British Army Deploys Latest AJAX and ARES Tracked Armored Vehicles in Major Exercise

The British Army has deployed its latest generation of AJAX and ARES reconnaissance tracked armored vehicles for the first time during a military exercise, as revealed by photographs released by the British Ministry of Defense. These state-of-the-art combat vehicles are set to replace the older CVRT reconnaissance armored vehicles that have been in service with the British army for years.
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British Army conducted the first military exercise with AJAX and ARES new generation of tracked reconnaissance armored vehicles. (Picture source MoD)

The deployment took place during Exercise Iron Titan on Salisbury Plain Trains Area (SPTA), marking it as the British Army’s most extensive land exercise in over two decades. The exercise witnessed the participation of approximately 8,000 troops. The British Army Royal Lancers showcased the AJAX Armoured Fighting Vehicle and the ARES Troop Carriage Armoured Fighting Vehicle during this exercise.

Exercise Iron Titan is not just a display of military might but also an embodiment of innovation and the exploration of new concepts. This comes shortly after General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, announced a comprehensive renewal of the British Army's approach to future warfare.

The 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, also known as the Iron Division, is at the forefront of this transformation. Its infantry and cavalry regiments are known for their rigorous training in complex field exercises. The exercise also serves as a platform for those who provide enabling support and sustainment to frontline combat troops. They will be experimenting with novel ideas to translate the General's vision into actionable strategies on the battlefield. This includes everything from honing basic soldiering skills to ensuring that combat soldiers are equipped with the right tools at the right time, ensuring success in campaigns of unknown durations.

The deployment of the AJAX and ARES vehicles underscores the British Army's commitment to modernizing its fleet and staying at the cutting edge of military technology. These vehicles are expected to enhance the army's reconnaissance capabilities significantly, providing them with an edge in future combat scenarios.

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The AJAX is armed with a 40mm automatic cannon and it is the future reconnaissance armored vehicle of the British army. (Picture source British MoD)

The AJAX is a versatile armored fighting vehicle designed for a range of roles, from direct combat to reconnaissance. It boasts advanced ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance) capabilities, ensuring that British forces have a clear advantage on the battlefield. Its modular design allows for various configurations, ensuring adaptability to different mission requirements.

The main armament of Ajax consists of one 40 mm CTA International CT40 cannon as its main armament. This cannon is a Case Telescoped Armament System (CTAS). In addition to the main cannon, the Ajax is fitted with a 7.62 mm L94A1 coaxial chain gun. The vehicle's primary sight can be replaced with a fully stabilized remote weapon system, and its digital fire control system enables it to fire on the move. The CT40 cannon can conduct 'smart fires', which means it can fire various types of rounds including air burst rounds that cover 13,000 sq ft, point detonating rounds capable of defeating 8.3" reinforced concrete, and armor-piercing rounds that can penetrate 140mm of hardened steel armor.

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The ARES is the APC Armored Personnel Carrier version of the new generation of British army reconnaissance armored vehicles. (Picture source British MoD)

The ARES, on the other hand, is primarily a troop carriage armored fighting vehicle. It is designed to transport infantry safely across the battlefield, providing them with enhanced protection against a range of threats. Its design emphasizes speed, agility, and advanced protection systems, ensuring that troops can be deployed rapidly and securely.

In terms of armament, the ARES is equipped with a Kongsberg Protector Remote Weapon Station armed with a 12.7mm machine gun. The turret of the ARES features a Detached Line of Sight (DLOS) system, allowing the gunner to maintain sight on the target, independent of the ballistic solution for the weapon/ammunition being used. Furthermore, the turret is integrated with a thermal imager with a dual field of view and a Color Daylight camera. This setup provides a wide field of view for observation and offers a magnified close-up view of the target area, facilitating the identification and engagement of long-distance targets.

Defense News October 2023