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Ajax Issues


Dawes
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It seems to be two issues, a vehicle vibration issue, and a sound issue. From my understanding, the sound issue is actually unrelated to the vibration, but actually part of a seeming incompatibility between the headsets, which were apparently army standard, and the vehicle intercom system, which is not.

If you think this is good, I believe the same team has been mentioned as developing the army's next radio/digital management system, or so I'm give to understand. Yeah, good luck with that.

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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On 12/15/2021 at 5:24 PM, Dawes said:

So at the end of the day, is Ajax salvageable or should it be scrapped altogether?

I suspect a lot of time, effort and money will be wasted, followed by a decision to upgrade Warrior as a recce vehicle along the lines of the M3 Bradley.  I've no evidence to support this, just an understanding of British procurement debacles of the past and knowledge of what happens when one gives up a capability (AFV design and manufacture in this case) and tries to restart it some time later.  Also, we appear to have given up recce by stealth in favour of recce by force like the Americans and Germans so Warrior will probably do for a while.  432 is still in service after almost 60 years, Warrior is a mere youth at 33!

Best,

Greg.

 

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I think we will use War riot as recce, as an interim. What hurts is there was a warrior variant called verdi2, that filled the Ajax requirement s perfectly. That was in the late 90s, when no money to buy it was out forwar.

I'm all for buying scimitar mk2. It would serve the army leadership right for not doing the fundamentals, like leading. That and the comedy value.

 

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I seem to recall a report saying the first 100 hulls are out of spec and have quality control issues. That may be the source of the excessive vibration. 

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14 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

I think we will use Warrior as recce, as an interim. What hurts is there was a warrior variant called verdi2, that filled the Ajax requirement s perfectly. That was in the late 90s, when no money to buy it was out forwar.

I'm all for buying scimitar mk2. It would serve the army leadership right for not doing the fundamentals, like leading. That and the comedy value.

 

 

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17 hours ago, GJK said:

I suspect a lot of time, effort and money will be wasted, followed by a decision to upgrade Warrior as a recce vehicle along the lines of the M3 Bradley.  I've no evidence to support this, just an understanding of British procurement debacles of the past and knowledge of what happens when one gives up a capability (AFV design and manufacture in this case) and tries to restart it some time later.  Also, we appear to have given up recce by stealth in favour of recce by force like the Americans and Germans so Warrior will probably do for a while.  432 is still in service after almost 60 years, Warrior is a mere youth at 33!

Best,

Greg.

 

Germans - the Fennek is not happy about that.

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5 hours ago, rohala said:

Isn't it a bit older than that or are you referring to specific vehicles?

It only entered service in 1989 IIRC, though there were some machines on service trials before that. Im pretty sure my brochure dates from the early half of the 1980's showing prototypes on trial.

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23 hours ago, GJK said:

I suspect a lot of time, effort and money will be wasted, followed by a decision to upgrade Warrior as a recce vehicle along the lines of the M3 Bradley.  I've no evidence to support this, just an understanding of British procurement debacles of the past and knowledge of what happens when one gives up a capability (AFV design and manufacture in this case) and tries to restart it some time later.  Also, we appear to have given up recce by stealth in favour of recce by force like the Americans and Germans so Warrior will probably do for a while.  432 is still in service after almost 60 years, Warrior is a mere youth at 33!

They were dipping their toes in the water of "recce by force" during the acceptance tests for CATT, which is so long ago now I've forgotten the date.

Edit: Yikes, 2002.

Edited by DB
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Cool as Ferrets and Scimitar are, there's no room for surveillance equipment and operators.  Ferrets have the additional disadvantage that a .30/7.62 MG won't do jack against a BRDM or BMP.  You really do need something at least LAV sized.

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6 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

I was thinking about making it a drone. In fact, I really have to wonder if there is any logic in any manned recce vehicle anymore.

Drones can't check culverts or trigger ambushes.  They can't see inside buildings or ask local civvies for information like if they've seen enemy or if the village Gasthof is any good.

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every time i drive around here i think how perfect size-wise cvr-t was at it´s heyday, you could snoop around forests and forest tracks, you can turn off-road everywhere, cross almost any field, ploughed or not, snow or not. 

even humvees are too big for forest tracks, 8x8 can´t turn off the roads in lots of places 

 

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For wheeled, there's the Spanish VERT on the market, and the Fennek if you like it armed (as pathetic as it may be). Endurance of both is limited to a few days (a few days more for the Fennek), though I don't think that the Scimitar or Ferret were designed for three week missions behind enemy lines as the Luchs once was.

Tracked is a different thing. The Wiesel simply is too small as a platform. Even VERT and Fennek are too small to fit, say, an additional (recoverable) drone such as the RQ-11b Raven (which seems to be the best compromise in size, range, and endurance for a mobile recce platform). Picking the ASCOD hull wasn't a terrible choice, all things considered (just because they botched the execution doesn't mean that the idea was wrong).

If you pick something intermediate in size between Scimitar and ASCOD you load the project with the additional risks of developing a new and bespoke vehicle platform (though hindsight being 20/20, it hasn't helped in this case).

I really don't understand how they managed to fuck this up. The Pizarro and Ulan, while still small compared to beasts like the CV90/35, seem to be reasonably mature and not louder while driving than other tanks and IFVs I've been in (and the number has grown over the decades; not that I made calibrated and scientific recordings of noise levels - silent was none of them, except for the Luchs).

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37 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

For wheeled, there's the Spanish VERT on the market, and the Fennek if you like it armed (as pathetic as it may be). Endurance of both is limited to a few days (a few days more for the Fennek), though I don't think that the Scimitar or Ferret were designed for three week missions behind enemy lines as the Luchs once was.

