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30 Sep 22. Ajax IFV. Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence Alec Shelbrooke said yesterday, in answer to the following question from the Shadow Secretary of Defence John Healey: “To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department’s Government Major Projects Portfolio Data 2022, what assessment he has made of the feasibility of delivering the Armoured Cavalry 2025 Ajax programme (a) on time and (b) on budget in the context of the Independent Projects Authority’s rating of that programme as red.”
This was the answer to John Healey’s question: “The Ministry of Defence continues to work with General Dynamics to resolve the noise and vibration problems on Ajax while protecting the taxpayers’ interests. As acknowledged by the Infrastructure Projects Authority the project remains within its approved budget and General Dynamics are required to deliver to the terms of the £5.5bn firm-priced contract. We will not accept a vehicle until it can be used safely for its intended purposes and until long-term solutions to the noise and vibration problems have been found, we cannot determine a realistic timescale for the introduction of Ajax into operational service.”
My reading of the above is that the Ajax programme has moved closer to being regarded as probably dead in the water. I understand that for contractual reasons the MOD needs to give General Dynamics more time but reading between the lines I believe that we are edging towards the end of this procurement programme and from a confidence point of view, the sooner the better. I also know that DE&S have and continue to work hard assisting and supporting General Dynamics in finding permanent and what the MOD refers to as long tern solutions. All credit to them but if those long-term solutions are not found within say the next six-month, the words of Public Accounts Committee Chairwomen. Meg Hillier who concluded the PAC report on the failed Ajax procurement programme by saying:
“The government “must fix or fail this programme, before more risk to our national security and more billions of taxpayers’ money wasted”, adding “these repeated failures are putting strain on older capabilities which are overdue for replacement and are directly threatening the safety of our service people and their ability to protect the nation and meet Nato commitments”. (Source: Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.)
29 Sep 22. Marking the first demolition at MOD Ashchurch. The first demolition at MOD Ashchurch, Tewkesbury, took place this week marking a significant milestone for the Army’s Vehicle Storage and Support Programme (VSSP). The demolition of the first building signals the beginning of a two-phase programme that will deliver modern, sustainable, and effective storage and maintenance solutions for the British Army’s vehicle and equipment fleet. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is delighted to be part of this development project.
Stephen Bunce, DIO’s Principal Project Manager, said: “We are delighted to have awarded this multi-million-pound project to Skanska to meet the enduring requirements for the Army’s fleet of vehicles. The Vehicle Storage and Support Programme is a project which will bring significant new infrastructure to the site in the form of storage, maintenance, inspection and office buildings.”
The Project delivery team consisting of Skanska, Mace and DIO worked together to achieve the customer required contract award date of end May 22. Although very early into the project, it is evident that the entire project team are working with the customer and all parties to deliver the project and address any issues that may arise.
As well as delivering CHE vehicle storage for military vehicles, VSSP will also provide dedicated inspection and maintenance spaces. All buildings will adhere to the latest sustainability standards and the DREEAM (Defence Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent is the sustainability target for the programme. Construction of new infrastructure is expected to start in February 2023.
Solar panels will be installed on site that will provide a large portion of the site with electricity meeting the sustainable energy requirement and contributing to the drive to be carbon neutral as a site.
Belinda Lunn, Senior Responsible Owner for VSSP, said: “I am delighted to be present for this demolition which marks the start of the works at the Ashchurch site. It is well known that several buildings are in poor condition, and I look forward to working with our partners to deliver the Vehicle Storage and Support Programme that will return the site to full operating capability. This important work will provide vehicles with Controlled Humidity Environment (CHE) storage, reducing maintenance costs and unnecessary deterioration caused by extreme drops or rises in temperature, ensuring that our fleet is operationally ready at all times.”
Skanska will deliver the construction and mechanical and electrical engineering for the complex programme that will see demolition of 58 buildings, construction of 12 new buildings and refurbishment of one existing facility, plus renewal of site wide infrastructure.
Katy Dowding, Skanska Executive Vice President Skanska UK said:
We’re excited to begin demolition on this significant project, as from this point forward, we are on the way to transforming the site into a facility that will protect and futureproof the British Army’s vehicle fleet – and we’re really proud to be a part of that.
Steve Holbrook, Managing Director for Skanska UK’s construction arm, was also on hand as the demolition got underway. He said: “Sustainability will be a guiding principle in how we deliver this project, and we will be looking at how we can use modern methods of construction, plus a green site set up approach and productivity monitoring to drive down carbon emissions.”
