British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK would help Ukraine “continue to push back the Russian invasion and survive as a free and democratic country”.

Britain has already sent anti-tank and anti-ship missiles, air defence systems and other weapon systems to Ukraine. This extra £1.3bn worth of support includes everything from radars to night vision devices.

The UK government have said that this is the highest rate of spending on a conflict since Iraq and Afghanistan. It is understood that the extra spending will come from a reserve used by the government for emergencies.

Boris Johnson said:

“Putin’s brutal attack is not only causing untold devastation in Ukraine, it is also threatening peace and security across Europe.”

What are the recent developments?

At least one of Russia’s most advanced tanks, the T-90M, has been destroyed by Ukrainian troops the British Ministry of Defence has said.

According to an intelligence update from the British Ministry of Defence:

“At least one T-90M, Russia’s most advanced tank, has been destroyed in fighting. The T-90M was introduced in 2016 and includes improved armour, an upgraded gun and enhanced satellite navigation systems.

Approximately 100 T-90M tanks are currently in service amongst Russia’s best equipped units, including those fighting in Ukraine. The system’s upgraded armour, designed to counter anti-tank weaponry, remains vulnerable if unsupported by other force elements.

The conflict in Ukraine is taking a heavy toll on some of Russia’s most capable units and most advanced capabilities. It will take considerable time and expense for Russia to reconstitute its armed forces following this conflict.

It will be particularly challenging to replace modernised and advanced equipment due to sanctions restricting Russia’s access to critical microelectronic components.”

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
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
87 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
5 days ago

It’s good to see that now we back up our commitment to Ukraine with money.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

It’s also good to see that the money is coming out of the national reserve fund and not the Defence Budget… Which suggests that the rundown of UK miliatry stockpiles “should” be replenshed.

Cheers CR

Mark franks
Mark franks
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Talk in the media of the MOD procurement executive holdin talks with the UK defence industry of ramping up production.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Interesting.

Nothing like real world data to force a rethink.

I bet the Ukrainian’s are blasting through their stock of MANPADS at a seriously impressive rate. They won’t all hit their targets… So the MoD will be thinking they need more rounds as well as a need to step up supply to the Ukrainian’s.

Cheers CR

andy a
andy a
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The USA manufacturers of stinger and javelin have already said they cant keep up with the current use in a peace time production

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Begs the question of whether the Russian’s are able to replenish their war stocks. All the evidence (reported switch to dumb bombs) suggests that they are not and that they are depleting their complex weapons stocks quite quickly.

So if you want a long warning of miliatry action watch the other guys complex weapons production rates and stockpiles…

Cheers CR

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Reports of examined Russian hi tech kit in Ukraine depends on foreign silicon chips. That’s where sanctions need to be heavily enforced.

dan
dan
3 days ago
Reply to  andy a

The US needs to either develop a new short range ground to air missile or buy one from Britain. The Stinger is too old and difficult to find parts to build new ones for. It’s also now in the hands of the Russians so will be less effective when America has to use it again.

Daveyb
Daveyb
4 days ago
Reply to  Mark franks

If you are looking for work, Thales are searching for people to work in Belfast funny old thing (It’s where they make Starstreak, Martlet and NLAW).

Paul42
Paul42
4 days ago

I’m all in favour of backing Ukraine in every way possible, but I also wish funding could be found to give our own armed forces what they need, including anti-ship missiles and Mk41 vls for Type 31, for the Navy, more combat aircraft for the RAF ( Typhoon Tranche 5 + 5 x E7)) and kit for the Army.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

At least we’re getting much needed experience in properly equipping a military.
Hopefully some skills will be transferable..

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

We saw what the last uplift in defence spending bought. So any chance for new kit above what’s already expected will take a large amount.
If anyone knows what the extra cash bought last time please share
My first thought is are the services able to take on any more aircraft, weapons on ships, actual ships etc etc. Do they have the correct manpower. Say you want an extra squadron of typhoons. How many hundreds of people is that?

