General Dynamics Land Systems–UK has conducted an additional live firing test for its Ajax vehicle at a range in Wales.

The British Army’s new armoured fighting vehicle was tested between July and August.

These trials, involving both the turreted Ajax variant and the Ares variant, were to generate data supporting manned firing trials scheduled for early 2017.

The CTA International 40mm cannon, coaxially mounted 7.62mm machine-gun and smoke grenades were fired on-board the Ajax vehicle.

The Ares variant testing involved firing the Kongsberg Protector remote weapon system, which also included firing machine guns and smoke grenades, General Dynamics said in a statement.

"This national project will equip our troops with a fleet of world-class armoured vehicles."

UK Ministry of Defence Equipment and Support organisation Chief of Materiel (Land) lieutenant general Paul Jaques said: “The completion of these live firing trials marks an important milestone towards fulfilment of the Ajax programme, the British Army’s largest single order for armoured vehicles for more than 30 years.

“This national project will equip our troops with a fleet of world-class armoured vehicles, which will form a central component of the UK’s new Strike Brigades.”

The Ajax prototypes will undergo further trials to evaluate its automotive, cold chamber, power systems and intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities.

The first British Army squadron will be equipped with Ajax by mid-2019, with a brigade ready to deploy from the end of 2020.

Image: Pre-production prototype of the turreted Ajax variant. Photo: courtesy of Richard Watt.