UK to develop new countermeasures against Russian equipment

    WORLD  27 January 2023 - 07:45

    The UK has recovered Russian military equipment lost to Ukrainian forces and handed it over to national intelligence agencies and industry partners in order to identify weaknesses and develop new defensive aids and countermeasures.

    The approach is part of a much wider effort by London to support Ukraine through military aid packages, training, co-ordination of logistical supply chains, conducting information operations campaigns and the sharing of intelligence with the public to counteract false Russian claims of a “just war,” said a senior UK MoD official here at the International Armoured Vehicles conference in London, Breaking Defense reports.

    The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in line with conference rules, declined to discuss which specific systems have been captured and passed over to intelligence groups and industry, but the revelation provides new evidence of the ways in which the UK is actively gaining first-hand insight to Kremlin technologies.

    The official said that being able to “undermine the credibility” of the Russian systems will lead to the creation of market opportunities for “alternative solutions,” a clear hint that industry has been instructed to interrogate the Russian equipment and design superior countermeasures. The UK is also ensuring Ukrainians benefit from the newfound knowledge.

    “We are providing advice and assistance at arm’s length to Ukrainian leaders and planners, it feels to me… that this is a truly integrated and multi-domain approach,” added the UK representative.

    Almost a year into the war, Ukraine has “confounded” the expectations of the “commentariat,” according to the official, a reference to defense analysts predicting a Russian victory prior to invasion. The conflict has also showed that the impression of Russia as “strategically savvy” largely linked to holding an arsenal of modern equipment and capabilities has been discredited, he added.

    “You only have to hear and read the testimonies of [Ukrainian survivors] from the Kherson occupation and how Russian soldiers on the Bakhmut frontline have been treated [by senior leadership] to realize just how morally bankrupt Russia has become,” said the official. “That is one of the reasons why I believe Ukraine will prevail.”

    In answering Ukrainian pleas for European nations to provide modern main battle tanks, ahead of an expected, new Russian offensive, the UK recently approved supply of a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks with armored recovery and repair vehicles and will deliver AS90 self-propelled 155mm guns, UAVs and Starstreak air defense missiles to Kyiv.

    Based on extensive analysis of the Ukraine conflict, the MoD also plans on revising its own national defense strategy through publication of the Integrated Review Refresh, referred by the official as a “new command paper.”

    He declined to detail what will be included in the document but confirmed that “detailed conversations” with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and across the MoD, the Treasury and the Foreign Office are currently happening in order for publication to occur in the coming months.

    “I do not know what the outcome of those conversations will be,” he added.

    As Breaking Defense previously reported, the British Army said the conflict in Ukraine left it “uncomfortable” with a range of capabilities included in the service’s Future Solider long term warfighting planning strategy, leading it to reconsider how to address air defense, uncrewed systems, deep fires and intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability gaps.

    The UK official said that a number of “key themes” have emerged from the Ukraine war which will have an influence on the integrated review refresh from the perspective of “optimizing” warfighting.

    Those include the need to rearm and recapitalize equipment inventories against a reality of “high consumption rates” and production having to be “assured” to plan for and sustain high end conflict.

    Additionally, combat force numbers should be “complimented” by capabilities offered by a “neighbor” so joint deployments or efforts can best use communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), air defense and logistics resources.

    “Without that we run out of puff too quickly, so it is this balance that we are attempting to achieve as we look to employ our military effectively around the world,” said the official.

    In a “NATO context” he added that “we must” be able to respond to a number of “emerging multidomain” threats.

    “As President [Volodymyr] Zelensky and [Ukrainian generals] prepare for another period of hard fighting and at home in the UK we refine our force design and capability to confront these future challenges and protect the nation, there is much at stake, but I’m confident we will continue to rise to [them] and ask ourselves the right questions,” the official explained.

    Caliber.Az

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