Paul42
Paul42
4 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Those that will soon find themselves at a lose end as the Tranche 1 Typhoons are all finally retired could easily form an additional Squadron of Tranche 4/5. Upgrades to Type 31 won’t require additional manpower- just the provision of Mk41 Vls and weapons.

Last edited 4 days ago by Paul42
Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Hi Paul. It’s likely the retirement of the Tranche 1s will see a couple of Typhoon squadron’s convert onto F35 in the wake of the announcement to buy more.

Paul42
Paul42
4 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

The additional F35Bs will be block 4 with no given start date for deliveries of that batch……Tranche 1 Typhoon will be long gone before the first airframe leaves the production line, let alone arrives in the UK. We will have a considerable amount of fully trained Typhoon personnel looking for another job with nothing to physically work on…..

David Steeper
4 days ago

Unless Russia mobilises Ukraine will win this. Whether that victory will take us back to January or 2013 borders I do not know. Even if Russia does mobilise that won’t be a guarantee of a Russian victory.Their reservists will be even less well trained and equipped than their regulars have been. They will take eye watering casualties from the Ukrainians. If it brings quick victory it will pay off for him. If it doesn’t he will face mass protests from the population and mutines from within the armed forces. It would be Putin betting the house on a pair of… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by David Steeper
Simon
Simon
4 days ago

What is a win? Ukraine has been hughly damaged, will a Russia pay compensation. Will there be warcrimes trial.

grizzler
grizzler
4 days ago
Reply to  Simon

I’m going to hazard a wild guess thaht the answers are No and …No .

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Which probably means most Western sanctions won’t be lifted on Russia for decades.

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Unless the West needs them to be lifted. The CEO of Lockheed Martin has reported that 70 PW engines have not been delivered due to lack of castings. Both Boeing and Airbus are big users of Russian titanium products.

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I understand there are Titanium deposits in Ukraine. Your boss Putin, probably does not want the competition.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  Simon

A win would be keeping most of the country free, given the Russian’s aim was to topple the government in Kiyv and haul Ukraine back into the Russian sphere, but it might not feel like it for the Ukrainian’s. When the Red Army pushed the Finns back during WW2 the Finnish troops reportedly wept when they heard the terms of the peace agreement, but history paints it in a different light i.e. Finland inflicted heavy losses on the Red Army and kept it’s independence so won, sort of. Victory is rarely clean or complete. WW2 was an exception borne out… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Unlike some other European countries such as Germany, the Russian invasion of Ukraine did not prompt the Chancellor to announce further increased defence spending in his last budget.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

True, but to be fair the UK had already increased spending significantly. We need to do more, but it takes time to absorb a 5 to 10% one off increase in spending and there have been sugggestions that the MoD would struggle to absorb another large increase in the short term. (It doesn’t have enough properly trained people to effectively manage the projects it already has – as witnessed by the delays and cost over runs…) I agree that we need to undo the damage to our defence posture that has been done over, well as long as I can… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

As always, spot on.

Mark franks
Mark franks
4 days ago
Reply to  Simon

The thing is Simon nobody wins, it’s victory or defeat in this kind of war. If Ukraine is defeated so is the west and we cannot afford that to happen.

Mark B
Mark B
4 days ago
Reply to  Simon

The word “win” is not terribly useful especially in this war. The gains that Russia has made since 2013 will be hard to hold assuming support from the west keep coming. The Ukrainians will slowly regain control of their skies, the Russians will run out of cruise missiles and/or the Ukrainians will establish a decent defence against them.

I suspect in the long run regions or sub regions will freely choose their destiny.

This will be hailed as a win by both sides.

In the next 10 years Putinism in Russia will be replaced.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The Russians may soon run out of cruise missiles but they are still reducing entire large towns to rubble by artillery (tube and rocket) and air attack.

