UK national security could be at risk if Britain’s declining arsenal of weapons is not rebuilt after the war in Ukraine, according to MPs.
The UK and other NATO partners, according to the Commons Defence Committee, have allowed their weaponry stockpiles to dwindle to “dangerously low levels” in an effort to support Kyiv in its fight against the Russian invader.
It said that Western nations’ methods for acquiring weapons are “not fit for purpose” and recommended the Ministry of Defence to create an action plan to shorten the time it takes to replenish its stockpiles.
“Whilst Russia is also facing the diminution of its stockpiles, other adversaries are able to maintain and potentially increase their own.
“This inability to replenish UK stockpiles therefore puts at risk not just our ability to resupply Ukraine but also to counter any threat to our own security.”
The committee’s warning reflects worries voiced by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who claimed the military forces in Europe had been bearing the price for years of “hollowing out”.
Last month, Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, urged allies immediately to increase production because the Ukrainians were using up ammunition more quickly than the West could keep up with demand.
According to the committee, the UK’s defence industrial capability must be “resilient and scalable” in order for it to be able to increase production.
“A powerful, resilient armed forces, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies overseas, is the best deterrent against aggression.”
The Ministry of Defence continued to “place orders to replenish ammunition provided to Ukraine and (we) have an additional £560 million to increase stocks,” according to a spokesman.