The project signifies a joint approach to providing better opportunities for Defence and the local community. Having previously engaged with Tewkesbury Borough Council, there is a real optimism about what this represents. The local region’s support to the Armed forces continues and this investment into Ashchurch ensures a long-lasting relationship that will continue to strengthen. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
28 Sep 22. US, UK to Develop Electric Drive System for Military Vehicles. QinetiQ has forged a partnership with American automotive manufacturer AM General to develop a hybrid electric drive system to be integrated into the high-mobility, multipurpose Humvee military vehicle.
According to the two companies, the partnership will explore various electrification technologies that can be utilized by land-based military vehicles. It will also seek improved performance and to decarbonize military operations.
To aid in the development phase of the project, QinetiQ and AM General have created two fully interactive virtual reality Humvee models. They will be used to depict how electric drive technology can be combined with an automotive system with minimal disruption.
QinetiQ chief technology officer Mike Sewart explained that the current advances in electric drive systems prove that there is a “credible alternative” to conventional mechanical military vehicle design. He stated that developing an electrification system could revolutionize how the army operates on the battlefield.
“This collaboration is a critical step for driving defence into a new age of sustainable, more versatile land combat vehicles, capable of tackling complex threats whilst minimizing the impact on the environment,” Sewart said in a press release.
Integrating a hybrid electric drive system into the Humvee will reportedly enable it to tackle more hostile terrain while increasing lethality and minimizing the vehicles’ acoustic and thermal signatures.
The technology would also require up to 30 percent less fuel consumption, reduce vehicle emissions and extend operational range.
AM General senior vice president Regis Luther said that electrifying the Humvee is an exciting first step in delivering improved capabilities to the armed forces for future battlefields.
“By working with QinetiQ, we’re looking at innovative ways to meet the future requirements of our customers around the world, for sustainability and performance through electrification,” he remarked. (Source: LinkedIN)
28 Sep 22. Hyundai Rotem signs defense partnership with Norway’s Kongsberg. South Korean arms maker Hyundai Rotem Co. has clinched a strategic partnership with Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS to jointly develop next-generation battle tanks. Hyundai Rotem said on Wednesday the two companies signed an initial agreement on cooperation on the sidelines of the DX Korea 2022, an international defense exhibition, last week.
Kongsberg is Norway’s largest supplier of defense and space-related systems and weapons. Under the partnership, the two defense companies will jointly develop unmanned turrets and drone attack protection systems to be installed in Hyundai Rotem’s next-generation tanks and wheel-type armored vehicles.
The two companies also agreed that Kongsberg’s products such as remote-controlled weapons systems and digital integration systems will be supplied to Hyundai Rotem for use in its main battle tank, the K2 Black Panther, and K808 wheeled armored personnel carriers.
Through the partnership, Hyundai said it expects to strengthen its platform for ground weapons systems, including tanks and armored vehicles.
The partnership comes as Hyundai Rotem aims to add Norway to the list of its major clients for its K2 battle tank. Earlier this year, the Korean company conducted a winter field test for the K2 Black Panther in Norway. Norway’s next-generation battle tank project is estimated at $1.7bn. In July, Hyundai Rotem, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) and Hanwha Defense Corp. clinched export deals worth 20 trillion won ($15.2bn) with Poland. Under the deal, Hyundai Rotem will supply 180 K2 tanks to Poland by year’s end. The Hyundai Motor Co. subsidiary is also eyeing tenders for weapons exports to Australia, Malaysia and Colombia. Korea aims to become one of the world’s top three defense exporters within the next five years, up from its 10th-place rank in 2021. (Source: Google/https://www.kedglobal.com/)
27 Sep 22. BAE Systems Hägglunds reveals Dutch Army’s first upgraded CV90. Series production of 122 infantry fighting vehicles is scheduled to commence at the end of 2023. BAE Systems Hägglunds has unveiled the first test version of the upgraded Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90) for the Royal Netherlands Army. The ‘first of type’ infantry fighting vehicle was produced at BAE’s facility in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The latest upgrade follows a $500m contract awarded by the Dutch Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) to BAE Systems last year.
The contract requires BAE Systems to carry out mid-life modernisation of 122 CV90s, with the option of 19 additional vehicles.
Series production of the vehicles is scheduled to commence at the end of next year while the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.
The modernised CV90 is equipped with an active protection system to offer more firepower and protection for the infantry against enemy anti-tank missiles. (Source: army-technology.com)
TEK Military Seating Limited
TEK Military Seating Limited is a UK based designer and manufacturer of ProTEK military vehicle seating which offer the highest standards of safety and protection. The ProTEK brand is well respected across the globe for its robust construction, innovative design, built in modularity and cost effectiveness. Our superior products are supported by our experienced team who endeavor to offer unrivalled service to our customers from enquiry, through design and acceptance, to through life support.
From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman