The act of sending a wide variety of weapons to Ukraine is putting the British army at risk should donated armaments not be sufficiently replaced, the Labour Party has warned.
John Healey, the leftist Labour Party’s shadow defence secretary, has warned that the UK government’s practice of sending weapons abroad to Ukraine is risking the ability of the British army to defend the country.
It comes as Ukraine readies itself to receive ultra-modern main battle tanks from both Britain and beyond, with the eastern European state now eyeing up other high-end weaponry, such as submarines and Western 4th generation fighter jets.
With Britain having confirmed it is sending 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine and is preparing to sent jets too, Healey is now concerned that the country’s military effectiveness could be compromised if lost stock is not quickly and sufficiently replaced.
“Ukraine is depleting our military stockpiles and the Government is acting too slowly to replenish them,” the Labour MP told The Telegraph.
Healey emphasised that there was now an “immediate need for a stockpile strategy”, with the country risking its own military being “left short” if something is not done.
“To do that we need to reboot defence planning, ramp up parts of our defence industry so that we can continue to reinforce Ukraine and re-arm British forces to replenish the weapons and ammunition we are giving to Ukraine in their battle to turn back the Russian invasion,” he explained.
“We’ve got to kick parts of the defence industry into action and move beyond the peacetime inertia and waste that has characterised procurement for too long,” Healey went on to say.
Despite such an inability to restock the UK military after sending weapons to Ukraine, Britain’s government so far seems either unable or unwilling to compensate its armed forces for the weapons they were forced to hand over to Ukraine.
According to a report by broadcaster Sky News, the UK treasury has signalled that there is no additional funding available to boost military procurement, despite defence sources allegedly saying that defence spending needs to be boosted by around $3.6 billion every year.
So dire is the military’s current situation that it is expected that the British armed forces would run out of ammunition within days of being called to fight an intensive, Ukraine-style war.
It is also predicted that it could take between five to ten years for the army to be able to properly field a fighting force of 25,000 to 30,000.
By contrast, it is estimated that Russia has deployed between 200,000 to 250,000 troops in total in Ukraine as part of its invasion.
“Bottom line… it’s an entire service unable to protect the UK and our allies for a decade,” one defence force official reportedly said, with a U.S. general even being reported as privately saying that Britain now barely qualifies as having a tier-2 military.