Military Review

British Ajax: a strange beast with many flaws

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Photo: MOD


Zeitgeist


Recently, the British Armed Forces have been in a state of permanent reform. This is especially evident in the example of the ground forces. In March, the UK Department of Defense published a unified defense and security review, Defense Command Paper, which spoke about a new vision of the situation. The staffing of the ground forces will be reduced from 82 thousand to 72 thousand. Of the 225 main tanks Challenger 2 77 cars will be written off, and the remaining 148 will be upgraded to a version Challenger 3... It is noteworthy that the British canceled the modernization of the frankly not the most successful Warrior BMP: in the future, it will be written off altogether, replacing it with the German-Dutch combat vehicle Boxer.


Photo: Rheinmetall

In this regard, it is noteworthy история one of the most high-profile British defense programs - the Ajax combat vehicle. We are talking about a whole family of new combat vehicles, but the analogy with the Russian "Armata", "Kurgan-25" and wheeled "Boomerang" is not suitable here. The British have their own traditional vision of the situation, and I must say it is more than specific.

Ajax should not replace the Warrior infantry fighting vehicles in the troops (which might initially have been thought of), but what is called the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (CVR). The family, in particular, includes: the FV107 Scimitar combat reconnaissance vehicle, the FV106 Samson armored recovery vehicle and the FV103 Spartan armored personnel carrier. The CVR family dates back to the 60s and is now very outdated in many respects.


Photo: POA (Phot) Hamish Burke / MOD

What is offered under the new program? Ajax is nothing more than a version of the ASCOD infantry fighting vehicle, which is in service with the ground forces of Austria and Spain.

This choice was a consequence of the deep integration of the British military-industrial complex into global commercial structures and the partial loss of "national" independence. “It is not surprising that the ASCOD-2 project of another international arms giant, General Dynamics, was chosen as the platform for the promising Ajax family for the British army. BMP Ulan for Austria and Pissaro for Spain were created on the ASCOD platform. Apart from these countries, the platform is not in demand anywhere. However, the British Ministry of Defense chose this design, but modified to suit its requirements, " приводит publication Gazeta.ru words of the editor-in-chief of the magazine "Arsenal of the Fatherland" Viktor Murakhovsky

The normal combat weight of the universal Ajax platform is 34 tons. The British program includes six samples of armored vehicles:

- Combat reconnaissance vehicle Ajax;
- Ares armored personnel carrier;
- Athena command and staff vehicle;
- Engineering reconnaissance vehicle Argus;
- Apollo repair machine;
- Atlas evacuation vehicle.


In 2014, the British ordered 589 Ajax combat vehicles from the American General Dynamics. The amount of the agreement is 3,5 billion pounds: I must say, very much for a country like Great Britain. The basis of this entire fleet is a relatively "modest" military reconnaissance vehicle by modern standards. More than 200 units are planned to be delivered.

The crew of the car includes three people, in addition to this, it is possible to place one more. The main armament of the turret is a 40mm cannon. In addition, the tower has a coaxial 7,62-mm L94A1 machine gun from Heckler & Koch, smoke grenade launchers and a remote-controlled weapon station, armed with a 7,62-mm machine gun. The machine has "advanced" sensors.

The Ares armored personnel carrier weighing 33 tons looks no less ambiguous: from its armament it carries one 12,7 mm machine gun in a remotely controlled installation. Inside can accommodate four paratroopers: for comparison, inside the Russian "Kurganets-25" can accommodate eight troops.


Photo: Andrew Linnett / MOD

Revealed problems


As is often the case with any ambitious program, difficulties have plagued Ajax since its inception. We had to forget about the previously announced delivery dates in 2017: the first representatives of the family - Ares armored personnel carriers - entered the troops only in 2019. Now a total of fourteen vehicles of this variant have been delivered.

However, even these samples cause serious criticism, which made people start talking about the prospects of the program. Despite the extensive experience in operating ASCOD, in the case of Ajax-based machines, there were critical shortcomings, such as high levels of noise and vibration, which do not allow us to speak of the possibility of effective use in combat. Soldiers can stay in Ajax for up to 90 minutes. The soldiers use noise-canceling headphones.

