Weapons: The Tank Shell That Scared Its Users

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June 16, 2006: India has had to scrap $154 million worth of Indian made 125mm tank shells because of production defects. The AMK-340 was built with insufficient quality control. As a result, if the shells are exposed to a lot of heat, the propellant becomes unstable. The result is that the AMK-340 shells sometimes explode in the gun, instead of just moving the projectile out the barrel at high speed. When the shells are stored in the desert (where most Indian tank units are stationed) sun for a little while, the damage is done to some of the shells. Problem is, there's no way to tell which shells are now "bad." As a result, many crews flat out refused to use the AMK-340, or only if they could rig it so the gun was fired while the crew was outside the tank. In the end, the army destroyed 150,000 of the AMK-340s, which cost a little over a thousand dollars each to manufacture.

 


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