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The Ajax programme

The recent Integrated Review reconfirmed that armoured vehicles remain a major part of the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD’s) land capability. They are used to provide firepower, mobility and protection for service personnel and undertake reconnaissance. MOD is seeking to modernise and upgrade its armoured vehicles at a combined cost of several billion pounds. The Ajax family of armoured reconnaissance fighting vehicles is a central component of MOD’s plans. 

In March 2021, the House of Commons Defence Committee asked the Comptroller & Auditor General to provide independent scrutiny on MOD’s armoured vehicles programmes. Following subsequent media reports, both this Committee and the Committee of Public Accounts have become particularly concerned about progress with the £5 billion Ajax programme. 

The study will assess MOD’s performance in managing the Ajax programme, providing an update on progress against cost, time, and performance milestones. The study will be the NAO’s first in-depth review of defence spending on armoured vehicles since 2011, and will cover:  

  • arrangements for managing the Ajax programme, including strategic oversight and governance;  
  • progress since 2010 on the Ajax programme; and   
  • current plans to deliver the Ajax programme, including contractual arrangements and resourcing.