Unfit kit: MoD wasted £5.7bn on faulty earplugs, obsolete equipment, report reveals
According to the MoD’s annual report, it spent £860 million ($1.4 billion) on obsolete equipment alone.
The MoD also spent some £6 million ($9.4 million) on 10,000 new high-tech earplugs, each individually molded to fit soldiers’ ears at £500 a pair. They were intended to allow soldiers to communicate with each other on the battlefield while protecting their hearing from the noise of explosions and gunfire.
However, the system was scrapped after the earplugs tested on the battlefield were found to be ineffective.
“The ear defenders were trialed ahead of use in theater, but during the constant rhythm of operations it became clear they required modification,” the MoD told the Sun.
The MoD admitted it had paid out £374,000 ($585,000) in damages relating to “Noise Induced Sensorineural Hearing Loss.”
Another £1.5 million ($2.3 million) was spent on faulty software and £7.2 million ($11.3 million) squandered on a range of mobile mine detection capability for Warrior vehicles, which were later found to be “unsuitable.”
The report also revealed that an RAF HS125 aircraft worth £488,000 ($760,000) was removed from service early after it sustained damage during a hailstorm.
Meanwhile, an inquest has concluded that three British soldiers were killed instantly when their “bomb resistant” Mastiff vehicle, previously damaged by a blast, was hit by a second explosive device in Afghanistan.
The inquest heard the vehicle had been damaged in another IED attack in May 2009 and that there had been an ongoing problem with the locks on the rear of the vehicle. However, the vehicle was still declared battle-worthy.
The soldiers died when their armored personnel carrier Mastiff 2 was destroyed after it struck an IED on April 30, 2013.