Mark B
Mark B
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

True. Does this however help them with their war aims? They are alienating the population and wasting their ammunition from what I can see. In the end they are in charge of a pile of rubble which they then have to defend whilst their resupply routes are subject to attack? I am having trouble seeing how this might work for them.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

A good point. It seems that the Russian infantry is either untrained in urban warfare or their Generals fear massive casualties and delays incurred. Hence the alternative of rubble-ising. It forces most of the civilians to flee out of the combat area. Putin might know that Ukraine lacks CB radar, the west is not supplying much arty and so can do little to take out his arty batteries. It is terrorism – and genocide – which is part of Putin’s ‘playbook’. He surely hope to bring the Ukrainian government to the negotiating table and to do so from a position… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Putin should have announced a ceasefire in his “Victory Day” speech. That way everybody would have “won”. Instead this “war of attrition” will carry on for many, bloody, pointless months.

dan
dan
3 days ago
Reply to  Simon

LOL! Ukraine should keep on fighting until all their land is back under their control. Especially the stuff Putin annexed in 2014 under Obama/Biden.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago

The US has supplied APKWS.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Nice low cost conversion.

Can we have some please?🙂

Cheers CR

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

What would fire them? What would illuminate the targets? What would be the targets?

JohninMK
JohninMK
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

A very good weapon that suited recent US wars where the answers to your questions would be clear. But, in a hostile AD environment like Ukraine, much more problematic.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Nope, wrong again! And any condemnation of Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine yet?

expat
expat
4 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Not so sure, you can ground launch from a flatbed and laser designate from a smaller drone or any elevated position. Its just creates another problem for Russia as they have to have tactics to defend against a wide range of weapons systems. Ukraine has been very good at confusing/distracting Russian forces then hitting them in a way they don’t expect.

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  expat

The Russians have been very good at confusing themselves with their absolute incompetence mate, for sure.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I was being slightly tongue in cheek as I think we need to ‘low’ cost weaponary in the mix…

Cheers CR

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yeh. But point taken about the low cost.

Daveyb
Daveyb
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

They can be fitted to a ground launcher that is in turn fitted to a vehicle. A ground based laser designator can then be used for targeting.

Ukraine do not have any manned aircraft that uses the 1553B mil spec databus. So they wont be able to use Western electro-optical turret with a laser designator. The TB2 UAV may have one so could be used. There have been rumours recently, that the US may be supplying Ukraine with MQ-1 Predator UAVs. These can both self-designate a target and fire at it. APKWS can be used from these UAVs.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thx. Can the Mig-29 fire the APKWS?

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

No, not even the Polish or Slovak ones. They still have the legacy Russian based weapons data-bus.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Mmm. Thx. Pity.

expat
expat
4 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

There’s some speculation the Mi17s sent may be retrofitted. Speculation only at this time.

expat
expat
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Article on Warzone suggest TB2 or Mi17 supplied by the US could be retrofitted. 70mm rockets can be ground launched as long as the target is illuminated which could be done via smaller drones.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  expat

Lots of options. Be interested to see how things turn out.

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 days ago
Reply to  expat

US says that their first Mi-17 was delivered today.

Airborne
Airborne
1 day ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I’m much better condition than your Russkie ones son!

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Can the US give its poor British AAC relations a gift of the nine near new MD530F, destined for Afghanistan?

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The AAC have the much loved Wildcat…lots more leg room and a bigger boot; and British!

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

British military helicopter numbers have dropped by 200+ over the last 12 years or so. The AAC used to have over 100 Lynx. We need to boost helicopter numbers. The Ukraine conflict has shown the need for armed overwatch.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I understand. But they are surely vulnerable and expensive compared to drones?

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

You need both. A drone can be sent nearer to danger. A light helicopter can get in & extract a walking wounded case from a tight spot that a larger helicopter cannot get into.

