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Dawes
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And like football, started soon to suck at it, with occasional exceptions.

Edited by bojan
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Seahawk, thats not even true either. We were highly competent, I dont put it any higher than that. The French and the Germans are excellent engineers too and always have been, and also have my respect. Well, maybe not for AMX30, but everything other than that.

There are two dynamics people get mixed up in thinking about British armour design, or indeed any military item we make. Theres firstly the design process. And then there is the political process. I think left alone, we were among the most competent engineers in Europe. The Vickers Mk7, CVRT, even our AVLB design capablities which even the South Koreans consulted us on, were evidence of what happens when they are properly funded, or politics stays out of it. Or even components like that, such as Chobham or hydrogas suspension. This is all first rate stuff.

Chieftain, Challenger 1, and to some extent Challenger 2, are evidence of what happens either when poorly financed, or clueless politicians unthinkingly meddle in the process. Im sure that is also true in other countries, but it was particularly true in the UK, particularly in the 1970's and 1980's.  I dont think people have truely examined how unfortunate that interaction has been, or indeed how underfinanced the armed forces were in the 70's. Until that is understood, its far to easy to mock the engineers, who have when you get down to it, only ever given the politicians what they ask for. If its crap, you really have to look far wider for the blame.

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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It's quite possible that the current emphasis on vibration and noise causing injury is an artefact of changes in the way that MoD is expected to comply with legislation.

In fact, MoD compliance with a significant chunk of the regulations derived from the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) is voluntary - mandated by the Secretary of State via a preface to the relevant Joint Services Publication even where a military exemption is allowed.

I've not been around long enough to know whether Warrior (for example) would have passed modern standards, but I'm still not seeing al ink to an official claim that being in Ajax causes vibration white finger, so...

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1 hour ago, DB said:

It's quite possible that the current emphasis on vibration and noise causing injury is an artefact of changes in the way that MoD is expected to comply with legislation.

In fact, MoD compliance with a significant chunk of the regulations derived from the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) is voluntary - mandated by the Secretary of State via a preface to the relevant Joint Services Publication even where a military exemption is allowed.

I've not been around long enough to know whether Warrior (for example) would have passed modern standards, but I'm still not seeing al ink to an official claim that being in Ajax causes vibration white finger, so...

I've already told you, its in the video link I posted in this very thread on the Parliamentary inquiry.

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http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a76c7259-26f3-43f2-b721-03957c76fcd3

OK industrial White Finger.  The timestamp is 15:42.22, where the MP asks the questions 'Are there any injuries related to anything other than noise?'. And after dancing around a bit, they admit that there are injuries from vibration, including tingling in the fingers. 'In industry, that is known as Industrial white finger?' the MP asks. They agree.

So after a lot of effort to pretend that it is 'just' related to noise, including relating just the health and safety legislation DB relates, the meat of the problem is that it is that soldiers, I think they say a significant number though they dont give figures, were reported by the MOD as also suffering from vibration injuries. I guessing primarily the drivers, or at least, I would hope so.

That presumably would have to be a chassis problem, not a problem just related to internal noise of the platform. They also admit they had vibration problems as early as 2010, but somehow senior figures in the MOD were claiming to have only heard about it in 2020. Go figure

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/8/2021 at 9:15 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a76c7259-26f3-43f2-b721-03957c76fcd3

OK industrial White Finger.  The timestamp is 15:42.22, where the MP asks the questions 'Are there any injuries related to anything other than noise?'. And after dancing around a bit, they admit that there are injuries from vibration, including tingling in the fingers. 'In industry, that is known as Industrial white finger?' the MP asks. They agree.

So after a lot of effort to pretend that it is 'just' related to noise, including relating just the health and safety legislation DB relates, the meat of the problem is that it is that soldiers, I think they say a significant number though they dont give figures, were reported by the MOD as also suffering from vibration injuries. I guessing primarily the drivers, or at least, I would hope so.

That presumably would have to be a chassis problem, not a problem just related to internal noise of the platform. They also admit they had vibration problems as early as 2010, but somehow senior figures in the MOD were claiming to have only heard about it in 2020. Go figure

 

The Army surgeon general specifically refuted in the hearing that it is White Finger, not least because it is a chronic condition which requires persistence. See about 16:56:00. "We have no indication at present of anyone suffering from white finger"

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Good catch, Id missed that.

So we have an MP and the manufacturers apparently agreeing its white finger, or something like it, and an Army Surgeon saying its not.  I dont know who to hang my hat on, but its enough of an indication they are getting injuries from vibration and that its not just a noise issue.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My selected highlights.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-09-06/hcws260

6 September 2021

1. Health and Safety

Extensive work has been undertaken on the Health and Safety aspects of the Noise and Vibration concerns raised on Ajax. The Report is being undertaken independently of the Ajax Delivery Team by the MOD’s Director of Health and Safety.

