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Britain halts use of 105mm rounds after contamination

LONDON, April 14 (UPI) — Britain’s Ministry of Defense has banned its forces from using 105mm live artillery ammunition because of safety concerns.

British Forces News said the order was issued after a batch of High Explosive L31 rounds was identified as having metallic contamination.

“The safety of our Armed Forces is of paramount importance, and the manufacture and use of 105mm live ammunition, which is used by a small number of British Army regiments, has been stopped while an isolated incident of metallic contamination is investigated,” a Ministry of Defense spokesman said. “We are working with the supplier to understand when manufacture can safely restart.”

BAE Systems is the maker of the ammunition and is conducting an investigation at a facility in South Wales.

“We have worked closely with the Ministry of Defense to investigate the issue identified and have a comprehensive plan in place to address it,” BAE Systems said. “The work is taking place at a high level within both organizations to permit the lifting of the precautionary safety notice at the earliest opportunity.

“In the interim, BAE Systems has worked closely with the MOD to rapidly develop an Indicating High Explosive round — designated L55 — to permit some elements of training to continue.”

The 105mm ammunition is used by the L118 Light Gun, which is used by the parachute and commando field artillery regiments.

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