AJAX - the ‘NOT the CR2 upgrade’ thread

If anything else current events in Ukraine show a simple battlefield taxi like the FV432/M113 have a place still. A tracked BOXER is probably a compromised design in comparison to a bespoke solution but considering the UK is buying a large number of wheeled BOXER I can see some synergies here....

Just keep ATDU and MOD on a very tight leash if it is to be considered!
 
If anything else current events in Ukraine show a simple battlefield taxi like the FV432/M113 have a place still. A tracked BOXER is probably a compromised design in comparison to a bespoke solution but considering the UK is buying a large number of wheeled BOXER I can see some synergies here....

Just keep ATDU and MOD on a very tight leash if it is to be considered!
Just make such no middle ranking & senior officers eager for their next crown are anywhere near the trials process and make clear than no officer is moving on to their next posting until the vehicle is in full service...
 
A bit of nonsense from the Government:

""“When selecting the new armoured fighting vehicle for the Army a number of possibilities were considered, including the CV90. After a full competitive process, the Ajax vehicles was selected."

How can you have a competitive selection of a vehicle which did not exist?
 
A bit of nonsense from the Government:

""“When selecting the new armoured fighting vehicle for the Army a number of possibilities were considered, including the CV90. After a full competitive process, the Ajax vehicles was selected."

How can you have a competitive selection of a vehicle which did not exist?
To be honest George at UK Defence Journal is being a bit naughty in how he titled this article. The MOD didn't actually say that CV90 is being held under review.
 
To be honest George at UK Defence Journal is being a bit naughty in how he titled this article. The MOD didn't actually say that CV90 is being held under review.
it looks like an excuse to rehash a week old story. I imagine the MoD keeps all AFVs under review.
 
Considering that AJAX is doing the rounds again I did a quick Google news search for AJAX to see what the state of play was, after scrolling past the news articles about some sports team who play a minor and uninteresting sport that revolves around kicking a leather ball up and down a field I found that all the articles popping up for AJAX were nearly a year old by in large with GDLS stating that they had nearly ironed all the issues out. What articles that come up from this year has GDLS saying exactly the same thing.

I think we need to be brave enough to say to GDLS you have six months to start substantive deliveries of something that actually works to specification or we do a Norway cancel the contract and demand our money back!

 
we do a Norway cancel the contract and demand our money back!
One little problem with that is the payments were for work stages completed which we signed off as satisfactory, it would be very difficult to recoup.
 
That fact was in the back of my mind when I wrote the thread post, I do think we need to get more creative in holding GDLS and the MOD to account over this debacle of a programme.
Potential compromise perhaps to be found in ordering licence built (ok UK assembled) Eagle 5 for MRVP with a build share in future exports.

All done with a significant discount - GDELS avoids paying back money* - HMG saves money on something it needs - with the potential to make money on exports.




*Nor does it lose money really on Eagle sales as HMG buys something else instead if they dont agree
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
The Ajax has a 20 Gbit/s Ethernet intelligent open architecture, which enables it to capture, process and store six TBs of information gathered by the sensors. It can then share this data, be it images or other information, via a real-time integrated BOWMAN communication system as fitted to the Challenger 2. Power for these systems comes from a silent auxiliary power generator".

I also read this bit with some confusion. Ethernet is an open architecture, it's a network protocol. I can only assume it means the whole internal system of hardware and software is a) non-proprietary, and b) forward compatible, which is a long way of saying it's standard design practice. 'Intelligent' is usually marketing fluff.

20 Gb/s is...odd. (For those who reasonably don't know, Gbit/s = bits = Gb/s, Gbyte/s = bytes = GB/s = bits x 8 ) It's a non-standard hardware specification, which matters because it will be many, many times more expensive than a 1/10 Gb/s interface. Internally (i.e. within the vehicle) fine, it's easy enough to do that with fibre cable and no particular reason why not other than cost, which is about the non-standard interface device. With only 6TB (2k hours of high-res video) however, it already seems overfitted internally: unless you have some miraculous compression software, size of storage roughly scales with speed of collection (because quicker collection creates more data). So even internally it is very unlikely that max 20Gb/s is even going to be slightly tested, because that speed would fill up the drives in 40 minutes. Having known the Army, I cannot shake the suspicion that the criteria determination went like this:

Army: What's the maximum speed of current cutting edge technology?
GD: Hard to say, but by its first decade of service, probably around 10Gb/s.
Army: Hmm. Double it.
GD: ($$$$!) Sure!

The other option is that it is simply 2 x 10 Gb/s systems, and the Wiki or project managers have simply misunderstood. In technical terms there are differences, but set up properly, in this case there should be minimal practical differences. It would make sense to have a redundant system, for example, but that would still be a 10Gb/s system with 100% redundancy, not a 20Gb/s system.