The British even had to set speed limits of 32 kilometers per hour: in other words, Ajax can only accelerate to half the maximum possible speed. It is also interesting that, as experience has shown, the car is not capable of safely driving through obstacles higher than 20 centimeters, and strong vibration does not allow firing on the move. In this regard, it is appropriate to recall that the British Warrior BMP does not have the stabilization of the 30-mm L21A1 Rarden cannon ...

British experts say the Ajax difficulties are largely due to the additional armor protection, which has dramatically increased the mass of combat vehicles. On the other hand, almost all new models of armored vehicles go through this "growth phase": even more so if we take into account the current trend to increase the protection of armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.


To be fair, there are also positive assessments of the program. True, they come from the manufacturer. “Recent tests have confirmed many of the performance requirements for the Ajax family of armored combat vehicles have been met, including full speed range and overcoming obstacles in reverse,” General Dynamics said in a statement.

Yet the program has gone too far to abandon it. And the described problems, apart from conceptual ones, are not something out of the ordinary. A striking example is the story of how the Americans wanted (and continue to want) to find a replacement for the M2 Bradley BMP, and the story of the creation of the M2 itself is more than indicative, as the feature film "Pentagon Wars" tells in a somewhat grotesque form.

It is important to say about one more aspect. For the UK, which cherishes the dream of "reviving its former greatness", this program (for all its high cost) is not a key one. Much more important is the state fleet and the Royal Air Force: some of the land forces can be sacrificed for them. Moreover, the choice is small. The development program for the British sixth-generation fighter Tempest alone is estimated to cost $ 60 billion. And this is only part of the defense spending in future years.
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  1. Grandfather
    Grandfather 10 June 2021 03: 59
    +5
    the concept has changed, before the military-industrial complex of all countries worked for defense-attack, now for a pocket.
    1. Lech from Android.
      Lech from Android. 10 June 2021 06: 35
      -1
      Business and profit has penetrated this area. Especially in the international arena.
      The Americans are crushing competitors mercilessly, nothing personal.
      And the Europeans are good too ... especially the French who intercept our contracts from the Indians with the help of bribes and fraud.
  2. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 10 June 2021 04: 05
    0
    armored personnel carrier Ares weighing 33 tons: from armament it carries one machine gun of 12,7 mm caliber in a remotely controlled installation. Inside can accommodate four paratroopers
    An armored carriage of some sort.
    1. Sergey Sfiedu
      Sergey Sfiedu 10 June 2021 05: 45
      +6
      It is intended to replace the same small-seat reconnaissance armored personnel carrier "Spartan", but unlike it, it is well protected.
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 10 June 2021 05: 49
        -1
        Quote: Sergey Sfyedu
        It is intended to replace the same small-seat reconnaissance armored personnel carrier "Spartan", but unlike it, it is well protected.


        And here is no:

        - Combat Intelligence Ajax machine;
        Armored personnel carrier Ares;

        So an armored carriage.
        1. Sergey Sfiedu
          Sergey Sfiedu 10 June 2021 19: 41
          +1
          Well? If the name does not contain the word "reconnaissance", this cancels the fact that it is actually a tracked BRDM? As linear armored personnel carriers, they once used the Trojan, then replaced by the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle, and the Ares is precisely the replacement for the Spartan, which has never been a linear armored personnel carrier. And if you like it - then yes, "armored carriage". The British believe that the troops need such, there is no need to use large infantry fighting vehicles where it is possible to do with small armored personnel carriers and armored personnel carriers.
          1. Vladimir_2U
            Vladimir_2U 11 June 2021 03: 31
            -1
            Quote: Sergey Sfyedu
            If the name does not contain the word "reconnaissance", this cancels the fact that it is actually a tracked BRDM?
            That is, already existing
            Combat reconnaissance Ajax machine; not enough? BRM with powerful weapons and optics, do they need a machine-gun armored personnel carrier with the appropriate aiming weaknesses?
            Quote: Sergey Sfyedu
            The British believe that the troops need such, there is no need to use large infantry fighting vehicles where it is possible to do with small armored personnel carriers and armored personnel carriers.
            Are you really that, do you think 34 ton cars are small? PC
            1. Sergey Sfiedu
              Sergey Sfiedu 11 June 2021 18: 49
              0
              Combat reconnaissance vehicle Ajax; not enough? BRM with powerful weapons and optics, do they need a machine-gun armored personnel carrier with the appropriate aiming weaknesses?

