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Ajax adds to woeful litany of British Army procurement failures (Opinion)

6th July 2021 - 10:30 GMT | by The Clarence in London


The British Army in July 2020 received its first batch of vehicles in the Ajax family — but the programme has now hit the buffers. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

Given the latest delay to a key programme, how much confidence should there be in the underequipped British Army achieving key vehicle procurement ambitions laid out in the recent Integrated Review?

The new Ajax family of tracked armoured vehicles for the British Army has been the subject of a damning internal report suggesting it remains unfit for purpose.

Under contract since 2010, with more than £3.4 billion of public money spent on it and with only 14 out of a planned 589 vehicles delivered, Ajax looks set to be another defence procurement disaster for the UK MoD.

Reports and public testimony claim that the vehicles cannot reverse over obstacles higher than 20cm, and the crew needed to wear noise-cancelling headphones to talk to each other. Even so, there are concerns about …

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