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Old October 25th, 2020, 06:00 PM

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Fallout Re: APC Development and related topics.

This is many ways is an ongoing topic about a "controversial" topic however, this article clears up some of the ambiguity on what's really going on. It's a story of two countries, programs and paths taken. Also with a surprising revelation of who's getting the "Brass Ring" first for an FOC System.

I am speaking of UK & FRANCE/AJAX & SCORPIAN and the CT-40.

To save time I'm simply going to quote from the story...

Under Heading: CT40 Cannon: proven system or cause of delays?

"In recent evidence, given to theDefence Select Committee, General Dynamics Land Systems – UK and Lockheed Martin UK both laid some blame for delays to their programmes at the door of the CT40 cannon."

"In France, Nexter’s Jaguar, part of the country’s Scorpion land vehicles programme, uses the same weapon as AJAX and Warrior CSP. Jaguar was contracted in 2014 and is due to enter service at the end of this year."
(That is the surprise but "due" isn't the same "will". It just bears closer watching.)

"So, why have UK vehicles faced delays while France has progressed at speed?"

Under Heading: Same cannon, different subsystems

"The adoption of the full system is part of the reason that Nexter has had success with Jaguar, while the UK has faced delays."

"In the development of its turret for Warrior CSP, Lockheed Martin did not take all the components from CTA International, instead choosing to develop its own ammunition handling system that feeds from the side rather than the bottom of the weapon."

"Nexter added that as a direct result of these trials (2006 & 2008-Mine), the company chose to adopt the entire CT40 system, including all the components listed above. The French company said that Jaguar benefited from the trials by leveraging the risk reduction achieved by the 2006 and 2008 trials."

"In the development of its turret, Lockheed Martin told Army Technology that in order to ‘[achieve] required fire control system performance and safety’ the company chose to develop its own ‘integrated systems’ from UK suppliers. The company added that this allowed them to develop a modular system used on both AJAX and Warrior CSP."

At an oral evidence session of the UK Parliament’s Defence Select Committee, Francis Tusa Editor of Defence Analysis told MPs: “The problems we have had, in the UK, with the 40 millimetre cased telescoped ammo have not been replicated in France, where they have taken the system, all of it, as designed. It is now in full-scale production.

“They now have a turret that would fit if we wanted to, just for the sake of argument (Which the UK is getting.-Mine), put it on to a Boxer. It works absolutely fine. Yes, there have been problems along the way, without a shadow of a doubt, but it works. That is because they (France-Mine) had a much more coordinated approach to the development, design and then how they were going to put it into production.”

Under Heading: Problems along the way in the UK

To be sure as noted by Francis Tusa Editor of Defence Analysis above there were some minor technical issues with the CT-40, however they were all addressed by 2014. Again the French are well ahead of the UK in the total system as that's how they moved ahead, by keeping it all together, weapon and subsystems.

The first few paras deal with the "blame game" from the UK Manufactures Group on the CT-40, Contract issues and miscommunications, I leave these for the reader to discern.

Moving on...

In its evidence, General Dynamics also said that a ‘stable and defined build standard’ was not realised until the AJAX contract was recast in 2019.

Countering both companies’ evidence, the MOD told Army Technology: “Qualification of the weapon has continued in parallel with the development of the platforms. Whilst this did require some change and resultant schedule impact, the slippage due to CT40 was not a significant contributor to the delays in the development of the platforms themselves.

“The CT40 design was fixed for cannon production in March 2015 and the interface has not changed; in 2015 CT40 was sufficiently characterised for integration.”

"A source also told Army Technology that by 2019 cannon qualifications were done and added that during the development process Lockheed Martin made little effort to work with CTA International, instead preferring to work with the MOD on issues with the cannon as it is supplied as government furnished equipment (GFE)."

"Army Technology understands that the MOD mandated the cannon as AJAX and Warrior CSP’s main armament but did not mandate the weapons subsystems, hence Lockheed’s decision to develop its own."

Under Heading: What’s next for Warrior, AJAX and Jaguar?

"As it stands, all three (Really 4 I have found a couple of articles suggesting the German BOXER T40 has been fully tested, as like the French, they bought the complete system.-Mine) vehicles featuring the CT40 cannon have largely ironed out development issues and are making good progress. Lockheed Martin expects a production contract to be signed for Warrior CSP next year, General Dynamics has finished production of 60 AJAX (12 are in OPEVAL with an active unit.-Mine vehicles, and Jaguar is slated for deliveries late this year."

"Nexter for its part is offering the MOD a Boxer MIV module fitted with the turret used on its Jaguar vehicle. The system dubbed Boxer T40 would fill a requirement for direct fire capability for the British Army’s planned STRIKE Brigades (This could kill WARRIOR CSP.-Mine).

"A question mark has been placed over the Warrior CSP programme, with one source telling Army Technology that the vehicle is in the most doubt as the UK looks to reassess its forces in an upcoming integrated review of defence security and foreign policy. Earlier this year it was reported by the Times that the UK was assessing options to axe its entire fleet of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and IFVs."

And I'm leaving it there that Defense Review is putting CHALLENGER 2 (And upgrade.), AJAX and finally WARRIOR CSP in doubt.

So CHALLENGER 2is in service. AJAX is in OPEVAL, WARRIOR CSP still in finishing touches of development and JAGUAR becoming operational by mid+ - 2021 I'm thinking.

The "wildcard" will be the BOXER T40 which I feel could contribute to the end of both AJAX and WARRIOR CSP. The other driver not mentioned is ARIES which if I read it correctly, in one of my most recent refs, is about to start production and will have a RECON version as well.

I also see another path for AJAX in that MOD does buy the 60 units as noted above and ends the production run there.

We definitely know one thing for sure though and that is AJAX will need a new START, if we allow for a quick with no further issues during the OPEVAL, then I recommend JAN 2022 (Maybe, as I see a smaller path to it OCT 2021) to include an increase in TI/GSR to Min 45/Max50 as well.

I don't know what more I can add to this except from my folder of refs that covers segments or more of this full article.

"If something is not impossible, there must be a way of doing it." - Sir Nicholas Winton

"Ex communi periculo, fraternitas" - My career long mentor and current friend -QMCM/SS M. Moher USN Ret..
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