Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach warned that overall British anti-submarine capability has been serious neglected due to under funding.
Peach told the Royal United Services Institute:
“We can do some things about it, but not enough because our anti-submarine warfare capability has been seriously neglected. The anti-submarine warfare package has been underfunded and has not been looked after well enough.
In response to the threat posed by the modernisation of the Russian navy – both nuclear and conventional submarines and ships – the UK and other Atlantic Nato allies have had to prioritise missions and tasks in order to protect the sea lines of communication. In addition to new ships and submarines, Russia continues to perfect unconventional capabilities and information warfare.
Therefore, we must continue to develop our maritime forces with our allies to match Russian fleet modernisation.”
The UK has not operated maritime patrol aircraft since 2010 though is introducing P-8 aircraft over the coming years, while frigate and submarine numbers have dropped by a great deal since the end of the Cold War.