While the Report has not yet been concluded it is apparent that vibration concerns were raised before Ajax Trials commenced at the Armoured Trials and Development Unit in November 2019. In December 2018, an Army Safety Notice introduced restrictions on use in relation to vibration and identified that, in the longer term, a design upgrade was needed to reduce vibration.

Initially 121 personnel were identified as requiring urgent hearing assessments as a result of recent noise exposure on Ajax. Subsequently, the MOD broadened the scope of those who should be tested to all those who had been exposed to noise on Ajax. To date, a further 189 individuals have been identified that should be offered an assessment, giving a total number of 310 personnel. Of these 304 have been contacted successfully; the remaining 6 are UK service personnel who have recently left service and are in the process of being traced.

The health of our service personnel is our top priority. 248 personnel, including 113 from the original cohort of 121, have now been assessed. The Army continues to identify and monitor the hearing of all personnel exposed to noise on Ajax, with additional testing put in place where required. The Army is also in the process of identifying any health effects in those potentially exposed to vibration. Veterans who have been exposed to noise or vibration on this project will be supported throughout and will have access to the same assessments as those still serving. I will update the House on the number of personnel affected by noise and vibration in due course, including if any trends become apparent once the data has been analysed.

Over the summer, work has been conducted to examine design modifications to reduce the impact of vibration. A design modification to reduce the risk of noise through the communication system is in development and is currently being tested. These may represent part of the overall solution but considerable work needs to be undertaken before any such assurances can be given.

Until a suitable suite of design modifications has been identified, tested and demonstrated, it is not possible to determine a realistic timescale for the introduction of Ajax vehicles into operational service with the Army. We will not accept a vehicle that is not fit for purpose.

To assist in the delivery of Ajax we have identified the need for a full time, dedicated Senior Responsible Owner who will preferably be able to see the project through to completion, or indeed advise if the project is incapable of being delivered. A short-list of candidates is currently under consideration. The Infrastructure and Projects Authority are also providing MOD with expert support to establish a recovery plan for the programme.

 

I'm reasonably confident we used to have just this kind of oversight with FVRDE.  Also, notice they are now conceding the possibility it may not be delivered at all.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Quote

Ministers look for someone to blame over Ajax tank that makes soldiers sick

Ministers believe they have been “deceived” on the extent of the problems with the army’s Ajax light tank and are searching for those to blame, according to defence sources.

They think they were not told the full extent of the troubles with the £5.5 billion programme by the army or their officials out of concern that it would be scrapped in the integrated review.

A defence source said: “Ministers now know that they have been deceived on Ajax and they fully intend to identify those responsible.”


Jeremy Quin, the procurement minister, cast fresh doubt yesterday on the “troubled” programme. The tank is beset by noise and vibration problems that have caused sickness and injury.

He told MPs he hoped a long-term solution could be found for a programme he described as “incredibly important” for both the British Army and thousands of workers, including at General Dynamics, the contractor.

However, he acknowledged that he “cannot 100 per cent promise” a resolution and insisted that the government would “never accept” a vehicle that did not meet its testing requirements. Labour said Quin’s comments “put Ajax on an end-of-life watch”.

Quin told the Commons: “We’re committed to working with General Dynamics to achieve a resolution of these issues. I’ve said before I cannot 100 per cent promise to this House that we will find a resolution.”


Trials of the vehicle have resumed after being paused when some personnel complained of vibration injuries and hearing loss. MPs were told that 310 people needed urgent hearing assessments.

John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, said: “This is a programme that has cost £3.5 billion to date, delivered just 14 vehicles and is set to be completed a decade late . . . Ajax is the biggest procurement failure since the Nimrod and this has happened entirely on this government’s watch. Ministers are failing British forces and they’re failing the British taxpayers.”

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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ministers-look-for-someone-to-blame-over-ajax-tank-that-makes-soldiers-sick-6xfx9z3dc

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2 hours ago, Doug said:

Anyone fancy a CVR(T)? Only one (not so careful) owner! 

DESA_Sales_Brochure_2021.pdf

'Owned by a little old lady to drive to church. Only the Church was in Helmand Guvner, know what I mean?'

My God, we really extracted every pound of value out that vehicle. What a pity Alvis aren't around to build more. :D

 

 

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/27/2021 at 3:22 PM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Did Retac or Sunday say something about the guys in spain who built he first hulls are well reknowned at turning out rubbish? Im sure somebody here pointed it out.

 

No, or at least not yet, it's not beyond SBB to fuck it up yet. There have been issues over program management that delayed the contract, but once a good shake was given it seems to be on track.

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