Army Guns Fall Silent Over Safety Concerns
(Source: British Force News; issued April 13, 2016)
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed to Forces TV that there is a worldwide ban on the use of 105mm live ammunition.

It comes after a batch of High Explosive L31 rounds was identified as having metallic contamination that makes them unsafe to use.

An MoD spokesperson said:

“The safety of our Armed Forces is of paramount importance, and the manufacture and use of 105mm live ammunition, which is used by a small number of British Army regiments, has been stopped while an isolated incident of metallic contamination is investigated. We are working with the supplier to understand when manufacture can safely restart.”

BAE Systems, who make the ammunition, are carrying out an investigation at a facility in South Wales. They told Forces TV in a statement:

"We have worked closely with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to investigate the issue identified and have a comprehensive plan in place to address it.

"The work is taking place at a high level within both organisations to permit the lifting of the precautionary safety notice at the earliest opportunity.

"In the interim, BAE Systems has worked closely with the MoD to rapidly develop an Indicating High Explosive round (designated L55) to permit some elements of training to continue."

The ammunition is used by the L118 Light Gun, which is used by the parachute and commando field artillery regiments of the British Army.

It can be towed by a medium-weight vehicle or carried around the battlefield underslung by a Chinook helicopter.

Royal Artillery L118 light guns are fitted with an automatic pointing system (APS), which enables them to be unlimbered and in action in 30 seconds. APS is based on an inertial navigation system, operated via a touch screen.

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