UK Should Spend Less on Costly Weapons Says Army Chief

20 January 2010 (Last Updated January 20th, 2010 18:30)

British armed forces should spend less on expensive weapons systems and adapt to new forms of warfare by prioritising the number of troops working on the ground, according to the British Army chief of general staff. Britain is currently facing the dilemma of how to equip its 9,500 troop

British armed forces should spend less on expensive weapons systems and adapt to new forms of warfare by prioritising the number of troops working on the ground, according to the British Army chief of general staff.

Britain is currently facing the dilemma of how to equip its 9,500 troops in Afghanistan and pay for multibillion-dollar defence projects at the same time, according to Reuters.

Army chief of general staff David Richards said the British defence establishment had not fully adapted to the security realities of the post-Cold War world.

"If one equips more for this type of conflict while significantly reducing investment in higher-end war-fighting capability, suddenly one can buy an impressive amount of kit," he said.

"While I am emphatically not advocating getting rid of all such equipment, one can buy a lot of unmanned aerial vehicles or satellite technology for the cost of a few joint strike fighters and heavy tanks."

A review of the country's defence policy scheduled for later this year is likely to focus on programmes including the Typhoon fighter, the joint strike fighter, aircraft carriers, destroyers and Trident nuclear submarines, which will require heavy investment in the coming decade.