Thales Will Manufacture Sensors for UK IFV Fleet
Thales UK has signed a contract with General Dynamics Land Systems-UK (GDLS-UK) for installation of its ACUSONIC vehicle-mounted acoustic shot detection systems for the British Army’s £4.5 billion next-generation armoured vehicle, the AJAX.
The system will provide vehicle crews with critical situational awareness, accurately sensing and reporting the direction of incoming fire. Its innovative sensing system is based on Thales sonar technology, which provides the ‘ears’ for hundreds of surface vessels and submarines in the world’s navies. Each AJAX will be fitted with three ACUSONIC sensors to give crews a 360° threat-detection capability. A total of 735 sensors are now on order for integration onto AJAX, with the contract value stated at around £3.7 million (€4.2 million). Thales is already under contract to supply both primary and secondary sights for AJAX.
The six variants of the AJAX programme – AJAX, APOLLO, ARES, ATLAS, ATHENA and ARGUS – are due to enter service from 2020, providing the army with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, protection, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities.
“AJAX will deliver a step-change in versatility, agility and protection for our soldiers. Integrating this new sensor on to our family of AJAX vehicles, which will provide critical situational awareness, is another innovation we are investing in to ensure that British soldiers have the very best equipment to maintain their competitive advantage on the battlefields of today and the future,” commented the Director, Land Equipment at Defence, Equipment and Support, Maj.-Gen. Colin McLean.