UK Army upgrades are long overdue, says former MOD director


May 11, 2022, 10:21 | Updated: May 11, 2022, 11:20 a.m.

The British Army’s organization is “broken” and upgrades are long overdue, says the former MOD director.

Image: LBC/Open Government License v3.0.


There are ‘questions to be asked’ about why the British Army’s fleet has not been modernized for around 20 years, says the MOD’s former director of military operations, Air Marshal Edward Stringer CBE.

It comes as British General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith admitted the army was “too small” to deal with threats to UK security.

Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, a former SAS commander, said he was ‘uncomfortable’ on learning that the MoD intended to reduce the size of the regular army by 9 000 soldiers. Sir Mark told Soldier magazine: “I’m not comfortable with an army of just 73,000 [full-time troops]… It’s too small.”

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari over breakfast, Air Marshal Stringer said: “Yes, I think so. that the army has fallen below that magic number of 100,000.”

According to the former director general, most commentators agreed, following an integrated review, that the armed forces had “the least developed plan to define their role in the future as well as the process of modernization that they should follow”.

He told LBC the British military ‘cannot get too thin’ and must be ‘expeditionary’ if it is to project Britain’s voice to the world.

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“The army fleet hasn’t really been upgraded in about 20 years, and I think there are questions to ask the whole service and the MOD as to how it’s doing. arrived at this position,” Air Marshal Stringer said.

“He never really solidified his equipment program. And the navy and the air force, at the same time, recapitalized.

“I would have thought that was really one of the biggest priorities in the MOD, sorting out the army order of battle, that’s ORBAT [Order of Battle]and sort his fleet.”

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