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Brewup

Ajax (Scout SV)

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Brewup    2

Hi 


Whilst praying and hoping for a manufacturer to announce a kit of the Ajax IFV :thumbsup:

 

I started thinking about the different approach that armies around the world take when it comes to arming and protecting IFV's  

 

For example the new generation of Russian IFV's such as the AT15 and Kurganets-25 are armed with both cannon and ATGM's as well as both soft and hard kill APS systems 

 

Where as the Ajax is "only" armed with a 40mm cannon and will have soft kill APS? 

 

So can anyone shed any light on why the British Army do not feel the requirement for arming their IFV's with both cannon and ATGM's? 


And the same applies for a hard kill APS systems? 

 

Discuss ;)

Edited by Brewup
typo

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Niall    93

The Ajax is a scout vehicle, which is designed to find and report enemy formations not to engage them. Also give it anti-tank missiles and it becomes a priority target for enemy vehicles.

 

Active self protection systems are a hazard to infantry and civilians near the vehicle.

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Brewup    2

Hi Nial 

 

Very true spot, report and run :) 

 

However is the British Army now face the prospect of being out gunned as although I am sure the 40mm cannon  on the Ajax can do some major damage having the longer range of an ATGM would be handy :)

 

I do see your point about the APS as I was reading that although the US Army is looking at a hard kill option they are concerned operating dismounted infantry in same vicinity as any vehicles with this system

Edited by Brewup

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Centaur95    50

As Niall points out, the Ajax is a scout vehicle not an IFV so you aren't comparing vehicles of the same class or purpose.

 

Nowt wrong with a 40mm cannon using modern ammunition and propellant technology but on a scout vehicle, opening fire on the enemy is a tactic of last resort because it means you've been spotted and need to escape rather than taking the fight to the enemy.

 

Adding an ATGM (or similar) system to a scout vehicle does several things. It makes the vehicle more expensive; it makes it heavier and larger (you need space to mount the launcher and carry the spare missiles); it either increases the number of crew required to operate the vehicle (more space required) or increases the workload on the existing crew members and erodes their ability to carry out their priority task (scouting); it increases the training requirement for the crew (an extra specialism to learn); it may encourage the crew to duke it out with the enemy when they should be retreating and reporting their findings WITHOUT being spotted; it can encourage field commanders to mis-use the vehicle as a surrogate tank, at which point it becomes extremely vulnerable in a role for which it was never designed - armoured vehicle development is littered with examples of all of the above.

 

Cheers,

Centaur

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Das Abteilung    185

The Scout family originally included both ATGM (Recce Overwatch) and SHORAD planned variants, in the days when the family was to be 1,300 or so vehicles with 650 Scouts. Now there are less total vehicles than the original numbers of Scouts, with many recce units - especially infantry - relegated to Jackals.  The ATGM and SHORAD were early casualties, so there is no Stormer HVM replacement on the cards either.  A turreted 120mm mortar variant was also postulated.

 

The Russians, like the US, still undertake recce by fire whereas we, as noted above, prefer recce by stealth.  They desire contact, where we try to avoid it.  Equipping IFVs (in particular) and recce vehicles with ATGMs, powerful guns and effective FCS inevitably leads to them being used as light tanks in environments where they are not sufficiently survivable.  This is one reason why Warrior was not equipped to fire on the move: that was a positive choice.  The same argument came up with the Warrior improvements: should it have the same FCS etc as Scout, or a lesser capability?  FRES, as it was then, envisaged dismounting ATGM teams in both infantry and Recce units - with variants specifically configured for the carriage of missiles and launchers using interchangeable ro-ro modules. Same for mortar and HMG teams.  Having said that, a hull-down IFV with ATGM can give you a very nice edge as long as you stay hull-down.  Break cover and you will probably become a casualty, leaving the dismounts with no fire support and no transport.  But stay put and your launch position is fixed for counter-fire.  Best as an IFV or recce to stay out of missile duels and incoming retaliatory 120/125 HEAT or APDS.

 

There was a parallel concept of a Medium Armour vehicle on a probably-enlarged chassis mounting the RUAG low-recoil version of the Rheinmetall 120 smoothbore.  It was hoped that this would be able to fire gun-launched ATGM developed by others, probably the French, thus eliminating the need for a dedicated ATGM vehicle.  But this came to nothing. The Hagglunds CV90120 has been over to Bovington a couple of times for demonstrations to prove that the concept works, although not at the time cleared for manned firing. That Medium Armour family was also projected to include ARV, AVRE and AVLB, and possibly 155mm SPG.  Whether the concept will be resurrected remains to be seen.  Challenger is slated to be with us in improved form but reduced numbers until 2035.  Will we need an MBT after that?  Guess we'd better ask Comrade Boris.  MBT are little use in asymmetric warfare.  And it will be a foreign product, as all our production facilities are gone.