Shelley
Shelley
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

That’s good news, Paul; I didn’t know that. And I totally agree with CR – we should have some. Any piece of kit which transforms a bunch of random rockets into precision guided weapons has to be worth it. And at only $20k a pop (one third the price of the OTS purpose-built ones, apparently), they surely are. And to all ye BAE-bashers out there, note the designer/manufacturer. BAE could easily (if asked of course) set up a UK production line on one of its 4 munitions sites or the electronics factory in Rochester. If there are any US components… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  Shelley
Michael
Michael
4 days ago

But query how to replenish stocks when the relevant kit is no longer made eg stormer ?There is a strong case for certain procurement decisions to be accelerated (eg air defence Boxer, IFV turreted version of Boxer) and for some of the cost to come from treasury reserve given donated stormers/mastiffs cannot be replaced “like for like”. Done cleverly it could mean an effective boost to defence capacity that is paid out of treasury reserve not MoD budget, at least for certain army kit.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Don’t we have lots of soon to be obsolete CVRT to put the missile launchers on?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Paul, I instantly thought of CVR(T) STRIKER! An excellent long range ATGW system, sadly retired years ago, without replacement, and mostly in the hands of private collectors, I would have thought.
Of course missile launchers could be fitted to any flat top (non-turreted) soon-to-be-obsolete CVR(T). But 2 problems –

  1. very long time to design, develop, test, certify and produce such a major modification and
  2. Ajax and variants are not exactly replacing CVR(T)s at the sped of light.
Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I am probably over simplifying things in thinking that all you need to detect, track and fire is contained within the launcher itself. If so you could unbolt it and fit it to any other vehicle.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The better CVR(T) version that could be used as a ATGM platform would be based on the larger Stormer chassis. Which is about the right size to house a battery of Spike NLOS or longer range Brimstones.

Paul T
Paul T
4 days ago
Reply to  Michael

If push came to shove we can make fresh CVRT Chassis – for Afghanistan ops some new Scimitar Hulls were built by BAES from memory.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

The CVRT is a wonderful vehicle, Get some new ones with Brimstone on. Being replaced with something weighing 40 Tonnes????
AA

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago

I have long been a fan of CVR(T), but the design is about 55 years old.

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago

CVRT is a great little asset, very useful in its time but is now very out of date and the light weight ally armour tends to melt. But, useful in its time, filled the required niche. However agreed, recce by stealth is long gone with the prospective use of Ajax!!!!

Dern
Dern
2 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I mean the same argument could have been made when CVRT was introduced, after all the Daimler Dingo was half it’s size and weight.
Anyway, the Americans have been using the M3 CFV for Armoured Recce for years, and that’s about 30+t and similar dimensions to the Ajax.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
4 days ago

Aye ducking awesome how about donating the same amount to HM armed forces or maybe helping out the people of The U.K. who could do with a wee leg up .

wallopers the lot of them in Westminster

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

farouk
farouk
4 days ago

A most interesting read: NCOs: America Has Them, China Wants Them, Russia is struggling without them Non-commissioned officers, long the “backbone” of the U.S. military, are proving even more crucial on modern battlefields. One reason the Russian military has struggled to win territory in Ukraine is its lack of a strong corps of non-commissioned officers, or NCOs, which are more crucial than ever to success on the modern battlefield, U.S. military officials and experts say. In the American military, NCOs—enlisted service members at or above the rank of Army and Marine corporal, Air Force staff sergeant, and Navy petty officer—are… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by farouk
Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Excellent piece, informative good read. Thanks Farouk.

grizzler
grizzler
3 days ago
Reply to  farouk

China’s quite taken aback by Russian ineptitude …So they are working out how to encroach on Russias eastern flank ensuring success then whilst pretendinig to support Russia in its ‘special operation’…clever sly basterds these chinks hey 😂

