Bowmans catch fire...

#1
Sunday Mirror
10 September 2006
TROOPS' RADIOS FIRE ALERT
NEW £2billion radios for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan burst into flames if they get WET.

Soldiers found that the portable Bowman lets in water, causing batteries to catch fire.

Now top brass have ordered a refit of 12,000 batteries as experts probe the problem.

Defence officials said there had been six "overheating incidents".

Last night an Army source said: "It really does beggar belief. What are we supposed to do, only fight when it's not raining?"

Squaddies have nicknamed them Better Off With a Map and a Nokia.

An MoD spokeswoman said: "A full investigation is being carried out. All Bowmans destined for Iraq or Afghanistan are getting a new battery cover to ensure no water can get to the battery."

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/...ine=troops--radios-fire-alert--name_page.html
 
#2
A couple of years ago, a store full of these batteries burst into flames. It's either taken them two years to find out why or they have kept going with them on cost grounds in the hope that it was a one-off!
 
#3
Jesus Christ! BOWMAN just gets worse, when are we going to see a name and shame campaign on the monkeys who signed off on it?
 
#4
As a chef I've not had the opportunity to see this kit first hand. Apart from the water issue, is this kit actually any good?
 
#5
#6
I remeber on one ex (1997) we were given some lightweight disposable batteries for the 351/320 - we were told they were designed for SF/Pathfinders. We loved the idea and buried them when they died. Funny thing was they tended to blow up as the ground was soaking wet - I wonder if they are the same?
 
#7
Some years ago (I visited Abbey Wood occasionally in a comms type job) I heard of personnel getting burns from the aerial when operating on high power. :?
 
#8
Rifle-Green-Sex-Machine said:
I remeber on one ex (1997) we were given some lightweight disposable batteries for the 351/320 - we were told they were designed for SF/Pathfinders. We loved the idea and buried them when they died. Funny thing was they tended to blow up as the ground was soaking wet - I wonder if they are the same?
Perhaps we should use them as a front line weapon then, battery plus water bomb.
 
#9
Some editing.

Gentlemen , please do not name manufacturers unconnected with Project BOWMAN.

I have also edited out comments which contained accusations of underhand and shady dealings. This may be a commonly held view, but without supporting evidence of such dealings, I would really rather they didn't appear here.

PTP
 
#10
PartTimePongo said:
Some editing.

Gentlemen , please do not name manufacturers unconnected with Project BOWMAN.

I have also edited out comments which contained accusations of underhand and shady dealings. This may be a commonly held view, but without supporting evidence of such dealings, I would really rather they didn't appear here.

PTP

Quite, bad form and reflects badly on the MOD what!
 
#11
No, reflects badly on someone reaching for their lawyer.

I'm not concerned about comments that make MoD think "Hmmmm we'd better look at the effectiveness of kit again."

I am concerned about comment that suggests without supporting evidence, that there is corruption present in the programme.
 
#12
MrPVRd said:
Some years ago (I visited Abbey Wood occasionally in a comms type job) I heard of personnel getting burns from the aerial when operating on high power. :?
RF burns are common hazard of radio comms (and they fcuking hurt). it depends how far they were from the antenna at what exatly high power was and the role of the particular radio in use
 
#13
On an Ex PJW in the early 90s, a PC was leading his guys round to an FUP in the rain when he thought one of the guys had had an ND with an L2. The real culprit was the lithium battery (as mentioned by RGSM above) on the Pl Signaller's 351 reacting as expected with water.

Luckily, the signaller had taken the 351 off the frame and so had the contents of his day sack in between his kidneys and the exploding radio!
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#14
Sorry PTP, didn't think, just that those laptop batteries have been in the news so often recently. 8O
 
#15
Armchair , your previous attempt to pursue the same route deleted.

Are you a journalist?

I'm not about to get into 'clever' banter here, so enabling you to make your allegations by other means.

I do not want to see posts of the type you posted previously, here at all. Arrse is not a vehicle for you to make unsubstantiated allegations.

If you wish to make that sort of allegation , and have the courage of your convictions, put your name to a letter and send it to Whitehall.
 
#18
#19
smoojalooge said:
MrPVRd said:
Some years ago (I visited Abbey Wood occasionally in a comms type job) I heard of personnel getting burns from the aerial when operating on high power. :?
RF burns are common hazard of radio comms (and they fcuking hurt). it depends how far they were from the antenna at what exatly high power was and the role of the particular radio in use
as per my previous posts, i work with Bowman. the HF battery issue was raised some months ago, this is not new. it is down to spunk design and manufacture, and was not as widespread as the article makes out. the battery has now been redesigned and re-issued.

the rf burn issue is more to do with the capability of the kit. old clansman kit did not work up to 100w. Bowman does, and the software version that was in place defaulted the powere setting to max 100w. because Bowman is an inherently data orientated system, you do not always know if it is Txing. this, combined with rubbish placement of the antenna pots on veh such as the 432, led to crew getting burned.

Soldiers receivnig a mild shock from the mic is down to not earthing the radio, and is a phenomen well known in geeky civy radio ham circles.

The number one problem with bowman at this time revolves around training. most problems are down to lack of knowledge with the kit or the people that programme them. the training contract is dog **** and doesnt invovlve using bowman kit. once a unit is bowmanised, they often then have a trg gap when the next update is issued. (trust me i know.........)Bowman simulators (virtual radios on a computer) are a complete waste of time and money but they are cheap so the MOD like them. can you imagine doctors training on a computer simulation? or builders? or anybody for that matter?

the vhf section commander radio is badly designed for the blokes it is meant for. no excuses for that. the available power compared to the weight, complexity and fagility of the equipment mean it should be binned, and a more useful alterantive found.

the other manpack radios are pretty good, better than their replacements.

there are a number of 0perational issues that affect bowman that cant be disscussed in this forum.

In summary, there have been numerous problems, ranging from shocks and burns to coax catching fire. ultimately, as in the grolsh advert, it just isnt ready yet. the fault lies squarly with the MOD who gave GD such a short time to implement something that is a radical departure from what we had before. somebody should be brought to account for the waste of time and money. as you all know, this will probably never happen. it boils down to working with what you get and managers constantly raising issues up the chain. eventually somebody will notice...........we just have to do what we have always done and that is get it working at unit level despite the sh1te trg, poor logistical and repair support (where this exists) and watch some fat non-exec director at GD driving his latest sportscar.
end of rant.....
 
#20
The HF Battery fire issue is addressed in a Safety Notice. Before you start slagging off the system, I suggest you get on to your RSO/RSWO and get the up to date notices.

Yes RF Burns do hurt, thats why you are given a health and safety lecture at the start of your BOWMAN Hardware instruction.

BTW I teach this kit day in day out (real stuff not a simulation), before anyone fancies a pop.

I hope these gems of knowledge help! :)
 

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