The Russian army can outgun its British counterpart on the battlefield, a leaked report said, warning that Russian weapons, including rocket launchers and air defense systems, were more powerful than those used by the British troops.
The report, claimed to be an assessment by the British army’s warfare branch, also said that the U.K. and its NATO allies were “scrambling to catch up” with the Kremlin’s ability to use electronic means to hijack enemy drones and interrupt other military transmissions, The Telegraph reported.
“In the unlikely event of a direct confrontation between NATO and RUS [Russia], we must acknowledge that RUS currently has a significant capability edge over UK force elements,” the leaked paper reportedly said. “Due to the fact that some of our high-end military capabilities have been eroded since 2003, we must find ways to ‘fight smarter’ at the tactical level, acknowledging that some adversaries may be armed with weapons that are superior to our own.”
The report, first seen by the Times newspaper, was titled “Insights to ‘Training Smarter’ Against a Hybrid Adversary,” and was produced in March under the direction of Gen Sir Nick Carter, head of the British army. According to the report, one of Russia’s goals in Ukraine was to test “new methods of warfare as well as testing modern and prohibited weapons.”
“What we get from successive governments has been that it is all fine and dandy and ‘aren't we doing well’,” The Telegraph quoted Gen Sir Richard Shirreff, Britain’s former top officer in NATO, as saying. “Actually, the reality is that our capability has been dramatically hollowed out.”
In June, Poland and its NATO allies conducted what they claimed the largest joint military drill to beef up security on the alliance’s eastern border amid growing tensions with Russia. For the two-week long drill, 14,000 U.S. troops reportedly joined 12,000 Polish soldiers and around 1,000 military personnel from Britain.
In May, Putin warned Romania and Poland that they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they were hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security. Putin’s warning followed the U.S. military’s move to switch on the Romanian part of the shield, saying it was intended to protect Europe from Iran, not to threaten Russia.
Here’s how Russia stacks up against the U.K. in terms of military might.