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View Full Version : OT: Live-fire SA exercise kills 9 soldiers



bigbossmalone
10-13-2007, 07:31 PM
Today I learned that a live-fire exercise with a 35mm Oerliken anti-aircraft gun went horribly wrong, resulting in the death of 9 soldiers, and critically injuring several others. The weapon is controlled by computer, and after a round initially jammed and exploded, the gun went into a 'runaway' state, firing off its 250 round magazine in a VERY short time- one of the operators, a female soldier,tried to stop it via the computer, but there was a glitch and she didn't manage. Not yet certain, but she is possibly one of the fatalities. The gun basically went off similar to a high-pressure hose, rotating a full 360 degree arc and killing or injuring all those around. A very sad day for the South African military. This weapon has a firing rate of 550 rounds per minute, pretty nasty when it goes out of control. Spare a thought for those killed during this tragic training exercise. Investigations are underway...

bigbossmalone
10-13-2007, 07:31 PM
Today I learned that a live-fire exercise with a 35mm Oerliken anti-aircraft gun went horribly wrong, resulting in the death of 9 soldiers, and critically injuring several others. The weapon is controlled by computer, and after a round initially jammed and exploded, the gun went into a 'runaway' state, firing off its 250 round magazine in a VERY short time- one of the operators, a female soldier,tried to stop it via the computer, but there was a glitch and she didn't manage. Not yet certain, but she is possibly one of the fatalities. The gun basically went off similar to a high-pressure hose, rotating a full 360 degree arc and killing or injuring all those around. A very sad day for the South African military. This weapon has a firing rate of 550 rounds per minute, pretty nasty when it goes out of control. Spare a thought for those killed during this tragic training exercise. Investigations are underway...

Kettenhunde
10-13-2007, 08:47 PM
How sad. I will keep them in my families prayers.

LEXX_Luthor
10-13-2007, 08:57 PM
Sad indeed.

Wall Street Journal once had a tiny tidbit about a new small Ussian NAVY ship (type forgotten), that ran on WindowsNT. The operating system crashed and the ship was dead in the water. They were trying to downsize the NAVY.

Related article on weapon computers...Patriot missile: friend or foe? It was a programming error apparently. Its a britt article, but they were the ones Patriot burned.

~> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/05/20/patriot_missile/

Daiichidoku
10-14-2007, 12:51 AM
makes the suckage of "needing" AAA (or any military hardware for that matter) that much worse and ironic

HotelBushranger
10-14-2007, 04:03 AM
Poor soldiers, RIP http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

JG52Uther
10-14-2007, 07:32 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

SeaFireLIV
10-14-2007, 07:39 AM
Hmmm... and who said computers and military machines were a good idea?

My condolences to the families.

BfHeFwMe
10-14-2007, 08:41 AM
The computer control failure sounds fishy, a chain fire is more likely a mechanical fault. Computer directed targeting, yeah, as a part of an integrated air defense net, but computer in actual mechanical control of the gun? That would be stupid in and among ones own troops.

Works well on ships, where there's nothing but water and targets to hit.

But any way, a sad thing for all those affected.

bigbossmalone
10-15-2007, 06:33 AM
BfHeFwMe
I'm still trying to find out more details, but the initial 'runaway' was caused by a round jamming, then exploding, and basically setting off the rest of the magazine - the computer should in theory have been able to override the ability of the weapon to fire, but due to the error, it couldn't. As I said, when I get more info I will post more about it. Don't know much more than the front-page newspaper article at the mo. The investigation is being done at VERY high level, so maybe no further news for awhile.
I think this particular Oerliken gun is a joint UK/Swiss design, a mobile AA platform.

ploughman
10-15-2007, 10:01 AM
That's very sad. Soldiering is a dangerous occupation and this tragedy underlines that.