General Dynamics Land Systems – UK has begun the industry manned live firing phase of the AJAX programme, with the CTA International 40-mm (CT40) cannon.
The five-month trial, which started in early September and takes place at ranges in West Wales, will test the CT40 cannon, Chain Gun and Smoke Grenade Launchers.
AJAX is fitted with instrumentation to record all aspects of the firing of the CT40 cannon and Chain Gun, including lethality performance. Testing will progress from a static vehicle firing on a static target, to a moving vehicle firing on a moving target. The testing is being conducted by General Dynamics Land Systems – UK, the turret developer (Lockheed Martin UK), and with the Ministry of Defence observing.
Over the last 18 months, General Dynamics Land Systems–UK has completed significant unmanned firing of the CT40 cannon and Chain Gun, which provided the assurance needed to begin the manned firing phase of the programme.
Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: «The AJAX programme is sustaining hundreds of jobs in Wales, as well as thousands right across the UK, and a lot of hard work has gone into reaching this manned live firing phase».
Kevin Connell, Vice President of General Dynamics Land Systems – UK, said: «The start of the CT40 cannon manned industry firing phase is a significant milestone in the AJAX programme. This cutting-edge capability that enables AJAX to pack a significant punch, alongside its wide-range of best-in-class sensors that makes it an Information Age platform, ensures that the British Army has everything they need to do their job effectively».
In recent months, General Dynamics Land Systems – UK has successfully completed a broad spectrum of AJAX programme trials across its different prototype platforms. These include altitude-climatic trials, air deployability trials, littoral fording trials and driver training trials.
The range of AJAX variants will allow British Army ‘Strike Brigades’ 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.