An upcoming report claims that the British Army lacks the ability to transport and sustain enough artillery for a ‘credible warfighting division’.
RUSI say that the increasing density and sophistication of Russia’s Integrated Air Defence System promises to rob NATO ground forces of air support in the first weeks of any high intensity conflict in Eastern Europe.
“NATO ground forces will therefore need to depend on its artillery for firepower. Unfortunately NATO artillery is overmatched by Russia’s. NATO artillery is outgunned, outranged, and outnumbered. The modernisation of artillery therefore must be a priority for the British Army.”
The report also warns that, given that it is not fiscally viable to match Russia gun for gun, it is important not to simply replicate existing capabilities but rather to pursue emerging capabilities that offer a transformative advantage in the delivery of firepower.
“To this end RUSI has conducted a study assessing trends in fires technology, the effect of these systems on the future battlefield, and the minimum fires group necessary to ensure that the British Army retains a credible warfighting capability.”
Research fellow Dr Jack Watling, the author of the report, said:
“The UK’s ground forces are comprehensively outgunned and outranged, leaving enemy artillery free to prosecute fire missions with impunity. This must ultimately lead to the defeat of UK units.”
The report adds:
“Whatever platforms are developed and procured, it is clear that the UK’s ground forces need to increase their deployable firepower if they are to maintain a credible warfighting capability.”
The Ministry of Defence said in a statement:
“The UK does not stand alone but alongside its Nato allies, who work closely together across air, sea, land, nuclear and cyber to deter threats and respond to crises.”
The report will be available on Friday.