              The British believe that they need a small APC. Can you guess what for he is needed somewhere, except in reconnaissance and security?
              Are you really that, do you think 34 ton cars are small? PC

              Do you think the 4-seater APC is big? It weighs 34 tons, because an overdofig is hung on it.
    2. Jager
      Jager 10 June 2021 12: 09
      0
      Three tankmen and a dog soldier soldier
    3. Artem76
      Artem76 10 June 2021 12: 21
      +1
      And do not say ... and the fuel consumption of this armored car, I wonder ... "in the core per kilometer." Definitely build! Naglosaki, we are "happy" for you .....
    4. Reiter
      Reiter 11 June 2021 18: 55
      0
      Why is this a minus? In case of defeat of this armored carriage, only 4 paratroopers + crew can die, in case of defeat with the help of the same ATGM or tank shell of the Kurgan, twice as many paratroopers will die. Ideally, it would be necessary to give each soldier an armored carriage.
  3. Catfish
    Catfish 10 June 2021 05: 02
    +5
    ... and the story of the creation of the M2 itself is more than indicative, as the feature film "Pentagon Wars" tells in a somewhat grotesque form.

    An excellent film, if someone has not seen it, I strongly advise you to watch it, I guarantee a great mood after watching.
    1. Grandfather
      Grandfather 10 June 2021 05: 29
      -1
      our T-15s, and the "boomerang", also did not figure out where to "shove" ...
      1. Grandfather
        Grandfather 10 June 2021 08: 13
        +4
        Quote: Dead Day
        our T-15s, and the "boomerang", also did not figure out where to "shove" ...

        interesting ... minus shove, and arguments, by virtue of my innocence, no.
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 10 June 2021 20: 37
          0
          Therefore, they shove the cons, from sexual impotence. laughing
    2. Kuroneko
      Kuroneko 10 June 2021 14: 22
      0
      Quote: Sea Cat
      I guarantee a great mood after watching.

      Yeah. Great mood AFTER watching. Colonel Burton was pushed aside with a "wolf ticket", and all these forgeries did not affect the career of lobbyist General Partridge at all. = _ =
      PS For those who have not yet seen - the most famous excerpt from the film:
  4. Gunther
    Gunther 10 June 2021 09: 33
    -1
    Quote: Author
    Inside can accommodate four paratroopers: for comparison, inside the Russian "Kurganets-25" can accommodate eight troops.

    This suggests that 4 Yukei paratroopers occupy twice as many Russian paratroopers - GMO hot dogs and beer make themselves felt, or that Ares batters will be twice as large as our Kurgan-2 armored personnel carriers

    it is unclear how the ASCOD "platform" (ASCOD SV) differs from the SCOUT SV "platform".
    although here again confusion with naglicisms is possible - the basic "platform", an elevated platform along the track near the railway. stations, action program, etc.
    and the author needs to be more careful - £ 3,5 billion.
  5. Dimax-nemo
    Dimax-nemo 11 June 2021 08: 54
    0
    The British did not want stabilized weapons for a very long time on principle. They believed that shooting on the move was all nonsense, and accurate fire was possible only from short stops. Considering that even on the T-72, some stopped the stabilizer (so as not to kill someone from the crew) ...
  6. Senior seaman
    Senior seaman 11 June 2021 22: 22
    0
    Of 225 main Challenger tanks 2 77 cars will be written off, and the rest 148 upgraded to the Challenger 3 version.

