Defence minister admits programmewhich could eventually cost taxpayers £5.5bnis ‘troubled’

Trial’s of the army’s £3.2bn new fleet of armoured vehicles have been halted for a second time over complaints about noise affecting the crew.

The new vehicles, 名前付き Ajax and built by General Dynamics, are billed asfully digital” そしてその “next generation of armoured vehicles”.

But trials were halted for four months to March after crews reportedly suffered nausea, swollen joints and tinnitus.

今, インクルード 国防省 (モッド) has announced all Ajax trials have been halted again following renewed concern about the issue.

Defence minister Jeremy Quin acknowledged the programmewhich could eventually cost taxpayers up to £5.5bn – だった “troubled”.

Mr Quin said: “This long-running troubled programme requires ongoing intense work by our industrial partners and ourselves to ensure its delivery.

In achieving this, the safety of our personnel will always come first.

The shadow defence secretary, John Healey, urged the government to task the National Audit Office with conducting a special audit of the programmeto prevent billions more of taxpayer money being wasted”.

Only three weeks ago, ministers assured MPs that Ajax would begin operations from next week,” the Labour MP added.

The MoD must get a grip on this stop-start shambles. Ajax is over budget, behind schedule and still not working safely.

The MoD’s top mandarin has launched a thorough safety investigation, working with General Dynamics, which is expected to conclude at the end of July.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “General Dynamics Land Systems-UK is confident in its vehicle design and stand behind Ajax.

The MoD has informed us that the pause is temporary and precautionary only.

Officials insisted the MoD remained committed to the Ajax programme.

Mr Quin faced questions about Ajax from MPs on 8 June and said the MoD was looking at two headsets to help address the noise problems, although he admitted that would not get to theroot causeof the issues, which he suggested could be mechanical or electronic.