What makes no sense is that BOWMAN has a maximum network throughput a fraction of either 10 or 20Gb/s. So the vehicles won't be able to share data at anything like that rate. Particularly with a separate power generator, it's going to be limited to at best the lower range of (I presume, given the range requirements) microwave radio net throughput, which is 1Gb/s in ideal conditions (static; high power; optimal weather; carefully planned direct line of sight). There is almost no chance the vehicles will be operating under any of those conditions, ever. While there are a range of attempts or theoretical plans to improve wireless throughput, they are either quite far out (decades) or where they exist, require large static powered infrastructure (the whole purpose of these vehicles is to support mobile operations and move away from static bases) and occupy a massive spectrum of bandwidth in a way that I suspect would be unworkable in a combat environment (it would be extremely vulnerable to jamming). There is exactly zero chance that MORPHEUS will change any of this, because that would mean the MOD was sitting on literally £tns of cutting edge wireless networking tech, the UK would be the new world leader in that sector, all our economic problems would be sorted, and we wouldn't have gone cap in hand to Huawei for 5G. This is not the present situation.

(The kind of innovation that might make these speeds worthwhile is presently estimated to be about 20-30 years out, and the lifetime of AJAX is meant to be 30 years. So, Moore's Law this is not.)

The Wiki may be inaccurate, but perhaps equally likely is the people doing the procuring just didn't understand the base networking technology. Which isn't surprising once you've met a few Royal Signals officers. Anyone else discussed this during this thread? You'll be shocked to know I haven't read the previous 350 pages.
 
Last edited:

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I also read this bit with some confusion. Ethernet is an open architecture, it's a network protocol. I can only assume it means the whole internal system of hardware and software is a) non-proprietary, and b) forward compatible, which is a long way of saying it's standard design practice. 'Intelligent' is usually marketing fluff.

20 Gb/s is...odd. (For those who reasonably don't know, Gbit/s = bits = Gb/s, Gbyte/s = bytes = GB/s = bits x 8) It's a non-standard hardware specification, which matters because it will be many, many times more expensive than a 1/10 Gb/s interface. Internally (i.e. within the vehicle) fine, it's easy enough to do that with fibre cable and no particular reason why not other than cost, which is about the non-standard interface device. With only 6TB (2k hours of high-res video) however, it already seems overfitted internally: unless you have some miraculous compression software, size of storage roughly scales with speed of collection (because quicker collection creates more data). So even internally it is very unlikely that max 20Gb/s is even going to be slightly tested, because that speed would fill up the drives in 40 minutes. Having known the Army, I cannot shake the suspicion that the criteria determination went like this:

Army: What's the maximum speed of current cutting edge technology?
GD: Hard to say, but by its first decade of service, probably around 10Gb/s.
Army: Hmm. Double it.
GD: ($$$$!) Sure!

The other option is that it is simply 2 x 10 Gb/s systems, and the Wiki or project managers have simply misunderstood. In technical terms there are differences, but set up properly, in this case there should be minimal practical differences. It would make sense to have a redundant system, for example, but that would still be a 10Gb/s system with 100% redundancy, not a 20Gb/s system.

What makes no sense is that BOWMAN has a maximum network throughput a fraction of either 10 or 20Gb/s. So the vehicles won't be able to share data at anything like that rate. Particularly with a separate power generator, it's going to be limited to at best the lower range of (I presume, given the range requirements) microwave radio net throughput, which is 1Gb/s in ideal conditions (static; high power; optimal weather; carefully planned direct line of sight). There is almost no chance the vehicles will be operating under any of those conditions, ever. While there are a range of attempts or theoretical plans to improve wireless throughput, they are either quite far out (decades) or where they exist, require large static powered infrastructure (the whole purpose of these vehicles is to support mobile operations and move away from static bases) and occupy a massive spectrum of bandwidth in a way that I suspect would be unworkable in a combat environment (it would be extremely vulnerable to jamming). There is exactly zero chance that MORPHEUS will change any of this, because that would mean the MOD was sitting on literally £tns of cutting edge wireless networking tech, the UK would be the new world leader in that sector, all our economic problems would be sorted, and we wouldn't have gone cap in hand to Huawei for 5G. This is not the present situation.

(The kind of innovation that might make these speeds worthwhile is presently estimated to be about 20-30 years out, and the lifetime of AJAX is meant to be 30 years. So, Moore's Law this is not.)

The Wiki may be inaccurate, but perhaps equally likely is the people doing the procuring just didn't understand the base networking technology. Which isn't surprising once you've met a few Royal Signals officers. Anyone else discussed this during this thread? You'll be shocked to know I haven't read the previous 350 pages.
See procurement of HMS Albion.

Someone changed the comms spec from HF to VHF on the basis that ‘very high’ was better than merely ‘high’.
 
See procurement of HMS Albion.

Someone changed the comms spec from HF to VHF on the basis that ‘very high’ was better than merely ‘high’.
That’s awkward, because I’ve spoken to ALBN on HF….
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
That fact was in the back of my mind when I wrote the thread post, I do think we need to get more creative in holding GDLS and the MOD to account over this debacle of a programme.
My bold - who? The Arrse armour design collective?
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer

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