More than 700 workers at the General Dynamics UK facilities in Merthyr Tydfil and Oakdale are assembling, integrating and testing Ajax, the UK’s first fully-digital armoured fighting vehicle.
The 589 Ajax vehicles will serve mainly as a reconnaissance vehicle at the heart of the British Army. Its six variants will replace the British Army’s CVR(T) fleet, which has been in service since 1972, with deliveries beginning this year and continuing until 2024.
The six variants are the Ajax, Ares, Apollo, Athena, Atlas and Argus. Each variant will be an agile, tracked, medium-weight armoured fighting vehicle, providing British troops with state-of-the-art best-in-class protection.
Ajax will also deliver best-in-class reliability and mobility, and a wealth of high-tech reconnaissance systems. Each variant has extensive capabilities, including acoustic detectors, a laser warning system, a local situational awareness system, an electronic countermeasure system, a route marking system, an advanced electronic architecture and a high performance power pack.
The Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace MP said: “Ajax will provide the British Army with improved flexibility, manoeuvrability and battle-winning capability and advantage. Its advanced reconnaissance systems will allow British soldiers to see things first, weigh up their options and take decisive action before their adversaries.”
General Dynamics UK’s Merthyr Tydfil facility undertakes the assembly, integration and test of Ajax vehicles on-site, with all engineering tasks undertaken at its Armoured Fighting Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Oakdale. At a second Oakdale site, the company also delivers and supports the Bowman Tactical Communication System for the British Army, employing a further 490 personnel.
The £4.5bn in contracts placed with General Dynamics Land Systems for the demonstration, manufacture and in-service support of Ajax support 4,100 jobs in the UK across more than 230 businesses.
The company has successfully delivered the Cougar-based Mastiff, Ridgback and Wolfhound fleet and Foxhound vehicles for the British Army, as well as a avionics systems for aircraft and helicopters, including the Eurofighter Typhoon.