Interesting points. How can a mechanized unit operate for three weeks behind enemy lines? Would the Luchs carry so much fuel?

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59 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

For wheeled, there's the Spanish VERT on the market, and the Fennek if you like it armed (as pathetic as it may be). Endurance of both is limited to a few days (a few days more for the Fennek), though I don't think that the Scimitar or Ferret were designed for three week missions behind enemy lines as the Luchs once was.

Tracked is a different thing. The Wiesel simply is too small as a platform. Even VERT and Fennek are too small to fit, say, an additional (recoverable) drone such as the RQ-11b Raven (which seems to be the best compromise in size, range, and endurance for a mobile recce platform). Picking the ASCOD hull wasn't a terrible choice, all things considered (just because they botched the execution doesn't mean that the idea was wrong).

If you pick something intermediate in size between Scimitar and ASCOD you load the project with the additional risks of developing a new and bespoke vehicle platform (though hindsight being 20/20, it hasn't helped in this case).

I really don't understand how they managed to fuck this up. The Pizarro and Ulan, while still small compared to beasts like the CV90/35, seem to be reasonably mature and not louder while driving than other tanks and IFVs I've been in (and the number has grown over the decades; not that I made calibrated and scientific recordings of noise levels - silent was none of them, except for the Luchs).

Im probably going to have DB on my case for speculating, but if I was a guessing man, I would suggest the disbandment of the FVRDE, the unit that historically oversaw and developed most of our fighting vehicles back to the cold war, may be a likely culprit Tony Blair had its remnants bundled up and flogged off in a grouping called 'Quinetiq' and by most accounts, little of what it does has worked very well since. Well hey, its not like we will need any more AFV's, what with Russia being our friend now. :rolleyes:

It also might be right to view it in the same light as MBT70, over ambition, lack of oversight due to being preoccupied with a foreign counterinsurgency, then realise its mushroomed into a ghastly contrivance that nobody wants to admit to having started. The Yanks had the courage to pull the plug. I fear many of our political and military leaders do not.

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1 hour ago, rohala said:

Interesting points. How can a mechanized unit operate for three weeks behind enemy lines? Would the Luchs carry so much fuel?

Mostly by staying quite. Eastern front 41-45 lesson, that even Bn sized units can survive for some time and provide valuable intel if they stay low to the ground.

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2 hours ago, Ssnake said:

... though I don't think that the Scimitar or Ferret were designed for three week missions behind enemy lines as the Luchs once was...

Scimitar - 5 days.

From a local data (Scimitar was considered in the late '70s as a BRDM-2 replacement, since it was only IIRC 700kg heavier and vastly more capable).

Fuel and oil - 5 days for Scimitar (total road range - ~450km). 6 days for BRDM-2 (total road range ~700km).

Ammo - 5 days for Scimitar with 33 rounds of 30mm per day. BRDM-2 - 5 days with 100 rounds of 14.5 per day (30mm was considered 3 times as effective as 14.5, so 3 times less ammo needed for a "typical engagement"). Secondary weapon on both - 5 days with 400 rounds per day. ATGM* - 2 carried on Scimitar, none on BRDM-2.

*I have no fucking clue what they are talking about here. AFAIK version offered and demonstrated to Yugoslavia was a bog standard Scimitar. Unless there was a plan to equip it locally with ATGM...

Water and food - 7* days for Scimitar, 5 for BRDM-2. BRDM-2 had 4-men crew (Driver, Commander, 2 x Scout) vs 3 in the Scimitar. It was noted that since Scimitar has a water heater that can boil water so that in some cases water independency can be significantly increased.

 

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what was the price of scimitar and was it considered to be maintainable by conscript army ? as i understand it , there was some mechanical complexity  involved

 

"Rumour has it that the designer of the gearbox went insane trying to figure out how he actually made it work." Not strictly true, it was the final drives that sent the designer nuts, as they feature epicyclic gears(knowns to the VM's as epileptic gears!). Despite the best efforts of the instructors at SEME Light A classes, I never did figure out what was going on in there.

https://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/CVR(T)   

Edited by bd1
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52 minutes ago, bd1 said:

what was the price of scimitar and was it considered to be maintainable by conscript army ? ...

No, it was considered quite OK, transmission maintenance would be a depot work anyway, and depots had career NCOs doing most of the work. It is not clear why it was not acquired in the end, price was acceptable, and only disadvantage was inability to swim w/o preparations. I think that idea of recce changed due in that time period and 1980s reorganizations that followed due the influence of US and Soviet "fighting recce" vehicles based on IFV chassis.

Edited by bojan
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I would think that drones could assume many of these missions. They not limited by terrain, rivers, obstacles, etc.  They're unmanned and (theoretically, anyway), cheaper than a tracked vehicle. And probably quieter than any land vehicle. I'm not sure if they're effective in a rainstorm or a snowstorm, though.

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I'm all for equipping a recce platform with the means to launch small drones for aerial surveillance. They can, however, gather intelligence only for as long as their batteries last (minutes, rather than days or weeks), and only in a medium to low threat airspace. A modern recce platform should also be able to plant ground sensors for automatic data collection, with seismic and sound sensors, motion-detecting cameras, and the ability to transmit such data in burst transmissions, possibly by laser-to-satellite.

You will always need a vehicle to carry all this shit, and you need a vehicle because you don't know where you will need to observe. But that doesn't mean that the vehicle itself must be the primary observation platform. I'm also not convinced that it absolutely has to be a tracked platform, as much as I generally prefer tracked over wheeled.

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