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Army set to axe £5.5billion Ajax 'light tank' - which could not be fired on the move or go faster than 20mph​

  • In tests, the Ajax could not be fired on the move or go faster than 20mph
  • It also caused crews to suffer acute hearing loss, nausea and spinal injuries
  • The Ministry of Defence has already spent £4billion on Ajax
  • Defence minister Jeremy Quin told admitted it may be cancelled
By MARK NICOL DEFENCE EDITOR FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 17:53 EDT, 20 July 2021 | UPDATED: 17:56 EDT, 20 July 2021

The Army is set to scrap a £5.5billion 'light tank' before it has entered service.
In tests, the Ajax armoured vehicle could not be fired on the move or go faster than 20mph. It also caused crews to suffer acute hearing loss, nausea and spinal injuries.
The Ministry of Defence has already spent £4billion on Ajax but only 26 of the 589 ordered in 2014 have been delivered.
Yesterday defence minister Jeremy Quin told MPs an independent expert is being sought to evaluate the project and admitted it may be cancelled.
Major General Timothy Hodgetts told the defence select committee the Army was now looking at alternatives.
Cancellation could spark a legal battle between the MoD and makers General Dynamics (UK) over compensation. ...


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This should end well....


Gurkha veterans start relay hunger strike in London​


In what appears to be sheer ignorance to address their demands, ex-Gurkhas have resorted to launching a relay hunger strike in the United Kingdom to put pressure to address their demands. The British Gurkha Satyagraha United Struggle Committee started a relay hunger strike before the office of the British Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street from 1 pm on Wednesday (local time).

Campaigner Gyan Raj Rai shared that they were forced to stage a hunger strike when their demands were not heeded despite several attempts from their end.

Rai further informed that the relay hunger strike would continue for 13 consecutive days since Wednesday. The hunger strike will be undertaken on a rotation basis with one campaigner in the strike each day, he further clarified.

Struggle Committee’s member Krishna Bahadur Rai warned to launch fast-unto-death if the British Government did not make any effort to initiate dialogue within 13 days.

It may be noted that several organizations concerning the demands of Gurkhas, including NRNA-UK, had sent a letter in writing to both UK and Nepal governments last month calling for their efforts to address the issue.

The letter was dispatched urging the governments to initiate dialogue on the demands of ex-Gurkhas, including pension.

However, the GAESO has not lent its support to the agitation launched by the Gurkhas struggle committee putting forth 12-charter demands.

Earlier the committee had postponed its hunger strike scheduled to be staged in London until July 21.

In a statement, the committee had said that the decision was taken following an assurance from the Nepal government mentioning that it will take a firm step to start a direct table talk with the British government within two weeks to resolve the outstanding Gurkha issues.

Rai had warned that they will not postpone the strike again if both sides fail to take an action timely. Gurkha veterans are not fighting for something we did not earn or deserve. We just want what we are denied by the British government, he added. “Gurkha veterans are not fighting for something we did not earn or deserve. We just want what we are denied by the British government.”

Gurkha veterans have been protesting putting forth different demands including an equal pension on a par with their British counterparts. Earlier on June 16, a protest rally was staged in London to press the British government to address demands.

The committee had appealed to the British people to encourage their government to take the Gurkha issues extremely seriously and hold a government-to-government meeting immediately.

Earlier, the British Ministry of Defense had said that the Nepal government can communicate with the British government to address the grievances of Gurkha veterans.

The UK Ambassador in Nepal is in contact with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on a regular basis and should the Nepal government wish to communicate on the matter of Gurkha veteran grievances, they may do so, the Ministry had said in a formal response to a joint letter sent by six Gurkha organizations.

 

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The Ajax saga continues: The British Army’s Greek Tragedy
The British Army’s Greek Tragedy Jack Watling
22 July 20219


ajax-prototype-1168x440px.jpg


The British Army has spent £3.2 billion on its Ajax family of vehicles, but as major problems beset the programme and its role in the force remains poorly defined, the Army faces a stark choice between doubling down or moving on.
Speaking at RUSI’s Land Warfare Conference on 2 June, Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin stated that the British Army’s Ajax vehicles were ‘bringing a step change in versatility and agility’ and that while ‘there are issues that need to be addressed, they are being addressed, in partnership with industry’. The Ministry of Defence was adamant that Initial Operating Capability would be declared at the end of the month.
Within weeks all trials on the vehicle had been halted after crews reported injuries due to excessive noise and vibration. The programme is now in crisis, with ministers briefing that they had not been informed about the problems by senior officers and Mr Quin telling the House of Commons Defence Committee that ‘we cannot be 100% certain that’ the salvation of the programme ‘can be achieved’. The two fundamental questions are whether the vehicle can be fixed, and whether it is worth saving. With the Army in the midst of working out how it will fight following the Integrated Review, the consequences of the decision to proceed with or cancel Ajax will be far-reaching.

Can Ajax be Saved?​

The two greatest problems afflicting Ajax are noise and vibration. Ajax has long been recognised as a noisy vehicle. However, tests on the sound produced by the vehicle demonstrated that it was within useable limits. Subsequent investigation following loss of hearing by crews trialling the platforms has concluded that the issue arises from the integration of the Bowman headsets for the crew radios, which were picking up engine noise, amplifying it as the vehicle accelerated, and putting the sound directly into the crews’ ears. This raises serious questions about how tests on British Army vehicles are carried out, but is also fundamentally resolvable through the procurement of new headsets.
The vibration issues are more problematic. In testing it has been reported that excessive vibration is preventing the main armament from stabilising on the move, damaging the electronic systems that make Ajax a step-change in capability and leading to a high rate of component failure, with the idler and rear road wheels sheering off with concerning regularity. Crews meanwhile have suffered from symptoms that could indicate a risk of prolonged use of the platform leading to Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome. These problems must be overcome before the vehicle can be viable as a fighting platform.
Senior personnel within General Dynamics Land Systems UK (GDLUK), the prime manufacturer of Ajax, as well as British Army personnel responsible for trialling the vehicles, noted that GDLUK has had significant difficulties with quality control in the fabrication of the vehicle hulls. The company has so far produced 270 hulls from an overall contract to deliver 598 vehicles. Quality control is understood to be especially poor throughout the first 100 hulls manufactured in Spain, but the issue has not been entirely eliminated in subsequent batches. Problems have included sections being inconsistent lengths, the sides of the hull not being parallel, and substandard welding. Fittings and furnishings have not had their attachment points drilled using jigs, resulting in the spacing of holes being uneven. GDLUK has expended significant efforts in trying to repair hulls that have been manufactured to an unsatisfactory quality. .....

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The Ajax saga continues: The British Army’s Greek Tragedy


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I assume they've still got thousands of these things they can pull out of the knacker's yard and upgrade:... if the tail between their legs doesn't get in the way of course :)

The Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) —or CVR(T)—is a family of armoured fighting vehicles (AFV)s in service with the British Army and others throughout the world. They are small, highly mobile, air-transportable armoured vehicles designed to replace the Alvis Saladin armoured car.[2]


The need to upgrade the FV432 to extend its service life further led the MoD to sign an £85m contract with BAE Systems Land Systems to update over 1,000 FV 432s to Mark 3 standard. Major changes include a new diesel engine and braking system. Initially, only FV432 and 434 models were converted, but other variants are being considered. The first 500 of the batch were handed over to the British Army in December 2006.[1] For service in Iraq and Afghanistan, air-conditioning, enhanced reactive armour and IED jammers have been added. Initially, only these further enhanced versions were known by the name Bulldog; but the term now appears to be applied to all Mark 3 vehicles.[

 
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