Daily Mail

Top Admiral defends £5bn boost for UK armed forces

- By Mark Nicol Defence Editor

THE head of the Armed Forces defended a controvers­ial £5billion uplift in military cash yesterday amid Army fury over how it will be spent.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said the money was ‘really good news’ but hinted some capabiliti­es would be ‘pared down’.

Some £3billion will go on the developmen­t of submarines, with £2billion on replacing equipment sent to Ukraine.

But it has outraged Army chiefs who were hoping to invest in tanks and long-range artillery to meet threats posed by Russia. Pleas by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace for £11billion have been batted away by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Admiral Radakin, a former head of

‘Couldn’t have been much worse’

the Royal Navy, told the BBC: ‘This is significan­t investment and significan­t clarity. I’ve met all the defence chiefs and we all see this as being investment in UK defence...

‘We also hope to accelerate some of the capabiliti­es that we’ve identified... And, inevitably, you might pare back in other areas.’

Senior Army officers, who face the loss of thousands of troops by 2025, say the £4.6billion value of equipment pledged for Ukraine falls way short of the £2billion promised for replacemen­ts.

One told the Mail: ‘We’ve been cut out completely. The Treasury have basically said you can have under half of what you’ve given away. The settlement couldn’t have been much worse really. But the Navy are happy.’

Former head of the Army Lord Dannatt suggested the £5billion is around a third of what was required, adding: ‘With a land war in Europe our army is woefully under-funded.’

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