General Dynamics Land Systems UK (GDLS-UK) conducted littoral fording trials of the British Army’s newest Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) at Instow, North Devon. GDLS said that the trial showcased the capability of the vehicle in performing prepared and unprepared fording operations. It added that this was part of the rigorous trials and testing process being undergone by the Army’s next generation armoured vehicle.
The Ajax, formerly known as the Scout SV (Specialist Vehicle), is a family of armoured fighting vehicles being developed by General Dynamics UK for the British Army. The Ajax is a development of the ASCOD armoured fighting vehicle used by the Spanish and Austrian armed forces. The family was originally developed by Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug and Santa Bárbara Sistemas in the early 1990s. Both companies were purchased by General Dynamics in the early 2000s.
In 2010, General Dynamics UK was selected as the winner of the Future Rapid Effect System contract with the ASCOD Common Base Platform, beating BAE Systems’ CV-90 proposal. The Ajax family will be procured in a number of variants, initially planned to be in blocks, with the first vehicles planned to be delivered in 2017 and full operational capability being established by 2019.
The six variants in the Ajax programme are Athena, Ajax, Ares, Apollo, Atlas and Argus, providing a full suite of medium armoured vehicles and capabilities. The new vehicle will give the army enhanced intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities.