Aged tanks and armoured vehicles of the British Army would find themselves outgunned and overmatched by their Russian counterparts. The tanks of the British Army’s units face “mass obsolescence”. MPs of the Commons Defence Committee found that the Army’s flawed procurement programmes led to a debilitated fleet armoured fighting vehicle (AFV).
A new study found that an “artillery duel” between a British and Russian tank division is “likely to end one way, and not necessarily to the British Army’s advantage”.
The committee of MPs said it was the result of “bureaucratic procrastination, military indecision, financial mismanagement and general ineptitude” in the management of Army equipment.
Over the past two decades, it was found that the Army’s attempt to re-equip has seen deficient fighting hardware procured.
The military analysis, entitled “Obsolescent and Outgunned”, comes amid the Prime Minister setting out on Tuesday the results of the Government’s integrated review of foreign, defence, security, and development policy.
The Government’s report is expected to show a diversion away from “industrial age” aspects of warfare, like heavy armour.
Boris Johnson is expected to favour advanced technological designs for battlefields of the future, such as cyber and space capabilities.
The review is expected to say the British Army needs to regain its “credibility”, as it now lacks the ability to have an “effective contribution” to NATO.
The Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) plans for the British Army will see a “warfighting division that is hopelessly under-equipped and denuded”.
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This then resulted in cancellations and delays.
The study found that the Russian military had instead invested in modern missile and rocket artillery systems.
The Russian equipment was able to obliterate a Ukrainian formation within “a matter of minutes” during the conflict between the two nations in 2014.
The MPs who attended the committee said: “It is alarming that for at least the next several years, UK armoured forces may find themselves overmatched by their most challenging peer adversary.
“Were the British Army to have to fight a peer adversary – a euphemism for Russia – in eastern Europe in the next few years, whilst our soldiers would undoubtedly remain amongst the finest in the world, they would, disgracefully, be forced to go into battle in a combination of obsolescent or even obsolete armoured vehicles, most of them at least 30 years old or more, with poor mechanical reliability, very heavily outgunned by more modern missile and artillery systems and chronically lacking in adequate air defence.”