Murphy's Law: November 10, 2001

Archives

The Wrong Type Of Sand: UK MoD Penny Wise, Pound Foolish?- One of the 'Lessons Learned' from the joint Omoni-UK "Swift Sword II" exercise was articulated by Chief of General Staff General Sir Michael Walker, who at the end of October 2001 reportedly said that the "wrong type of sand... rather like talcum powder" brought a Regiment of "Challenger 2" main battle tanks to a halt when it clogged their air filters.

The British MoD made a conscious decision to send the 67 Challengers of the Royal Dragoon Guards and Queen's Royal Lancers fitted out for European operations, with the expectation that the crews would simply have to change the filters more often. The MoD expected 48 to 24 hours out of a filter and actually got as little as 6-7 hours (or 4, in some cases). Replacement air filters were taken along, but these wore out in the harsh conditions sooner than anticipated. 

The MoD apparently had the option to equip the British tanks sent on "Saif Sareea II" (Swift Sword 2) with the same filter system as the Omani Challenger 2. The modification to increase filter life would have been far cheaper than the cost of the regular replacement filters that were required. Just the desert filter alone was 1300 and the entire conversion kit would have been even more expensive. The 2.5m UK Challengers also suffering extensive damage to their road wheels and track pads. 

This is not the first time in history that British tanks have had problems with clogged filters. Supposedly, in the mid 70's all the UK's "Chieftain" MBT fleet was grounded due to dust getting into the engines through the filters. One unit had just deployed and were stuck on the training area for two weeks without tanks.

The Omani Army's Challengers (which were fitted with the desert use filters) supposedly performed far better during the exercise - Adam Geibel

 


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close