As I write this, eight weapons carrying C-17 transport aircraft have completed the trip from RAF Brize Norton to Kiev, Ukraine.

The bulk of Britain’s C-17 transport aircraft fleet has been almost entirely dedicated to this effort over the last few days.


This article is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the UK Defence Journal. If you would like to submit your own article on this topic or any other, please see our submission guidelines


At this point, well over one thousand NLAW anti-armour systems are now in the hands of Ukraine.

Why? Well, quite simply most Western intelligence services appear to believe that an invasion of Ukraine by Russia is imminent after tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine.

Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said, “the United Kingdom will stand up for the right of countries to choose their alliances. More important than the choice they make is the right to have that choice”. He later added:

“The UK’s position on Ukraine is also clear. We unequivocally support its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including Crimea. Ukraine is an independent, sovereign country of proud, independent Ukrainian people. The UK Ministry of Defence already has a long-standing relationship with our Ukrainian counterparts, and we continue to provide support in many areas, including security assistance and defence reform. Since 2015, the UK has helped to build the resilience and capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces through Operation Orbital, which has trained more than 22,000 Ukrainian troops. We maintain the right to deliver bilateral support to a sovereign nation when requested in areas that will better help them defend themselves.

We have taken the decision to supply Ukraine with light, anti-armour defensive weapons systems. A small number of UK personnel will provide early-stage training for a short period of time within the framework of Operation Orbital before returning to the United Kingdom.”

The issue is, and this is rare, something that appears to be uniting the Conservatives and Labour, both believing that helping Ukraine defend itself and in turn, deterring Russian aggression is the right thing to do.

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence John Healey said on the 17th of January, “It is critical that the Kremlin appreciate that any new military attack on Ukraine will be bloody on both sides”. Well, the delivery of thousands of anti-tank weapon systems absolutely ensures that will be the case.

Britain and Ukraine’s military cooperation – what’s involved?

British military assistance to Ukraine was increased significantly after 2014 and the Russian annexation of Crimea, a Parliamentary Research Briefing paper has taken a look at just what that involves.

In 2015 the UK launched Operation Orbital, a non-lethal training and capacity building operation that provides guidance and training to the Ukrainian armed forces.

“In August 2020 the MOD announced that the UK will lead a new multinational maritime training initiative that will boost the capacity of Ukraine’s Navy to act in the Black Sea. The UK and Ukraine have also launched the Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme, which will develop Ukraine’s naval capabilities. To date, over 21,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been trained under these initiatives. The UK has also gifted £2.2 million of non-lethal military equipment.”

In June 2021 the UK, Ukraine and industry signed a Memorandum of Implementation that will push the NCEP forward. Work will now commence on:

• Ukraine’s purchase of two refurbished Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunters in a government-to-government sale
• The sale and integration of missiles on new and in-service Ukrainian Navy patrol and airborne platforms, including a training and engineering support package
• Assistance in building new naval bases in the Black Sea and Azov Sea
• The development and joint production of eight fast missile warships
• Participation in the Ukrainian project to deliver a modern frigate capability.

Recently, HMS Defender ignored Russian warnings while the warship was sailing near Crimea as part of an effort to demonstrate that it backs Ukraine, so Russia hit back with information warfare trying to paint a story of aggression. It was a British ship sailing through waters recognised as belonging to an ally.

‘Are you threatening us?’ asks British warship

Additionally, British surveillance aircraft have been keeping an eye on Russian forces. Last week, a British RC-135 ‘Rivet Joint’ intelligence-gathering aircraft once again deployed to Crimea to keep an eye on Russian forces near the border with Ukraine.

Earlier, we reported that there has been an increase in the frequency of British RC-135 aircraft being deployed to the Black Sea region near Ukraine’s border with Russia. The UK has deployed an aircraft for this task every few days over the last month or so. British surveillance aircraft being over the Black Sea near Crimea isn’t unusual but we are seeing a significant increase in the frequency of the flights over the last few weeks. American assets are also present.

The British Foreign Secretary has stated that Britain is “ensuring that Ukraine has the capability to defend itself”.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in Parliament:

“In December, I visited British troops forming part of NATO’s enhanced forward presence at Tapa in Estonia, where allies are helping to protect the border with Russia. We are working with our NATO partners to ensure that that protection remains in place and is enhanced so that we can fulfil our commitments. With Ukraine, we are ensuring that it has the capability to defend itself. That involves training, and the UK has trained more than 20,000 troops in Ukraine. We are also supplying extra capability for naval defences as well as support in areas such as cyber-security and other services.”

What’s next?

Britain isn’t going to get involved in the fighting, we all know that, but it is doing its best to give Ukraine sharp enough teeth to make Russia fight for every mile. Whether or not that makes a difference to Russia is yet to be seen. Might the Kremlin now think twice? We can only hope so.

I have always been a big believer in doing what I believe to be “the right thing to do”, that’s why I’m for this weapons supply effort. It is vital that this country does the right thing by helping to ensure that an independent sovereign state does not fall to an authoritarian regime.

I’ve never served in the armed forces, I have never been to war or even in a war zone but I’m not stupid, I’m fully aware that military conflict is not glamorous. Simply put, war is tears and funerals and anything that can be done to deter war is something all decent people should back.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the UK in recent years has had serious issues but this isn’t a political website so I’m not particularly keen on exploring the ups and downs of how the UK Government have handled things. I think this course of action, Britain supplying defensive weapons to Ukraine, is the right one and I hope that the UK continues to do ‘the right thing’ and leads the effort to prevent further conflict in Ukraine by visibly and unwaveringly supporting the right of Ukraine to exist.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
2 months ago

I think the UK is doing the right thing here: increasing the cost of any potential action by Russia- the contrast with the EU and France and Germany in particular, is striking. I think we could go further; we are about to dump a lot of tranche 1 Typhoons with over half their airframe lives available- a gift of some of these to Ukraine would, in the longer run, be a major boost to her air force.

Ian
Ian
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

I doubt that Ukraine has the pilots to fly them, the support capability to keep them in the air or the C4ISTAR capabilities to use them effectively.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian

It would be a long term project, of no immediate help to them now.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

I think that other European countries have a veto over supply of Eurofighters due to their kit being in the fighters.

That is why Germany has a veto on the current proposed supply of Howitzers.

And how we stopped Super Etendards reaching Argentina after the Falklands invasion.

Callum
Callum
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Doesn’t quite work like that. If we were selling new kit to Ukraine that required foreign suppliers, then yes they could veto it (as we did when Argentina went to South Korea and Sweden looking for fighters that used British components). However, if we were to sell or gift Ukraine kit we already own, like the Tranche 1 Typhoons, the other partners can do nothing but refuse to provide any nation-specific spares. We stopped Argentina getting more Super Etendards after the Falklands during and after the Falklands by petitioning France as an ally, because as far as I’m aware the… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

If Russia does launch an Invasion i think whatever Aircraft they have would struggle to get off the Ground and join the fight – Russia has it’s own version of Shock and Awe,any Airbases would be the first assets to be targeted.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

Agreed. Supply them to the eyeballs.

( As long as our Infantry have some NLAW left! 😉 For once, we seem to have
a surplus of something )

Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Couldn’t agree more unfortunately, if this does turn into a full conflict I fear all the dated weaponry we have might not be enough. Things like ration packs, water purification and even medical supplies will be desperately needed. Hopefully we can send whatever we can spare. (Dyslexic but trying)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

NLAWs are not dated weaponry.

Tams
Tams
2 months ago

We don’t have an immediate need for such a stockpile for ourselves anyway, so it might as well go to Ukraine.

Nathan
Nathan
2 months ago

What about the surplus C2’s we’re not going to upgrade?

Louis
Louis
2 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Or the even larger stock of surplus warriors and CR2s that were dropped many years ago. Don’t forget over four hundred CR2s were ordered

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Louis

UK MoD has declared active holdings of 227 CR2s for years, and you are right that we had over 408 delivered (according to Wikipedia), although this artice said 386 were delivered:https://www.army-technology.com/projects/challenger2/

The balance should be sitting in the vehicle depot at Ashchurch, although I would put money on most of them being unfit for service – thaye are probably ‘Christmas trees’ meaning ‘robbed for parts’.

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The discrepancy is that 22 of the 408 were Training Tanks i believe,and yes some of the fleet were culled post 2003 Iraq so around 227 would be the most accurate estimate of what is left that is servicable.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes the 22 x CTTs (Challenger Training Tanks) would explain it.

I was aware that one of the defence reviews cut tank numbers by 35% (and AS90 numbers by 40%), but that does not account for why 42% of the tanks were axed to get to the 227 figure.

Those tanks that have been culled should all be in the Ashchurch depot (as none have been sold, and I believe only 1 has been scrapped (after the friendly fire incident?)) and are probably in a shocking condition.

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Sending Armoured Vehicles to the Ukraine is the equivalent of selling Coals to Newcastle – they have Tank Parks full of unused Equipment in various states of (dis) repair which they have been cherry picking since 2014 to supply refurbished examples to their Army.There is nothing we can supply that offers anything more than they have already got.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

We have sent a lot (believed to be 2000) NLAWs to the Ukraine. We are not of course offering to donate hundreds of AFVs – we have none spare to give up.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I hear we have a lot of Ajax in Spain, maybes they could be gifted to save the recycling costs and in the meantime deafen the Russians upon invading!?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Ive got a feeling we might one day soon need all 400 of these vehicles. I wouldnt mind giving them some Warriors but they wouldnt last long vs T72/80/90 series tanks.
Taking away Russian air superiority via Starstreak HVSAM or some other such system might be viable. Especially as UK is moving towards land ceptor and first units are now manufactured.
Replacing our donated Light anti armour systems should be a priority. A follow on order of another 10000 would seem prudent.

The Snowman
The Snowman
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I would offer them any vehicles, protected or otherwise, which we have deemed surplus. Landies, 4 tonners, FV432, wheeled things we bought for Afghanistan. Being able to conduct a fighting withdrawal or reinforce/resupply is not to be underestimated. Also, anything we have that is about to go out of ‘use by’ date, which we would dispose of, I’m sure Ukraine would be happy to have the use of. I wonder if there is a delegation currently touring our warehouses?

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
2 months ago
Reply to  The Snowman

There is NO POINT in supply loads of vehicles without all the relevant spares, training and publications. Like all the kit left in Afghan, once it breaks down it will just be abandoned and left to rot. Hate to sound pedantic, but the saying goes “Amateurs talk Tactics, Professionals talk Logistics”. The great thing in supply the Anti-Tank Wpns, is that they are “Fire and Discard”, so the only thing you need to do, it train them who to use it and supply the system. No other back up required.

DJ
DJ
2 months ago
Reply to  The Snowman

I deal opportunity to unload all those Ajax vehicles. Put it to the foreign aid budget.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Warriors are obviously not designed to stand up to tank Main Armament.

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago

It would be nice (Maybe they already have) if the Ukrainians in return gave us access to their (former) Russian equipment for us to scope out and see how it works.

Finney
Finney
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

I don’t think they have anything modern enough to be of interest, but I’m sure they would if asked.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

There is a T72 in Bovey Tank museum!

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 months ago

His point on politics is well made. In the end everything is politics but there are no end of places we can all pontificate about which party is right or wrong. I’m sure i’ve stepped over the line over the years and if I do I’ll have no cause for complaint if i’m called out for it. Let’s all pledge to keep party politics off this site.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
2 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

War is politics by other means….

Clausewitz

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yeah all life is politics but party politics isn’t.

Cripes
Cripes
2 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

One political party has reduced defencr spending from 2.5% of GDP to a real-world figure of about 1.8%….cut the army by 30%,… cut RAF aircraft by 30%… left us with the smallest army and air force ever… and turned us from a leading player in NATO to about 6th place in military power. All in 11 years in office. But we better not mention it, because that would be party politics? Governments control our defence spending and military capability. If a government repeatedly cuts defence expenditure for domestic political motives, such as an ideological commitment to slashing public expenditure in… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Well put. I agreee entirely. It is the weakness resulting from these cuts that have made Russia & China so bold today.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Can you post the same set of data for the period 1997 to 2010 please?

Cripes
Cripes
2 months ago
Reply to  James

It would be quite right to compare the record of the Blair/Brown administration on defence with that of the current HMG mob, James. It will take me a few days to do, as i’m hammered with work things at the mo, but will dig out the info. Two broad strands to start with: i) Labour inherited defence expenditure of 2.5% of GDP in 1997 and left it at the same 2.5% in 2010, despite the global financial crash of 2007, no opportune Osborne cuts there; ii) By 1997, UK defence expenditure had been almost halved from the 4.8% Cold War… Read more »

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

At the end of point 2 the conservatives also got the same poisoned chalice of being left with no money when they took office and something had to be cut. Yes many will argue they could have borrowed more to keep everything however due to the hangover of the financial crisis borrowing was at a very high cost which is how most of the issues arose when Brown decided to borrow his way through a recession and take on said loans at stupidly high interest rates. Labour may well have kept spending fixed over the term in office but on… Read more »

shoreline
shoreline
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Tories — defense at 4.8 percent of GDP in 1979, and apart from a one year peak near 6 percent in 1982 during the Falklands War it had dropped to 2.5 percent in 1997 on leaving office. Labour — defense at 2.5 percent of GDP in 1997, and still 2.5 percent of GDP on leaving office in 2010. Tories — defense 2.5 percent of GDP on taking office in 2010, 1.77 percent by 2018. Now, in fairness, it does seem to be going up somewhat under Johnson, despite his fiasco with only three AWACS aircraft and other things like slow… Read more »

Rob Young
Rob Young
2 months ago

Agree with supporting Ukraine in this. Considering issues re supply in Libya and issues over the years re spares I think it a good time to look at the spares/resupply issue a bit – granted, I feel we need more kit but it’s no good without enough ammo and spares.

chris stocken
chris stocken
2 months ago

What is the rest of NATO donating?.

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 months ago
Reply to  chris stocken

Baltics are. Lithuania Stingers for definite.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  chris stocken

France…hot air courtesy of monsueur Macron
Germany….nothing as usual. They will sit on their arses until Russia is a direct threat to their territorial integrity and then demand US, Canadian, British andFrench troops protect them.
Dutch are sending cheese
Belgiums a few old boxes of chocolate rations
Italians some parma ham and parmesan.
Spanish Chorizo sausage
All of which the Russians will enjoy eating once theyve overrun and subjugated a democratic nation of millions of currently free democratic people.

Pete
Pete
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Re-calibrate the Spanish comments. Strong words from their defence minister last night. Deploying minesweeper, frigate and contemplating fighters to Bulgaria with statement that NATO will defend itself and those who want to join it !

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  chris stocken

Chris: The Lithuanian government has been sending a load of Soviet era weapons that they no longer need due to conforming to NATO standards, for example in 2017 they sent : 7 000 Kalashnikov rifles and nearly 2 million cartridges. 80 machineguns, ten mortars, and anti-tank and other weapons. Last year they handed over a L-39ZA Last night the US government ok’d the Baltic states to hand over US made weapons to the Ukraine, From what I have read that would be Javelin and Stinger, Estonia has also decided to offload their 122 mm howitzers, but are awaiting permission from Berlin… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Farouk
chris stocken
chris stocken
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Great info. Thanks.

N.
N.
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

question on the technical side: is ‘loitering’ compatible with 70 min flight time, max? I assumed that ‘loitering’ is longer than that, maybe not several hours, as some systems, but longer than just over an hour? Or is ‘loitering’, basically _anything_ without a specific target to hit at the point of launch, regardless of how short/long it stays in the air?

Jake
Jake
2 months ago

If I’m reading this right, does that mean we have the C-17 fleet available at the same time? How often does this happen as I would have thought at least one/two would be undergoing some form of long term maintenance?

Pete
Pete
2 months ago
Reply to  Jake

Suspect there will have been some repeat trips by same aircraft.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
2 months ago

Let’s hope there’s an ability to back down on all sides.
The only people who think wars are a good idea are people who have never fought in one.

dan
dan
2 months ago

Meanwhile Biden has given Putin the OK to invade Ukraine. And he will only slap Russia with some token sanctions after he does. Without someone with a strong backbone in the White House Russia and China are basically free to do whatever they want. Thanks American voters. Ugh

Caribbean
Caribbean
2 months ago
Reply to  dan

Sorry – but no he didn’t. His phrasing was poor (he is American after all, so you have to forgive him for his inability to express himself clearly) but it was clear to me that he said that he realises that Putin might feel that he has to do something (implicitly, to save face) and that what the USA did would depend on what he actually did

Daniel
Daniel
2 months ago
Reply to  dan

I thought you guys didn’t like Trump? Although thats who I voted for. Suspect he would have treated this much different.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  Daniel

As the Cardinal said when asked for his views on Trump; “ He’s a barbarian, but he’s our barbarian.” 😂
Every rugby team should have one.

Daniel
Daniel
2 months ago
Reply to  Daniel

Dan is a frequent American contributor here, invariably he has something to add linking every possible problem to the inaction of “Sleepy Joe”.

Tams
Tams
2 months ago
Reply to  dan

Utter tripe.

Trump’s softness with Russia is part of what has emboldened Putin.

David Flandry
David Flandry
2 months ago
Reply to  Tams

Your post is tripe

Meirion x
Meirion x
2 months ago
Reply to  dan

B is turning out to be just as worse as last POTUS!

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion x
criss whicker
criss whicker
2 months ago

should not the goverment now start to increase the building up of defences and speed up the ship building,
just a thought

Roy
Roy
2 months ago
Reply to  criss whicker

It likely would if it believed there were a real military threat to the UK. But non-stop cuts suggest that they are not convinced that there actually is an active threat, rhetoric notwithstanding.

criss whicker
criss whicker
2 months ago
Reply to  Roy

thank all that replied.
thank you

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Roy

Non stop cuts but the defence budget has increased?

Roy
Roy
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Yes. The defence budget increases may have cushioned some of the cuts, but the cuts have continued notwithstanding. The latest defence review is yet another illustration of this: army down to 72,000; RAF loses all Tranche 1 Typhoons without replacement; F-35s capped at no more than 80; Wedgetail cut from 5-3; Protector cut from “more than 20” to 16; C-130s gone without replacement; Type 31 “frigates” (barely a corvette apparently with no SSMs or ASW sensors) will replace GP Type 23s; etc., etc… This approach (not unique to the current government) is indicative of governments that make no strategic choices… Read more »

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Roy

So if we keep replacing equipment based on two decades ago prices as opposed to the new much more expensive equipment then we can keep the numbers high.

The newer kit is vastly more expensive than it used to be.

Plus newer departments need funding, Cyber, Space etc that eats into it all aswell.

Roy
Roy
2 months ago
Reply to  James

British Govt policy seems largely based on doing everything the way it has been done before and in “standing by our commitments” even if those are global and are no longer sustainable. Fundamental rethink has been avoided at all costs. So you have an army theoretically doing and preparing for largely the same things as before but it is half the size it was thirty years ago. You then end up with a 900-man “battlegroup” in the Baltics and pretend that’s somehow credible. You have an RAF “prepared to engage globally” even though it only has 8 frontline fast jet… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes
2 months ago
Reply to  Roy

Very well said Roy, you put it in a nutshell. One minor correction – we don’t have 8 frontline fast jet squadrons. The supposed 7 Typhoon squadrons boasted by the MOD is just dishonest spin. There are actually 5 (all with 8 frontline aircraft rather than the 12 hitherto). The other two are training units, a) A small aggressor/QRA ‘squadrons to re-skill aircrew in air-to-air, b) A small joint training ‘squadron’ for Qatar, currently training I think the first 6 Qatari pilots, whi will start getting the first of their 24 Typhoons later this year.. Neither of these are frontline… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  criss whicker

What do you think will happen? That Britain’s armed forces will go to war with Russia if Ukraine is invaded?

