Restocking Weapons Given To Ukraine 'Will Take Several Years'

Restocking Weapons Given To Ukraine 'Will Take Several Years'

Re-supply of the weapons the UK has given Ukraine will take “several years,” the chief of armed forces warned today.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said the lack of industrial capacity in Britain meant replenishing supplies – such as N-Laws and Brimstone missiles – would not happen anytime soon.

The chief of the defense staff gave testimony to colleagues and also expressed concern that it could be “five to ten years” before the UK could deploy a division with the capabilities to fight alongside US forces.

The UK has supplied Ukraine with a wide range of weapons since the Russian invasion in February, including anti-tank missile launchers, armored vehicles and anti-aircraft systems.

Boris Johnson has been hailed by Volodymyr Zelensky as one of Kiev’s staunchest supporters, with reports of troops shouting ‘God Save the Queen’ as they target Putin’s forces.


However, replacing those weapons has become a concern for some in Parliament.

On June 16, former head of the Royal Navy Lord West described the UK’s arms stocks as “inadequate” and called on the country to start producing weapons “almost 24/7”.

Admiral Radakin acknowledged that the ‘rate of expenditure’ of weapons in Ukraine and the ‘industrial capacity to replenish’ had already become ‘a major problem’.

Increased demand for arms, both in the UK and in Europe, together with the decline in Britain’s industrial capacity in recent decades and current supply chain problems have exacerbated these problems.

Admiral Radakin said the government needed to work with defense suppliers and had already invited 12 leading companies to Downing Street for talks.

But he added: “We’re talking years because you can’t whistle a fast production line with modern weapons.

“Yes, you can produce grenades and artillery, but even at the not super-advanced end, even at the humble end of an NLAW (anti-tank) weapon, it will take a few years to get back to our original stock. †

When asked by former Liberal Democrat Leader, Lord Campbell, whether the UK could deploy a full division, Admiral Radakin said it was possible but said the armed forces would increase its ability to return to a “much more orthodox divisional strength” including longer-range weapons and modern vehicles.

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He said, “We can put out a division, but the division we want to put out is a much better one in five to ten years, with the capabilities America would like to have to fight alongside America.”



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