Technology is not always all rosy and wonderful; troops traveling in the latest APV have felt joint aches and nausea along with hearing loss.
The sole purpose of an APV is to ensure that the enemy trembles at the sight of it. However, the British Army’s APV does the same to its own men. The sickness inside the APV takes its toll on the men.
Certainly, the army did not plan to go this way. But the crew onboard the Ajax APV has complained about the unbearable noise inside, which eventually leads to Tinnitus (ringing noise in the ear)
An upgraded version of the ASCOD 2, the 38-ton heavy and armed with a 40-millimeter gun Ajax has heavier armor. But the heavier armor may be the root cause for the noise issue.
The noise is not the only issue that the APV faces. It cannot reverse over an obstacle of 7 inches high coupled with a poor suspension. The shortcomings of the Ajax were firstly reported by the sun.
Amongst all the problems, the noise issue stands out. This issue has led to delayed trials previously as the crew was not able to withstand the noise. After a delay of 4 months, trials began under a controlled environment with restriction over the high speed and time spent in the vehicle. 90 minutes and 20 mph were the limits set. The noise inside is so deafening that the crew has to take a hearing test after dismounting from the Ajax, reports the sun.
A humungous amount of £5.5 billion was sanctioned for 589 of these units by the British MoD. However, as the issues persist in the vehicle, the process’s scrutiny was made tighter. As a result, the contractor, General Dynamics, has only delivered 14 faulty units to date.
The project aimed to induct a modern reconnaissance fleet by 2023 / 24. However, it seems to be a farfetched dream with the initial output and the amount of money and time involved.
Having spent over £3.5 billion already, the Army and MoD remain committed to the project and hopeful to achieve initial operating capability soon. They have been working with General Dynamics to resolve these issues.
Even after coming across initial hurdles, the MOD is hopeful that the project will be operational sooner than later. As a result, they have kept General Dynamics in the loop to resolve the persistent problems.
General Dynamics UK added: “Recent trials have confirmed many of the required capabilities across the Ajax Family of Vehicles, including operations across the full range of speed and reverse step obstacle climb.”