Oakdale, South Wales – General Dynamics Land Systems-UK has successfully completed the early live firing test programme for the AJAX platform - the British Army’s new Armoured Fighting Vehicle - at a range in mid-Wales.
This early live firing involved testing the main 40mm CTA International stabilised cannon and chain gun whilst the vehicle was static. This is the first time that the weapon system has been fired while fitted to the AJAX platform. The early testing supports the de-risking of the formal firing programme, which will take place later this year.
AJAX was fitted with instrumentation to record all aspects of the firing, from recoil and blast stresses to fall of shot. The testing was conducted by General Dynamics Land Systems-UK and turret developer, Lockheed Martin UK, with the Ministry of Defence observing.
The Senior Requirements Manager for the AJAX programme, Lt Col David Cathro, said: "This is a great achievement for the programme. The challenges in getting to this point should not be underestimated and today is the result of a lot of hard work. Seeing the firings today gives us confidence that the British Army will receive this battle-winning and transformational capability on time and to budget.
"Kevin Connell, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, said: “The successful early firing of the AJAX 40mm cannon and chain gun is testament to the hard work of all those involved in the programme. Working together with our industry partners, customer and end-user, we are developing a platform that the British Army can rely upon, even in the most difficult terrains.”
The range of AJAX variants will allow the British Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint. It can operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide-range of future operating environments. The first British Army squadron will be equipped by mid-2019 to allow conversion to begin with a brigade ready to deploy from the end of 2020.
About General Dynamics UKGeneral Dynamics United Kingdom (General Dynamics UK) has two primary lines of business: Land Systems and Mission Systems. General Dynamics UK works in partnership with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) providing the nation’s primary land capabilities including, amongst others, Bowman, the British Armed Forces tactical communications programme, and AJAX, the replacement for the British Army’s reconnaissance vehicle fleet. The company also delivers avionics equipment used in rotary and fixed wing platforms, highly integrated mission and video management systems, flexible stores management systems, data link processing and video and data recorders for UK and international customers.