Highlights of the General Dynamics AJAX armoured fighting vehicle performing in hot-weather trials in the summer of 2018 in Seville, Spain. The Ajax 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. The AJAX provides a step-change in the Armoured Fighting Vehicle capability being delivered to the British Army. The AJAX programme includes six variants: AJAX, ARES, APOLLO, ATHENA, ATLAS and ARGUS. Each AJAX variant will be a highly-agile, tracked, medium-weight armoured fighting vehicle, providing British troops with state-of-the-art best-in-class protection.
The AJAX family of vehicles has growth inherently built in. With an upper design limit of 42 tonnes of driveline capability, scalable and open electronic architecture and a modular armour system, it has enormous potential to combat future threats and incorporate new technology throughout the lifespan of the platform. 589 AJAX platforms to be delivered to the British Army through 2017-2024, along with the provision of in-service support and training. The training establishment and first squadron will be equipped by mid-2019 to allow conversion to begin with a brigade ready to deploy from the end of 2020. As a result, AJAX provides the kind of growth capability that the user will need to face the uncertain challenges of Future Force 2020 and beyond. AJAX will replace the less capable CVR(T), providing broad utility throughout the balanced Army 2020 force across all operations.
In September 2014, General Dynamics UK was awarded £3.5 billion to deliver 589 AJAX platforms to the British Army. In July 2015, it was awarded a further £390 million contract to provide in-service support for the AJAX fleet until 2024. The AJAX programme was originally known as the SCOUT Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme. It was renamed at DSEI on 15 September 2015. In addition, the Company announced that it is opening a new Armoured Fighting Vehicle Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) facility in South Wales.