A frigate takes over 3.5 years from laydown of keel to commissioning – maybe you could shave 0.5 of a year off – does that help?

Pete
Pete
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

No…but the myth that there will not be any peer threats for several years and therefore it’s OK to have multiple significant and extended capability gaps needs to be put to bed. It will take time to resolve but that effort has to start.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
2 months ago
Reply to  criss whicker

difficult to speed up shipbuilding owing to the lead times on components, plus the Treasury won’t like it.

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago

Have any of you supporting our supply of NLAW and encouraging the shipping of even more equipment thought this through?   OK I accept that thousands of anti tank missiles is going to make any attacker pause for thought when used for defence. But as we all know these weapons are equally valuable when used in attack.   You are no doubt aware that the Kiev Government has had a stated objective since 2015 of regaining control of the Donbas, if necessarily by force, and have many 10,000s of troops down there in WW1 type trench systems on the demarcation… Read more »

simon
simon
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yawn, Please go away

Pete
Pete
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The current action and behaviours of Russia carry a significant long term risk. Nuclear proliferation. If you feel threatened and you have them don’t give up your nukes..as nukes offer the ultimate peace assurance…..if you don’t yet have nukes then keep or start developing the capability as you simply can’t trust the big bullies to behave themselves. The alternative to developing your own nukes is to join a gang that has them. Russia will drive more nations to join NATO, or get into similar gangs centred around India, Pakistan or Iran etc. Hey..maybe we will see the creation of POTO.… Read more »

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Well the Donbass is Ukranian territory, as is Crimea.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Why on earth would they think a strike would be successful? They’re utterly outnumbered and outmatched and they know it, why do you think they’ve been ordered not to fire a single shot unless absolutely necessary?

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago
Reply to  James

I hope that is the thinking in Kiev.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

And any deaths will be one man’s fault alone.

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Unlikely.

Tams
Tams
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Oh look, it’s our resident Ruskie apologiser.

Move on everyone. Nothing of value here.

Meirion x
Meirion x
2 months ago
Reply to  Tams

Certainly is, and paid for it as well for the amount of time spent here!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago

Just seen on the news here that Ben Wallace and Liz Truss have snuck into Sydney and have been making joint policy strements with Australian Defence and Foreign Affairs ministers on Ukraine, China, SE Asia. Wonder if this will lead to more British military presence Ausand the Asia Pacfic? Would be interestung to see if it will lead to some nuclear sub orders or any other UK technology transfer. I’d like to see the RAN get a medium sized aircraft carrier with F35Bs too but I guess other things must come first!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*statements

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

These are the AUKMIN talks. Long way to come for talks but good to see some UK ministers down in these part of the woods.

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 months ago

Flight of fancy. Russia is doing improvised top armour on its tanks to defeat anti tank missiles. Anti tank guns were very effective during WW2. Thinking of the German 88 & the British 17 pounder. If we had kept the 120mm Wombat going. Better ammo, lighter mount, better sights, computing, etc. would it be useful on todays battlefield against armour?

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I remember speaking to the troops who used wombat at the time: they regarded it as a bit of a suicide weapon, owing to the very dectectable back blast.

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

Back blast is being reduced on modern one shot anti tank weapons. I may have this wrong, but on these modern recoiless, you have something similar to confetti, that absorbs & reduces the back blast, so you can fire in more confined spaces. After all, modern lighter versions of the Carl Gustaf 84mm have made a comeback, with a wide variety of modern ammo, so why not do the same to the Wombat?

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Wombat, wow no way….

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I think Russia thinking about top Armour for it’s Tanks probably has more to do with Ukraine investing in Drone capability,coincedentally isn’t NLAW Top Attack too ?.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Ukraine released some videos of mock up tanks on the ranges with wire /slat armor fitted on top at which the fired top attack systems.
They blew straight through it and destroyed the target.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCECFlFk_q8

Sean
Sean
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Some ad-hoc steel plates hurriedly added to Russian tanks isn’t going to defeat a top strike by an NLAW. It’s simply a comfort blanket for their tank crews.

Tams
Tams
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Any evidence of this armour?

