Shambolic £5.5BN tank which deafened troops given green light after six years of problems

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A shambolic £5.5billion tank that deafened troops and could not fire on the move is set to enter service after it underwent serious development and was given the green light yesterday. The Ajax light tank, which is already six years late, passed performance tests set by defence chiefs this week.

Procurement minister Alex Chalk yesterday confirmed that it would be going ahead.

He said: “We have turned a corner. A great deal of work has taken place and it has successfully completed its trials.”

The tank has been plagued with issues throughout its development.

During trials, hundreds of troopers were left injured from noise, causing some to be medically discharged from the Army as a result of hearing loss.

“The fault lies squarely with defence equipment and support mismanagement, Army meddling and MoD avoidance of independent scrutiny.”

Meanwhile, Lord West, the former head of the Navy last month said: “The Ajax programme, no matter how much one dresses it up, has been a complete and utter disaster.”

He added: “It has been a real shambles.”

And Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, branded the project a “complete mess”.

Nearly 600 Ajax armoured vehicles have been ordered.