The British Army’s newest armoured fighting vehicle was shown publically for the first time last weekend at The Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset in England. The Tank 100 event was to commemorate the centenary of the first use of tanks at the Battle of Flers in World War One, on September 15, 1916.
The AJAX armoured fighting vehicle—which relies on technology from Abaco Systems—appeared alongside historic and modern tank displays.
The event also included a First World War battle re-enactment, and a “poppy drop” in which 250,000 poppies were dropped from the skies.
AJAX—developed by General Dynamics Land Systems in the UK, and previously known as SCOUT—has recently successfully completed live firing testing at a range in West Wales. The testing focused on generating specific data and evidence to support manned firing trials planned for early next year.
The range of AJAX variants will allow the British Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint. They will operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide range of future operating environments. The first British Army squadron will be equipped by mid-2019 to allow conversion to begin with a brigade ready to deploy from the end of 2020. A total of 589 vehicles will be built.
AJAX provides a step-change in the Armoured Fighting Vehicle capability being delivered to the British Army. It is a highly agile, tracked, medium-weight armoured fighting vehicle, providing British troops with state-of-the-art best-in-class protection.
AJAX vehicles are developed upon a highly-adaptable and capable Common Base Platform, maximising commonality in mobility, electronic architecture and survivability that ensures the British Army has a family of world-class platforms.
Each AJAX platform 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.
Abaco provided the scalable, open architecture subsystems—including Ethernet switches, gateway processors, data servers and video servers—which will allow AJAX platforms to be easily upgraded during their lifetime as new requirements and technologies emerge. These subsystems provide the backbone of the vehicle electronics architecture. The Ethernet switch connects all the networked elements of the vehicle together; the gateway processor provides all the processing capability for the General Dynamics UK software to run the platform; and the data and video servers allow the vehicle to store and distribute vehicle and scenario data and video around the platform and on into the wider connected battlefield.