Formerly known as Scout SV, the Ajax has been ordered in five more variants, Ares, Apollo, Athena, Atlas and Argus, which will replace existing CVR(T) vehicles. (GD UK)
Tracked vehicles In the UK two tracked vehicle programmes are underway. One is in fact a refurbishment programme, known as Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), the other being the Ajax (formerly Scout SV), the trait d’union between them being the 40 mm CTA gun using case telescoped ammunition, which first production standard weapon was delivered in March 2016. The WCSP programme concerns the refurbishment of 380 of the original 789 Warriors built in the late1980s and includes improvements in the electronic architecture, modular protection, and in fightability and lethality, a new Lockheed Martin two-man turret armed with the aforementioned 40 mm gun replacing the old turret. As for the Ajax, this is based on GDELS ASCOD 2 chassis fitted with a Lockheed Martin turret armed with the 40 mm CTA gun, the turret structure being manufactured by Rheinmetall. Equipped with a comprehensive ISTAR suite, 245 of this the 38 tonne vehicle will be built. The great majority, 198, will be in the Recce and Strike variants, 23 Joint Fires aimed at forward observers and 24 Ground Base Surveillance fitted with a radar system completing the numbers. A turretless version, fitted with a Kongsberg RCWS, generally known as Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS), will also be available in variable numbers: 93 Ares, 59 in the Armoured Personnel Carrier and 34 in the Formation Reconnaissance Overwatch configurations, 112 Athena command post, and 51 Argus Engineer Reconnaissance vehicles. Thirty-eight Atlas Recovery Vehicles and 50 Engineer Repair Vehicles complete the programme which totals 589 vehicles. The first 40 mm production gun was delivered in March 2016, and the Ajax was test fired in mid-April. Tests without crew will be finalised by late 2016, the first test with the manned turret being scheduled for early 2017. Overall 515 40 mm CTA guns have been ordered, considering both Ajax and WCSP programmes. Moving to Spain, early 2016 marked the start of the delivery of the new Pizarro II to the Ejercito de Tierra. Compared to the original Pizarro, of which 144 are in service with the Ejercito de Tierra, the vehicles being EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement
acquired in the Phase II of the programme are heavier, hence the adoption of the 710 hp MTU 8V TE20 that increases the output power by 110 hp. This led to the adoption of the new SAPA SG-850 transmission in place of the original one provided by Renk. The chassis is slightly wider (+210 mm) and high (+107 mm), the greater width being due to the side skirts which ensure greater protection and decrease tracks thermal signature. The rear compartment can host either six or seven dismounts, depending on the mission, and the rear door has been redesigned. Also the turret was upgraded, and received a new ballistic computer; the commander has a new command handle while both the commander and gunner have new screens. The weight increase led to a fuel tank reduction of around 10%, with a similar impact on endurance. Originally the Spanish Army was due to receive 212 new Pizarros in different versions, however Phase II numbers have been cut to 117 due to financial constraints. On the export market, following the choice for wheels made by Denmark, which was however good for GDELS, the company is now proposing its Ascod to Colombia, in the armoured personnel carrier version. With Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, using its tracked infantry fighting vehicle, BAE Systems continues to develop its CV90. The last contract came from Sweden, BAE Systems having been awarded a contract to refurbish 262 CV90s; of these 172 will be Stridsfordon 9040 (Strf) infantry fighting vehicles, 40 Stridsledningspansarbandvagn 90 (Stripbv) forward command vehicles, 22 Eldledningspansarbandvagn 90 (Epbv) forward observation vehicles, 16 Luftvärnskanonvagn 90 (Lvkv) air defence vehicles, and 12 Bärgningsbandvagn 90 (Bgbv) armoured recovery vehicles. The work will include re-
The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme aims at upgrading part of the current Warrior fleet, with the adoption, among other improvements, of a new turret fitted with a 40 mm CTAI gun. (P. Valpolini)
In this special Eurosatory 2016 supplement, Paolo Valpolini discusses both wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles.