Russia has ‘real concerns’ over UK’s military – Putin terrified of British Army’s tactics

Russia: Dominic Raab discusses threat to national security

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The Government has recently announced the biggest shake-up in defence since the Cold War, with a greater emphasis placed on 21st-century warfare rather than traditional combat methods. The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy outlined plans to slash the number of troops by 10,000, retire old tankers and increase investment in cyber and space.

Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, a former chief of defence staff, has warned the changes could leave the UK open to invasion by Russia or China.

Prior to the announcement last month, a report by the Commons Defence Committee suggested the British Army’s ageing tanks and armoured vehicles are likely to be outgunned in any conflict with Russian forces.

Russian expert Mark Galeotti has said there is “no risk” of an invasion in the UK, but has warned a smaller military could make it harder to “deter or engage” with enemies.

However, the Honorary Professor of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL, insisted forces, such as Russia, remain wary of how “quickly and efficiently” the UK military can be tactically deployed around the world.

He told “There is no risk or danger of Russia or China invading the UK.

“It is rather than a smaller British military will lack the mass credibly to be able to deter or engage in further potential battlefields, limiting our capacity to be a truly ‘global Britain’.

“The Russians’ real concerns about the UK militarily relate to the capacity to deploy quickly and efficiently away from the British mainland.

“They will be waiting to see if all the talk about more than making up for troop reductions with high tech comes to anything or is just a way to justify the cuts.”

As part of the review, the UK has also increased its cap on nuclear warheads by 40 percent to 260 – each weapon is estimated to hold the explosive power of 100 kilotons.

Russia is estimated to have an arsenal of more than 6,000 nuclear warheads, followed by the US, which is estimated to have around 5,800.

Mr Galeotti said the increase in funding shows the UK is “still serious about being a nuclear power”.

He said: “Moscow doesn’t really consider the British nuclear deterrent to be genuinely independent – it cannot conceive of it being used except in concert with the Americans.

“It shows the Kremlin that the UK is still serious about being a nuclear power, but I don’t think it will have any real effect on relations one way or another.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the defence review in the Commons on March 22.

He argued technological advances mean “greater effect can be delivered by fewer people”.

A further £3billion was allocated for new vehicles, long-range rocket systems, drones, electronic warfare and cyber capabilities.

Several RAF planes will be retired, as will the oldest Chinook helicopters, while Navy frigates and destroyers drop from 19 to 17 in the coming years.

A third of the 227 Challenger tanks will also be scrapped, with the rest of the fleet being upgraded at a cost of £1.3billion.

Mr Wallace added: “These changes will not require redundancies and we wish to build on the work already done on utilising our reserves to make sure the whole force is better integrated and more productive.”

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