Lockheed Martin’s site in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, is home to an advanced manufacturing capability. The 64 acre site has benefited from multi-million pound investment and now boasts 20,000m2 of state-of-the-art production facilities. It is a centre of excellence, unique to the UK, for armoured fighting vehicles, turret systems, and vehicle systems integration. Hundreds of highly skilled engineers work on major projects, including two high-profile programmes for the UK MoD.
Turret system for AJAX vehicle
Developed by General Dynamics UK, the AJAX programme includes six variants: AJAX, ARES, APOLLO, ATHENA, ATLAS and ARGUS. Each AJAX variant will be a highly-agile, tracked, medium- weight armoured fighting vehicles, providing British troops with state-of-the-art best-in-class protection.
AJAX will be the medium weight core of the British Army’s deployable intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. It enables the soldier to be at the point of collection of accurate all-weather commander information within a network-enabled digitised platform.
Lockheed Martin UK has been awarded a $1bn contract to deliver 245 turrets for the AJAX reconnaissance variant. Lockheed Martin’s technology-leading turret solution contributes significantly to the ISTAR, survivability and lethal combat capabilities provided by AJAX.
The design, manufacture, integration and testing of all 245 turrets is taking place at the Ampthill site. We are working with our supply chain, which includes a number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK to deliver the requirement.
In addition Lockheed Martin is on contract to deliver the turrets training solutions, via support in an Appended Turret (AT), Desk Top Trainer (DTT), Crew Turret Trainer (CTT) and Small Arms Drill Trainer (SADT).
Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP)
The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) is introducing major improvements to the British Army’s Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle. The world-class, battle-winning capability includes an innovative new turret designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin UK at its state-of-the-art production facility in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. The new upgrades will bring:
- Enhanced Lethality;
- Improved Survivability;
- Enhanced Fightability; and
- Improved Situational Awareness.
Vehicle enhancements include the addition of a fully stabilised 40mm CT40 cannon – enabling significantly greater fire-power and Fire-on-the-Move capability, as well as an improved sighting system and significantly better situational awareness including 360o digital camera coverage. The new digitised turret features a modular protection system providing greater threat protection and a quick change of armour for specific threats. The upgraded capability and updated platform, which includes an environmental control system and greater crew space, will provide a step-change in armoured infantry capability.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) awarded the development contract to Lockheed Martin for 11 vehicles (which includes five variants) in October 2011 – the delivery of all 11 development vehicles was completed by July 2018 ready for final preparation for Reliability Growth Trials to demonstrate the reliability and performance of the capability.
WCSP continues to perform in accordance with the schedule agreed with the Ministry of Defence hitting all milestones on time, in full, and to budget. In August 2019 the programme successfully completed 20 Battlefield Missions – a key milestone within the programme. The completion of this significant milestone further demonstrates that WCSP continues to go from strength-to-strength.
The new capability on offer from Lockheed Martin will continue to be rigorously tested and put through its paces as it continues to progress through Reliability Growth Tests over the next 18 months, by the end of which the vehicles will have a covered more than 29000km and fired thousands of rounds of ammunition. Once fully demonstrated the capability will be ready to enter service and help deliver an Armoured Infantry that is more capable, with significantly enhanced lethality, upgraded situational awareness, better integration with dismounts and improved combined arms cooperation, thereby providing a battle-winning contribution to the Divisional Warfighting capability.