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Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK
Probe into faulty army rifles
British soldier
Soldiers have complained about the new rifle
British soldiers in Afghanistan have said the army's new SA80-A2 rifles have three faults, said the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has promised that claims the weapon misfires badly will be looked into.


The SA80-A2 is operating in a very difficult environment in Afghanistan

Adam Ingram
The army's previous rifle suffered misfiring problems.

Armed forces minister Adam Ingram said three formal equipment failure reports had been filed from Afghanistan.

He said that this was in the context of a regime where all faults were reported, Mr Ingram said in a House of Commons written reply.

"The SA80-A2 is operating in a very difficult environment in Afghanistan with both dusty conditions and extremes of temperature," he said.

"In an operational environment any concerns are treated very seriously and a specialist team on the ground is investigating these reports as a matter of urgency."

Climate extremes

A series of problems with the previous SA80 rifle , including the weapon jamming in extreme temperatures, led to it being suspended from the Nato nominated weapon list in 1997.

The revised weapon, which arrived following 92m worth of modifications, was declared as one of the best available by the MoD.

It was introduced earlier than planned for use by troops in Afghanistan.

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23 Jun 00 | UK Politics
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