British Army completes live-fire test of AJAX platform

12 April 2016 (Last Updated April 12th, 2016 18:30)

The British Army has successfully completed a live-firing test programme for its next-generation of armoured vehicles at a range in Wales, UK.

AJAX

The British Army has successfully completed a live-firing test programme for its next-generation of armoured vehicles at a range in Wales, UK.

Conducted by General Dynamics UK and Lockheed Martin UK, the test marks a milestone in the development of AJAX armoured vehicles.

The main 40mm stabilised cannon and chain gun were test-fired on-board the AJAX platform.

AJAX Programme senior requirements manager lieutenant colonel David Cathro said: "The challenges in getting to this point should not be underestimated and today is the result of a lot of hard work by General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, CTAI, DE&S and the army.

"Seeing the firings today gives us confidence that the army will receive this battle-winning and transformational capability on time and to budget."

The test used a variety of instruments to record aspects of the firing, such as recoil, blast stresses and fall of the shot.

Another test involving a fully instrumented vehicle is scheduled to take place later this year. The test will gather further evidence before progressing to manned firing in early 2017.

"Seeing the firings today gives us confidence that the army will receive this battle-winning and transformational capability on time and to budget."

AJAX vehicles operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide range of environments, while providing the army with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, protection, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities.

The AJAX programme aims to enable the UK Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint.

The UK MoD had contracted GD UK to supply 589 AJAX armoured fighting vehicles in six variants from 2017 through to 2023.

The new vehicle will give the army enhanced intelligence, surveillance, protection, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities. It will feature a highly effective 40mm cannon, which was developed jointly with France.


Image: The British Army's new AJAX armoured fighting vehicle completes its early live firing test programme at a range in Wales. Photo: courtesy of Crown Copyright.