The anticipated timeline for the British Army’s Ajax fleet attaining initial operating capability is estimated to be from July to December 2025, while full operating capability is projected to be achieved between October 2028 and September 2029.
Initially scheduled to become operational in 2017, the deployment of the vehicle has been repeatedly postponed due to several issues such as problems related to noise and vibration. These problems have caused harm to soldiers who were testing the vehicles due to which ministers halted the payments to General Dynamics in December 2020.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has confirmed updated deployment dates and resumed payments to General Dynamics for the delivery of the Ajax program, marking a positive development in the next phase of trials. With an initial payment of £480 million, which was withheld since December 2020 due to noise and vibration concerns, MOD will recommence payments to General Dynamics as the vehicles are expected to achieve initial operating capability between July and December 2025.
Upon completion of the necessary training and conversion of forces to the Ajax platform, the Army is expected to achieve full operating capability between October 2028 and September 2029.
Subsequent payments will be based on the new schedule and its milestones, which are subject to the timely delivery of Ajax vehicles that are compliant and suitable for deployment, as well as the continued progress of the remaining trial activities. The decision to resume payments was made after the Defence Secretary visited Bovington Camp last month and observed the ongoing trials.
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said, “After working closely with General Dynamics to resolve the challenges, I am delighted to announce that we are making progress and are currently on track to receive a fleet of several hundred combat-ready vehicles for the British Army.”
The fixed-price contract for the delivery of the 589 vehicles remains in place, the defense ministry noted.