    Something is wrong with the numbers ...
    1. Pan_hrabio
      Pan_hrabio 12 June 2021 20: 07
      +1
      Everything is correct. The number 2 is confusing, but this is part of the Challenger 2 tank name.
      1. Senior seaman
        Senior seaman 12 June 2021 22: 29
        +1
        Understood thanks.
  7. k_ply
    k_ply 12 June 2021 12: 24
    +1
    The author writes that the Ajax armored vehicle is a replacement for the Simiter armored vehicle and is not intended to replace the Warrior armored vehicle, then for some reason compares the Ares armored personnel carrier (replacing the Spartan armored personnel carrier) with the Kurganets-25 infantry fighting vehicle (DUBM removed from the body). The line of unified vehicles is designed to equip 4 armored cavalry (reconnaissance) regiments, equivalent to battalions, including the so-called. striker brigades, i.e. the car is an analogue of our BRM-3K "Lynx" (based on the BMP-3). By the way, the notorious LAV-25 of the Marine Corps is also an armored vehicle, not an infantry fighting vehicle or an armored personnel carrier, with a landing capacity of 6 people. They regularly transport reconnaissance groups of 4 people, i.e. not motorized infantry squads, tk. the rifle battalions of the MP themselves and their station companies perform the role of motorized infantry when using tracked amphibians AAVP-7A1. The same with BRM M3 "Bradley" with a crew of 5 people, including two scouts (there is even a motorcycle in the DO), also belong to the so-called subdivisions. military power reconnaissance (reconnaissance in force), and not secretive, practicing the tactics of small foot reconnaissance groups of 4-6 people, splitting into pairs and triplets (like snipers).
    And "Pentagon Wars" is a film made by amateurs for amateurs. The bottom line is that for a long time they were determined with the concept and requirements for the new BMP, more precisely, with the requirements of the time (they chased our floating BMP-1 / -2, also with ATGMs, loopholes and small capacity). At the exit, respectively, there is a good BMP for the 80s of the last century. A high silhouette - yes, the main disadvantage inherent in all American light and medium tanks is slightly compensated by a large negative vertical aiming angle of the gun (high turret).
    1. Usher
      Usher 13 June 2021 16: 37
      0
      Quote: k_ply
      The author writes that the Ajax armored vehicle is a replacement for the Simiter armored vehicle and is not intended to replace the Warrior armored vehicle, then for some reason compares the Ares armored personnel carrier (replacing the Spartan armored personnel carrier) with the Kurganets-25 infantry fighting vehicle (DUBM removed from the body). The line of unified vehicles is designed to equip 4 armored cavalry (reconnaissance) regiments, equivalent to battalions, including the so-called. striker brigades, i.e. the car is an analogue of our BRM-3K "Lynx" (based on the BMP-3). By the way, the notorious LAV-25 of the Marine Corps is also an armored vehicle, not an infantry fighting vehicle or an armored personnel carrier, with a landing capacity of 6 people. They regularly transport reconnaissance groups of 4 people, i.e. not motorized infantry squads, tk. the rifle battalions of the MP themselves and their station companies perform the role of motorized infantry when using tracked amphibians AAVP-7A1. The same with BRM M3 "Bradley" with a crew of 5 people, including two scouts (there is even a motorcycle in the DO), also belong to the so-called subdivisions. military power reconnaissance (reconnaissance in force), and not secretive, practicing the tactics of small foot reconnaissance groups of 4-6 people, splitting into pairs and triplets (like snipers).
      And "Pentagon Wars" is a film made by amateurs for amateurs. The bottom line is that for a long time they were determined with the concept and requirements for the new BMP, more precisely, with the requirements of the time (they chased our floating BMP-1 / -2, also with ATGMs, loopholes and small capacity). At the exit, respectively, there is a good BMP for the 80s of the last century. A high silhouette - yes, the main disadvantage inherent in all American light and medium tanks is slightly compensated by a large negative vertical aiming angle of the gun (high turret).

      the size will always be, but the negative angle is a situational plus, so the dimensions are more important, more precisely, large dimensions are always a minus.
      1. k_ply
        k_ply 14 June 2021 10: 37
        0
        The high silhouette - yes, the main drawback ... is slightly compensated ...

        Not enough? Or do we love to chat gracefully?