Belgian Ammunition (Hansard, 2 March 2004)
HC Deb 02 March 2004 vol 418 c808W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the rate of failure of large general purpose machine gun ammunition supplied by Belgium. [155135]

Mr. Ingram

There was a problem reported on the Browning 0/" Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) when firing standard Ball (M33) and Tracer (M17) rounds on training overseas prior to Operation Telic. The ammunition was manufactured to NATO standards by the Belgian contractor FN Herstal. A thorough and immediate investigation by the contractor could not replicate the reported problem. However, it was identified that a minor increase in the loaded propellant charge, still within NATO specifications, would increase the performance of the ammunition in the weapon. This change was immediately implemented by EN Herstal, at no cost to the MOD, and the new ammunition was available within four weeks.