British Army’s Ajax armoured fighting vehicles to be built in Spain
Nearly 100 Ajax vehicles will be manufactured in Spain for the British Army, Minister of State for Defence Frederick Richard Penn Curzon has revealed.
In a written statement to the UK Parliament, Curzon said that hulls for a further 489 armoured fighting vehicles will be built in Spain before being transported to the Merthyr Tydfil facility in Wales, UK.
The hulls will be used to manufacture complete vehicles at the Wales facility.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) was quoted by RT as saying that the government was 'determined to see as many MoD projects designed, built and manufactured here in the UK'.
It added: "The Ajax programme alone is sustaining 2,800 jobs across the country at more than 210 companies across the UK supply chain."
In September 2014, General Dynamics UK was awarded a £3.5bn contract to deliver Ajax platforms to the army.
In July 2015, the company was awarded a further £390m contract to provide in-service support for the Ajax fleet until 2024.
The first of 589 Ajax vehicles will be delivered in 2017, with an initial operating capability scheduled for 2020 and full operating capability forecast for 2025.
The Ajax build programme is sustaining 300 jobs at General Dynamics in Oakdale, and a further 2,250 jobs at more than 210 companies across the UK supply chain.
Image: The Ajax variant will be the medium-weight core of the British Army's ISTAR capability. Photo: courtesy of General Dynamics UK.