The Times have recently reported (article posted on June 29th, 2021) that new light tanks that have cost the army 3.2 billion have had to be withdrawn for the second time as more troops reported suffering hearing loss during trials.
This article states that all trials that involved the Ajax armoured vehicle had to be paused in mid-June on ‘health and safety grounds’ amid the concerns that the mitigation measures that were put in place to protect soldiers were not sufficient.
The defence secretary, Ben Wallace is “distinctly unhappy” with how the programme has been handled and has appointed a team to complete a review which will consist of what the army has kept ‘hidden’ from politicians due to concerns of cuts.
Experts in the field have clearly stated their thoughts that the government should cancel the £5.5 billion deal to buy 589 of these vehicles.
The programme has had several delays due to problems with noise, vibration and radiation which has resulted in troops suffering from hearing loss, nausea, and swollen joints.
Due to the excessive vibrations, it means that the gun stabilisation system has struggled to function correctly meaning that when the vehicle is on the move the cannon cannot fire correctly.
Initially the trials had been suspended for 4 months to march this year due to concerns of hearing loss and tinnitus were raised by the troops. Once the trial was started again, they were given ear defenders but still there has been recorded complaints over hearing loss. It was stated that the “the ear defenders were not rigorous enough”
It is believed that senior army officers may have covered up the extent of problems related with the programme due them not wanting the Ajax to be scrapped.
Jeremy Quinn, a defence minister is due to report back on the finding this autumn.
You can read this article in full here
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