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UK’s aid defences are ‘woefully inadequate’ to protect itself from a ‘barrage of missiles’

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An expert has warned that the UK’s air defences are “inadequate” to protect against a missile attack.

Defence chiefs are looking at how to improve the UK’s chances to defence critical infrastructure from attacks witnessed in Ukraine by Russian ballistic missiles.

A senior defence source told Sky News, “Can the UK defend its cities from the skies if there was a barrage of missiles? No.

“Do the public know what to do in the event of an air attack? No… Put simply, are we defended? No.”

Although the UK does have air defences, there is not enough to offer the required protection in the event of an air attack.

The UK only has nine RAF fast jet squadrons compared to 30 by the end of the Cold War which is due the relentless cost-cutting over the decades of the armed forces.

Jack Watling, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said, “We always hear this argument from the Ministry of Defence that gaps in our own capability are acceptable because we’re part of an alliance.

“It’s a little bit like if you were going round to a ‘bring your own booze’ party and you said: ‘Well, there’s other people coming, so I’m not going to bring any alcohol’.

“If everyone adopts that approach, then there is simply nothing to drink. And when we look across NATO, there is an overall shortage [in air defences].”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said, “The UK is well prepared for any event and defence of the UK would be taken alongside our NATO allies.

As part of our commitment to invest an extra £75bn for defence over the next six years, we continue to review potential opportunities to develop our capabilities and modernise air defence across Europe in close discussion with allies and partners.

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