MoD’s £370mn armored cars ‘keep breaking down’: Britain’s top 5 defense kit flops
The British Army has been accused of a “massive waste of money” after shelling out millions on armored vehicles that break down in hot weather.
Here are 5 other occasions on which the UK has squandered taxpayer’s money on faulty gear.
A military insider has blasted the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s giant £370 million ($495m) shopping spree on 400 Foxhound armored cars.
An unnamed sergeant serving in the British Army described the patrol cars as a waste.
“They break down all the time,” he told the Sun.
“They can’t handle the heat, they have a massive problem with it. At 50 degrees the engine cooks out.”
The MoD deployed the Foxhounds five years ago after the thin armor on the army’s Snatch Land Rovers was found to have resulted in 37 deaths.
British soldiers labelled the vehicles “mobile coffins.”
In August this year Defense Secretary Michael Fallon admitted lives “could have been saved” if the vehicles had been fitted with thicker armor.
But this is not the first time Britain has shelled out for equipment that hasn’t made the grade.
1. The £1bn tank program – which produced no tanks
MPs were astonished in 2011 when they learned of the staggering spend on a tank program which did not actually deliver any tanks.
The “extraordinary failure” will leave the army with a gap in efficiency until 2025.
Cash was wasted setting up deals for tanks and spending on design projects – but not a single tank was delivered to forces on the ground.
2. Destroyers stymied in warm water – for a cool £1bn
Taxpayers in Britain were left footing the £1 billion bill for Type 45 destroyers... that break down in warm water.
Unfortunately they were deployed to the Persian Gulf.
The gas turbine engines running the six ships in the warm waters of Arabia are known to “degrade catastrophically.”
“There comes a point where, in plain English, the warranty runs out,” Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin told the House of Commons Defense Committee.
3. F-35 fail – and the cost keeps climbing
Stealth jets, which will set the MoD back £70 million each, have struggled with “unacceptable” software problems.
A report into the US-made F-35 revealed it is “less reliable” than the MoD had previously hoped.
A recent investigation by the Times found software upgrades fixing the issues would bump up the cost to £150 million per jet.
4. Straight shooters? Not in this heat
It is not just the military who are handling duff kit.
Counter-terrorism police in the UK could be way off target if they use their Heckler & Koch G36 weapons on a hot day.
A report found the German-made firearms are unreliable if exposed to sunlight and heat for prolonged periods.
The findings, in 2015, suggested inaccuracies of up to 20 feet at long range when temperatures top 30C.
Precision tests highlighted the fault, sparking a police review by the Home Office.
5. Hunter-killer rust buckets
The UK’s fleet of hunter-killer submarines suffered corrosion issues after cost-cutting, it was found.
A leaked MoD document showed the first three Astute class boats are “likely” to suffer problems in the future, the Guardian revealed.
During their construction, tests showed the sub could not retreat fast enough from attack. Its critics branded the subs a “V8 with a Morris Minor engine.”
The £9.75 billion fleet was commissioned almost 20 years ago but it took more than a decade to prepare the first three of 12.
Britain can ill afford to splash its cash on faulty equipment.
Admiral Sir George Zambellas has warned that, without a serious cash injection, the British military will have the capability of a “Third World nation.”