And any ad-hoc armour is going to not be very effective. Either it’ll provide no real protection, or compromise mobility too much.

If it does exist; it’s just a comfort blanket.

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Interesting article on the HK 433 assault rifle, on that site.

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

The Russian TV news reports circulating on the internet, seem to show that each tank unit has improvised its own top armour. Some looks flimsy, while other units look robust. I think it risky to say it would or would not work. It will depend on each combat encounter.

Jay R
Jay R
2 months ago

I think the UK should not be helping the Ukraine, as they are not a NATO member.

If they do help the Ukraine, they should also help Palestine.

The only difference is the perception of “invasion”.

The UK should fix it’s own borders before influencing other nations fences.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jay R
Sean
Sean
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay R

😂

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay R

FFS Palestine……bore off!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay R

There is an agreement (Budapest Memorandum) that we (UK) should aid the Ukraine to maintain territorial integrity, created at the time Ukraine gave up her Soviet-era nuclear weapons. This is irrespective of NATO.

Last edited 2 months ago by Graham Moore
Tams
Tams
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay R
  • The UK is obliged to help Ukraine.
  • Ukraine falling would affect the UK much more (yes, ultimately that does matter).
  • It’s really quite clear who is wrong in the Ukraine-Russia/Russian separatists conflict. Not so with Israel and Palestine.
Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago

The Russian position is that the Minsk agreement has not been implemented. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/what-are-minsk-agreements-ukraine-conflict-2021-12-06/ The agreement stipulates Ukraine implement a form of devolution for the Donbas region which has a substantial ethnic Russian population and in which Russian separatists fight with support from Russian mercenaries and Russian equipment. NATO is not a party.to the Minsk agreement which was essentially between Russia and Ukraine. An analogue situation closer to home would be extremist ethnic Irish US interests supplying the IRA with arms to help NI break away from the UK to join its natural cultural home in Republic of Ireland….oh wait a… Read more »

Roger Shatze
Roger Shatze
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

What utter nonsense. There is no corollary between the IRA and Vladimir Putin. A better analogy would be the cause of Irish Nationalism continuing the centuries of struggle to push for independence and finally winning it with the moral, financial and economic help of the Irish diaspora in America, Canada and Australia in the early 20th century. Nice try though.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Shatze

Well spotted 😉

Sean
Sean
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Maybe if Russia had bothered to uphold the Budapest Memorandum in the first place… 🤷🏻‍♂️

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Fair point.

andy Reeves
andy Reeves
2 months ago

WE MUST STAY OUT OF AS MUCH OF THIS UKRAINE AS POSSIBLE,ITS A POWDER KEG

Tams
Tams
2 months ago
Reply to  andy Reeves

No.

douglas fir
douglas fir
2 months ago

Bearing in mind that vital [NATO defence] sub-sea data cables have recently been cut, in waters off Svalbard, it is reasonable to say that conflict has already begun, many miles from Ukraine. Have we been skilfully channelled by Russian propaganda and elaborate misdirection to believe that Ukraine is actually the subject of said conflict – the narrative being that Russia will invade there in order to re-establish security conditions to their liking?    On the other hand, an assault on Sweden [Gotland] by the VDV, with stealth, missiles and nuclear threats, would give Russia control the Baltic and all that… Read more »

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
2 months ago

“Britain isn’t letting Ukraine fall without a fight” Good article, however Britain couldn’t ‘fight’ even if it wanted to.

Supplying Ukraine with missiles (whatever type) would not stop Russia, even if they do opt to invade.

A small ‘nice’ gesture, from a small militarily insignificant country I’m afraid.

P Blezard
P Blezard
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Depends on the missile mate. Supply them a Vanguard full of Tridents, that would stop them ( it would stop everything else as well). Also Russia is not invincible, if they get bogged down the longer it goes in the more it favours the Ukraine. These missiles while a small gesture could help the Ukrainians slow the Russians down. The more costly for the aggressor the better.

Antoni Wręga
Antoni Wręga
2 months ago

The Ukraine is really an independent country, not merely a Russian province. UK, US, Poland are doing right things. Germany, unfortunately — not.