. It baffles me how that one would have faired if WCSP had been held to the same standards (it wasn't, because it was considered a legacy platform).

Carbon Monoxide awareness has long been a part of standing orders. And shock attenuating seats aren't just useful in a mine-blast.

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Re: Ajax Armoured Vehicles (British Army)

Post by Lord Jim »

If the Warrior had this issue with CO then surely the CVR(T) series had similar issues if using their guns too frequently? Neither the Scorpion or Scimitar/Sabre had a fume extractor. As for shock attenuating seats, how many of our tracked AFVs actually have these at present? In do any of our legacy AFVs meet the standards the Ajax is being tested against?

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