MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th February, 2023) The UK Ministry of Defense plans to resume payments to US defense company General Dynamics for the supply of Ajax armored fighting vehicles, whose use was in doubt due to a growing number of complaints from crew members, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
In 2014, the UK government and General Dynamics signed a 5.5 billion Pounds ($6.65 billion) contract for 589 Ajax vehicles. The US company, however, has not been paid for the past two years after London began inspections due to serious noise and vibration problems that caused hearing damage to crew members.
General Dynamics chief financial officer Jason Aiken said in January that the company expected payments to resume "before the end of this quarter," while Ajax-related "unbilled receivables" stood at "roughly $1.7 billion" at the end of last year, the newspaper reported.
The UK Ministry of Defense declined to comment on Aiken's statement, adding that it continued to "work closely with General Dynamics for the successful delivery of Ajax and have moved to the next phase of testing the vehicle under simulated battlefield conditions," the report noted.
"While details of the contract are commercially sensitive, future payments remain under review as the programme continues its positive trajectory," the ministry said, as quoted by the newspaper.
According to the report, the UK has so far paid 3.2 billion pounds to General Dynamics. The US company, in turn, had delivered only 26 Ajax vehicles by the end of 2021, none of which has entered service.