 

One reason for choosing the 40mm CTAS weapon over the prevailing 30mm calibre was the effectiveness of the ammunition.  A Bofors-chambered 40mm weapon, although preferred, would not allow the required commonality with the lethality-improved Warrior.  Don't underestimate it.  Primary AT round is APDS at about 1,200m/s.  But the HE round is the scary one. Plastic-cased, pre-fragmented able to be set for point det, delay or time-fused airburst set in the breech by the FCS using laser ranging.  Weighs about 1kg, mostly bang stuff and frag because of the plastic casing.  Warrior will have the same weapon.  Quite a day-spoiler.

 

Hard-kill DAS was experimented-with, but it has collateral damage implications as noted above - as indeed does ERA.  And it really only works against ATGM and RPG.  No use against AP and APDS.  Protection also degrades as modules are fired, again like ERA.  Soft-kill wasn't really looked-at.  IDF are really the experts in this field, relying on the Droid to dazzle and deflect incoming laser homers and the Trophy system to intercept, with ERA as a last line.  Layered defence.  Remember the Holy Trinity Of Survival: don't be seen, don't be hit, don't be penetrated.

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Brewup    2

Many thanks for your input guys very informative and interesting reading from all  :thumbsup:

 

Although as you can probably guess not too knowledgeable about this subject I do find it fascinating 

 

Cheers :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Niall    93

Just had a thought about the Ajax. It should be possible to use the vehicle to control the Spike NLOS(Exactor in British army service) which would give the vehicle a tank/bunker killing capabilty, whilst remaining covert.

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Brewup    2

Interesting thought indeed, providing targeting for the Exactor without  the Ajax having to reveal itself by engaging the target directly

 

Do you know how the Exactors are deployed in the British Army i.e. what delivery system/vehicle is used as from what I can see it all seems to be a bit "hush hush" at the moment 

 

On a slightly similar theme  I was also reading about the Stryker "leathality upgrade" program

 

The Dragoon mounting a 30mm turret along and another variant with the CROWS-J

 

So going back to my first thoughts is there a feeling amongst Nato/Western armies that they could be out gunned compared to the latest Russian systems that appear to have all the "bells and whistles"? 


Cheers 

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Das Abteilung    185

Exactor is now out of service and the RA user unit has been disbanded.  Keeping the M113 carrier vehicle in service would require a complete new depot support solution as it is not common to anything else UK now uses.  It was acquired as an Urgent Operational Requirement, for which the support solutions are usually somewhat less substantial as the service life is expected to be less than 5 years, and often rely more on in-theatre contractor support.

 

The trailer-mounted units would appear to still be viable, and the vehicle mounted system could conceivably be transplanted from M113 to another platform, especially if designed from the outset to accept it.  They haven't exactly seen intensive use.  There was a question as to whether we had actually bought the kit or simply leased it from IDF.  In the latter case of course it would need to be returned.

 

It remains to be seen if an Ajax-Spike marriage will come about.  But with bully boy Comrade Boris kicking the sleeping bear awake and rattling every edged weapon he can get his hands on, an SPATGW would seem a sensible capability to have.

 

And no, the Challenger upgrade will not include an ATGW.  Nor will it replace the rifled gun, so no gun-launched ATGW option.

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Niall    93

According to Janes' Defence Weekly the trailer based Exactor launcher was adopted by the army in 2015.

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Brewup    2

Another interesting read 

 

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/bae-say-challenger-2-upgrade-package-offers-future-ready-main-battle-tank/

 

I am a little curious about the comment 

 

"These will include soft and hard kill defensive aids systems, modular armour and a choice of weapon upgrades"

 

Choice of weapon upgrades?

 

 

 

 

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Niall    93

The Challenger 2 upgrade program is to fit an overhead weapon station on the turret roof that can be fired by any crew member. This can have a 7.62mm or 50cal machine gun or the 40mm H&K Grenade Machine Gun.

 

One other thing on the Ajax, does anyone know what the 2 rows of 3 vertical cylindrical objects on the glassis plate are?

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Brewup    2

Thanks Niall 

 

I thought as much, will be very interested to see how this update plans out

 

With regards the Ajax I noticed those as well,  the ones above the acoustic detector domes?

 

Weaponry_Ajax_Scout_SV_British_513216_12

 

Edited by Brewup

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Das Abteilung    185

If you look at the Ares, it has a radio antenna mounted on the front right (from this view) circular object.  In addition to 3 antennas at the rear.  VHF, HF, HCDR + ??  UHF??  One each side could be mountings for antennas for internal ECM unit.  But certainly looks like antenna mounts of some sort.  Restricts forward fire arcs.  3 visible antenna bases on the Ajax turret, logically.  Other interesting brown flat panel antennas on turret front and rear quarters and Ares top edges of hull roof and glacis.  Not unlike the MMW ESA antennas for Trophy.  The large central object on the glacis is almost certainly the driver's EO sensors: white light camera and image intensifier

 

The Ares here is a prototype, pictured at the NATO conference in Newport a couple of years ago.  The Ajax looks more like a production spec.  The front bar-armour-cum-step is interesting.  Looks like lots of vulnerable bits.

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Brewup    2

Hi Das Abteilung 

 

Thanks for the info 

 

Yes I noticed the brown faced units and thought the same, more so as they are mounted in positions that would indicate its could be part of the defensive sensor suite 

Edited by Brewup

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