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
4 days ago

I hope the Chinese are watching closely as a taster of what might come to pass in the future. I must say the actuality of this conflict is demonstrating war-craft way in excess of simply the “top trumps” variety. Simple large numbers is not king. The value of training, and here I must say that training against other nations is key, cannot be underestimated. A relatively small number of advanced weapons appears to be having an effect out of all proportion, and all this without an awful lot of said training on the part of the users. Indeed the effectiveness… Read more »

Rai
Rai
4 days ago

The problem with this assessment is that China has much more numbers (maybe an order of magnitude more) than Russia. Russia is not the USSR of WW2 that could sent a million man army to its death one month and raise another million man army the next. It no longer has an unlimited pool of man power from which to raise armies and its military industrial complex is much diminished from the soviet days and much less than what China has today. The West would struggle in a war of attrition against China in the same way Japan and Germany… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  Rai

The one child policy, means an only child is less likely to risk himself on the battlefield, when he knows his parents/grandparents depend on him.

Coll
Coll
4 days ago

Is a boxer air defence variant going to take its place?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Coll

I have heard nothing as to the mix of Boxer types we are buying – that info should be out by now. I hope the Infantry will get a turreted version with a 40mm stabilised cannon.

John Clark
John Clark
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I do hope so Graham, it’s a tremendous piece of kit….

The Ukraine shows us that your APC had better be equipped with capable, accurate and rapidly trainable firepower…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I would have preferred Warrior with WCSP.

Richard B
Richard B
4 days ago

How the UKs military support for Ukraine is ultimately being funded remains vague – probably deliberately. I was expecting an announcement in March that cuts to the size of the British Army would be cancelled or least postponed, but they seem to be proceeding as announced in the 2021 IR. I gather from the newspapers that the PM sided with the Chancellor and agreed that there would be no increase in the UKs defence budget, effectively meaning a cut in real terms this financial year (2022/23) due to much higher than forecast inflation. It now looks like last year (2021/22)… Read more »

RobW
RobW
4 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

Given the economic forecasts I can’t say I’m surprised. Interest rates are expected to keep increasing through to the summer of 2023 at least. The cost of Government borrowing is going up, while we could tip into recession by the end of the year. The outlook is gloomy enough for the Chancellor and PM to not want to commit to any spending increases, but if they do spend on something I’d imagine it will be on the cost of living. Energy bills could increase by another £1,000 in the Autumn when the current price cap is reviewed.

John Hartley
John Hartley
9 minutes ago
Reply to  RobW

Now that the USA is giving an extra $40 billion to Ukraine, I would advise against the UK giving any extra cash to Ukraine. Given the corruption there pre-war, there is too high a risk of the “usual suspects” diverting cash into their offshore accounts. By all means send Ukraine, weapons, medicine, food, fuel, but no more cash.
Even some American “talking heads” are wondering the wisdom of sending Ukraine $40 billion, without adequate oversight.

andy a
andy a
3 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

I believe its coming out of the UK gov “emergency funds”

John
John
4 days ago

With this talk of Russia struggling to replace equipment I do have to wonder what the arrangements are for us to do the same seeing as we keep giving it all away.

andy a
andy a
3 days ago
Reply to  John

most of it is surplus kit thats stored and most of the missles were nearing the out of service date as were america’s javemlins they donated

grizzler
grizzler
3 days ago
Reply to  andy a

I always use my eggs before best before date …sausages I can get away with for a bit longer….

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
3 days ago

I would like to no more about this ‘reserve’?
I mean is this a hidden fund, how much is it?
And could it be considered the UK’s black budget?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

No, don’t think so. I’m no expert but I believe HMG always have a contingency reserve. As for a “UK Black Budget” I think most Is in plain sight. The SIA, which is now published where once it was secret, but not the detail on the what’s and how much for what area is usually asterixed out in annual HoC ISC report. MoD UKSF their budget is also similar. What it goes on exactly is very hard if not impossible to track. I doubt we are like the Americans with their black budget programmes. Their BB is bigger than most… Read more »