Ajax to Make Public Running Debut At TANKFEST 2024

Photo Credit: UK MoD, provided by the Tank Museum / Crown Copyright 2024
Photo Credit: UK MoD, provided by the Tank Museum / Crown Copyright 2024

The Tank Museum has announced the Ajax will be making its public running debut at TANKFEST 2024. Developed by General Dynamics UK for the British Army, the armored fighting vehicle (AFV) has seen major setbacks throughout its production, and it’s not slated to reach full operational capacity until sometime between October 2028 and September ’29.

Ajax armored fighting vehicle (AFV) parked outside of a building
Ajax armored fighting vehicle (AFV), 2019. (Photo Credit: Finnbarr Webster / Getty Images)

The Ajax AFV will be arriving at the Tank Museum‘s arena in Bovington, United Kingdom fresh off trials navigating difficult terrain and sub-zero temperatures in Sweden. Members of the Household Cavalry Regiment have been the ones putting the vehicle through its tests, with the aim being to measure its firepower accuracy while moving.

Speaking in a press release, Chris van Schaardenburgh, the Head of Collections at the Tank Museum, said, “We are pleased to collaborate with the British Army to showcase the future of warfare next to our collection of historically important tanks. Tank fans will be treated to a show that really tells the story of the development of the tank from WWI to the modern day.”

Ares armored fighting vehicle (AFV) driving along a dirt course
Ares variant of the Ajax armored fighting vehicle (AFV), 2023. (Photo Credit: BEN BIRCHALL / POOL / AFP / Getty Images)

According to the British Army, the Ajax will be “at the heart” of its future armored fleet, “offering enhanced lethality, survivability, reliability, mobility and all-weather intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities through its advanced sensor suite.”

Based on the ASCOD family of armored fighting vehicles equipped by the Spanish and Austrian armed forces, the Ajax began development in 2010, with the first units scheduled to be delivered by mid-2017. Delays prevented this, as did issues that were noted during initial trials.

As the Tank Museum explains, the Ajax is the first British military vehicle to be equipped with a case telescoped 40 mm cannon that’ll have the capacity to fire several different rounds, including the armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS). Several variants will also be developed: the Apollo, the Athena, the Atlas, the Ares and the Argus.

Ajax armored fighting vehicle (AFV) prototype parked outside
Ajax armored fighting vehicle (AFV) prototype, 2016. (Photo Credit: Richard Watt, MoD / Wikimedia Commons / Open Government License v1.0)

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TANKFEST 2024 is slated to take place at the Tank Museum in Bovington from June 28-30, 2024. The three-day event, of which the Saturday is already sold out, will feature guest lecturers and a variety of historic tanks, including the French AMX-13, the M47 Patton and the Centurion FV4003 AVRE.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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