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Armed Forces: Ammunition

Volume 687: debated on Monday 18 December 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the lives of British troops in Afghanistan or Iraq have been put at risk by defective ammunition.[HL458]

No. All ammunition is bought to NATO standards and is subject to stringent testing and quality procedures, both when it is bought and at periods through its service life.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether British troops in Afghanistan or Iraq have obtained ammunition from United States or Canadian troops because of concerns about the quality of the ammunition with which they have been issued by the Ministry of Defence.[HL459]

No. The MoD did purchase 0.5 calibre heavy machine gun ammunition from its Canadian allies in Afghanistan, in June this year to overcome a weapons system issue that has now been resolved. This issue did not relate to the quality of the ammunition, however.

In August 2006, 81 mm mortars were purchased from the US in order to meet an urgent re-supply need. There were sufficient stocks in theatre but, on this occasion, supply from a US base was quicker and safer in the circumstances.