Lockheed Martin UK unveils training solutions for AJAX at DSEI

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, tries out the Lockheed Martin crew turret trainer on the General Dynamics Land Systems–UK stand at DSEI.
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, tries out the Lockheed Martin crew turret trainer on the General Dynamics Land Systems–UK stand at DSEI.

LONDON, 14 SEPTEMBER 2017 – Lockheed Martin UK is showcasing innovative training solutions for the British Army’s AJAX armoured vehicle programme at this year’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London.

Lockheed Martin recently passed its critical design review (CDR) for the new systems, locking down the design with prime contractor General Dynamics Land Systems–UK.

The solutions will allow crews to become familiar with the controls, weapon systems and operation of the AJAX turret as they progress from a classroom environment through to live vehicle exercises.

Two of the four agreed training solutions are being exhibited at DSEI for the first time.

Lockheed Martin UK was awarded $1bn (USD) contract by General Dynamics Land Systems–UK to design, manufacture and test 245 turrets for AJAX in October 2014. The training element of the contract requires delivery of a suite of systems, courseware material and manuals to provide progressive training to the military operators and maintainers of the turret.

The training cycle starts with a desktop trainer (DTT), which provides a set of classroom-based configurable PC equipment that can be used by up to 12 students. Next is the small arms drill trainer (SADT), a high-fidelity weapon trainer for up to six students. It allows training of the drills and maintenance procedures for the operation of the turret mounted CT40 cannon and ammunition handling system, and the chain gun and its ammunition feed. The crew turret trainer (CTT) takes up to six students and is a highly accurate physical representation of turret internal functional architecture and can also connect with up to three more CTTs for troop training; and the final system is the appended trainer (AP), which connects up to four AJAX vehicles to allow them to interact within a shared virtual environment in a common exercise.

The desk top trainer is being shown at the Lockheed Martin stand (S8-210) and the crew turret trainer is on the General Dynamics Land Systems–UK stand (S9-210) at DSEI, which runs from 12-15 September the London ExCel Exhibition Centre.

Lee Fellows, Programme Director at Lockheed Martin UK, said: “Completing the Lockheed Martin CDR for our elements of the training solutions is a significant achievement and another major milestone for us on the AJAX programme.

We’ve finalised the design of the systems that will provide a complete gunnery and ISTAR training cycle for the turret crews.

We’re excited to showcase these innovative training solutions at this high-profile industry event.

The systems have pulled in expertise from across Lockheed Martin UK, including the sites at Ampthill in Bedfordshire and Westbury, Wiltshire. The SADT has been developed and will be built by engineers at the Ampthill site, which has recently seen a multi-million pound investment in its facilities and is where the 245 Ajax turrets will be produced.

Lee Fellows said: “We have now invested more than £23 million in our site, making us a turret centre of excellence and a unique capability in the UK.

The first training solutions are on track to be delivered into GDUK by Lockheed Martin by the end of this year.