AJAX Armoured Vehicle Tested in Cold Weather

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AJAX Armoured Vehicle Tested in Cold Weather
The U.K.’s next tracked armoured fighting vehicle, AJAX, has been tested under the cold weather of Sweden, reaching -36 degrees Celsius.

After facing several technical difficulties including significant noise and vibration issues, the AJAX programme is back on track with the tests. The latest test covered the vehicle’s performance under extremely low temperatures to ensure AJAX can work when deployed under such conditions. The Royal Armoured Corps’ official X (Twitter) account announced the test.

AJAX family of armoured vehicles will replace the ageing tracked armoured vehicles of the British ground forces. AJAX will be heavier and have higher firepower than its predecessors in the U.K. service.

The vehicle is developed from the General Dynamics ASCOD platform and has a combat weight of 38 tonnes with a growth potential of up to 42 tonnes. AJAX will be delivered in six configurations: AJAX fighting vehicle, Apollo recovery vehicle, Ares armoured personnel carrier, Argus reconnaissance vehicle, Athena command vehicle, and Atlas engineering vehicle.

The main variant AJAX will use the CTAS-40 auto-cannon firing the new 40 mm cased-telescoped ammunition. Unlike traditional ammunition, the round is buried in the case, significantly lowering the size of both the ammunition and gun mechanism compared to conventional counterparts of the same calibre. 40 mm CT ammunition is offered in APFSDS-T, HE and airburst variants.

The secondary weapon is a coaxial L94A1 7.62 mm single-barrel chain gun. Diverging from most NATO-standard designs using the M240/FN MAG machine gun as the secondary armament, AJAX’s use of this rare weapon has the advantage of self-clearing. L94A1 ejects any jammed round on its own, unlike M240 or other machine guns. However, the mechanism being electrically driven has caused some misfire incidents, resulting in injuries to soldiers and civilians.

Additionally, the turret is fitted with Kongsberg’s Protector remote-controlled weapon station armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun. The army is evaluating the use of U.S.-made Javelin ATGM on the weapon station.

The protection consists of a thick layer of add-on armour on the sides, making the vehicle among the heaviest of its class at weights of 38-42 tonnes.

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