June 3rd, 2021

light in the tunnel

запасаемся попкорном

Following the cancellation of the Warrior upgrade, it seems that the Ajax programme for a new family of tracked vehicles is also in deep trouble for technical reasons. Newspapers are reporting that the noise and vibration are so severe that they are affecting the health and fitness of the crews. As a result, maximum speed is limited to 20mph and even then, the gun cannot be fired accurately on the move.

Given the huge amount of time and money spent on this programme, it is astounding that these problems (which were apparently identified four years ago) have proved impossible to resolve. There are now suggestions that the entire Ajax programme might be scrapped.

If Ajax is cancelled, that will leave the only tracked AFV in the army's future being the (hopefully upgraded) Challenger tank. Fortunately, the new Boxer heavy 8x8 is modular and can be adapted to many roles, so presumably will be called on to cover the gap.

What this means for the 40 CTAI is unclear. Unless the turret can be fitted to Boxer, there is a distinct possibility that it will be cancelled, at least as far as the UK is concerned. The French are introducing a new 6x6 vehicle with a CTAI turret. Other reports I have read recently suggest that the British installations of the 40 CTAI is in trouble as well, because the MoD only specified the gun to be used and left it to the contractors to sort out the ammo feed arrangements - which is now revealing some incompatibilities. The French specified the CTAI ammo feed as well as the gun, so avoiding these problems.

You really couldn't make it up....