British army takes delivery of first six ARES APC Armored Personnel Carriers of Ajax family

According to a video released on the YouTube account of the British Army on July 27, 2020, last week the British army received the first six ARES, the APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) version in the Ajax family of tracked armored vehicles that will replace the fleet of CVR-T light reconnaissance tracked armored vehicles in service with the British Army for decades.
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British army takes delivery of the first six ARES Armored Personnel Carriers variant in the AJAX family of tracked armored vehicles. (Picture source: British Army Youtube account)

The Ajax is a family of tracked armored vehicles being developed by General Dynamics for the British Army. In September 2014, General Dynamics was awarded a £3.5 billion contract to deliver 589 AJAX vehicles to the British Army. In July 2015, the company was awarded a additional  £390 million contract to provide in-service support for the AJAX fleet until 2024.

Replacing the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) platform, the AJAX program of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) being developed by General Dynamics for the British Army includes six variants: AJAX, Ares, Apollo, Athena, Atlas and Argus.

This order included scope for 245 turreted AJAX units, 256 Protected Mobility Recce Support (PMRS) units and 88 Engineering units based on the PMRS. The 245 turreted AJAX units consist of 198 Reconnaissance and Strike vehicles, 23 Joint Fire Control vehicles and 24 Ground Based Surveillance vehicles.

The 256 PMRS units comprise 59 Armoured Personnel Carriers (Ares); 112 Command and Control vehicles (Athena); 34 Formation Reconnaissance Overwatch vehicles (Ares); and 51 Engineer Reconnaissance vehicles (Argus).

The ARES has a crew of three (driver, commander and gunner). The rear part of the vehicle can accommodate 6 infantrymen. The vehicle will be fitted with a Kongsberg Protector Remote Weapon Station armed with a 12.7mm machine gun. The turret is fitted with a Detached Line of Sight (DLOS) that enables the gunner to keep his sight on target, independently of the ballistic solution for the weapon/ammunition in use. The turret is also fitted with a thermal imager with a dual field of view and a Color Daylight camera that allows a wide field of view up to 45 degrees while observing, and more than 30 times optical magnified close-up view of the target area when identifying and engaging a long-distance target.