Britain vs Russia: Who could win if it came to war

Last week Vladimir Putin tried to showcase Russia‘s navy would possibly in an annual parade by Moscow’s Red Square.

The occasion is an annual custom and key date within the Russian calendar because it marks the Nazis’ give up within the Second World War. But somewhat than show his nation’s energy, not for the primary time his plan somewhat backfired and missed the mark.

Just hours earlier than the Russian president was set to supervise the spectacle British defence chiefs undermined the show having questioned the Russian military’s “ageing” munitions.

The Ministry of Defence in London harassed that Russia’s “shortcomings” in Ukraine had been attributable to their use of previous missiles with so lots of their fashionable precision-guided weapons getting used up within the early levels of the assault.

The use of such weapons has had a detrimental impact on Russian forces having the ability to perform precision strikes “at scale”.

As a outcome, Putin’s generals have resorted to indiscriminate shelling and air strikes, killing numerous civilians in Ukraine.

Putin's generals are said to have resorted to indiscriminate shelling and air strikes, which have killed countless civilians in Ukraine.
Putin’s generals are stated to have resorted to indiscriminate shelling and air strikes, which have killed numerous civilians in Ukraine.

Russian media mouthpieces have been making some alarming threats in direction of the UK – however ought to we be anxious?

The newest intelligence briefing from the MoD in London gave a damning evaluation of Russian operations in Ukraine.

It stated: “At the onset of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia publicly promoted its ability to conduct surgical strikes and limit collateral damage.

“It acknowledged that Ukrainian cities would due to this fact be protected from bombardment.

“This has forced the use of readily available but ageing munitions that are less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted.

“Russia will doubtless battle to switch the precision weaponry it has already expended.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision strikes at scale. Russia has subjected Ukraine’s towns and cities to intense and indiscriminate bombardments with little or no regard for civilian casualties.”

Russia’s attack on its neighbouring country started started on February 24 and the Russian leader had been expected to address his country in an attempt to rally his armed forces amid reports of low morale in some military units.

Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves Red Square after the Victory Day military parade in central Moscow on May 9, 2022. - Russia celebrates the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany during World War II.
Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves Red Square after the Victory Day navy parade in central Moscow on May 9, 2022. – Russia celebrates the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany throughout World War II.

Putin’s early plan, which included seizing Kyiv inside days, has now been refocused and can now goal the Donbas area of jap Ukraine the place there are the Donetsk and Luhansk areas held by Moscow-backed separatists.

According to the BBC the one main cities seized by Russian forces are Luhansk, Mariupol, Donetsk and Kherson. But regardless of these victories there seem no nearer to taking the capital of Kyiv.

So far Britain has prevented getting concerned within the battle itself however has supplied anti-tank missiles, air defence methods and different weapons to Ukraine.

An extra £1.3bn in navy assist and assist for Ukraine was additionally introduced final week (May 7), forward of a deliberate video name between Boris Johnson and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The new pledge is alleged to virtually double Britain’s earlier spending commitments on Ukraine, with the federal government suggesting that is the very best price of spending on a battle for the reason that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

In an announcement following the announcement, the British prime minister stated: “Putin’s brutal attack is not only causing untold devastation in Ukraine – it is also threatening peace and security across Europe.”

So far it seems extremely unlikely Britain will interact with Russia however with the MoD questioning the standard of its arsenal simply what lethal weapons might we deploy?

Britain’s arsenal of lethal weapons

The Army, Royal Marines and RAF Regiment make use of NLAWs (Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) and one other type of missile generally known as the Javelin, which actually complement each other, and are important types of defence for infantry confronting enemy tanks.

Both weapons are used in opposition to tanks however whereas NLAWs are designed for use by common troops who do not need to be knowledgeable anti-tank specialists the Javelin is heavier, longer-ranged and utilized by specifically educated items.

NLAW is fired in direction of a goal earlier than diverting and putting it from above, the place tanks and different armoured automobiles are weaker.

Oleg (31) demonstrates firing the MBT-NLAW (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) provided by the United Kingdom.
Oleg (31) demonstrates firing the MBT-NLAW (Next technology Light Anti-tank Weapon) supplied by the United Kingdom.

As nicely as this overfly high mode, the weapon additionally has a direct assault mode that permits it for use in opposition to bunkers as nicely.

To use a NLAW, the firer rests it on their shoulder, makes use of the sight to lock onto a goal after which releases the 150mm anti-tank missile from the launcher.

It is named a fire-and-forget weapon – which means it may hearth one missile, be reloaded, after which educated on one other goal, thereby ‘forgetting’ the primary goal and enabling a second one to be taken out subsequent.

It has a most efficient vary of 600 metres.

The Javelin is taken into account to be the subsequent step up from NLAWs. The weapon can hearth successfully as much as 2,500 metres and is utilized by specialist anti-tank platoons.

It takes two crew members to make use of a Javelin, with one appearing because the firer and the opposite because the loader.

Similar to an NLAW, it’s a fire-and-forget weapon and has each overfly high and direct-fire modes. This means it will also be used to strike stationary targets like bunkers and buildings.

As nicely as anti-tank weapons the military additionally makes use of anti-aircraft missile methods. Just one in every of these weapons used is known as a Starstreak High Velocity Missile (or HVM).

Computer Generated Image of updated STARStreak HVM.
Computer Generated Image of up to date STARStreak HVM.

Unlike the Javelin and NLAWs, Starstreak launches canister missiles which comprise three smaller explosive darts.

These work in an analogous option to a shotgun which sprays its goal with pellets. In this case the missile sprays any low-flying plane, reminiscent of helicopters or jets.

This will increase the chances that the goal shall be hit. According to the MoD, Starstreak is efficient at a variety of as much as five-and-a-half kilometres, although the producer Thales has stated this has been prolonged to seven.

Other weapons utilized by the military embody missiles generally known as LMM, GMRLS, Rapier, Sky Sabre and Hellfire (Romeo variant). Find extra particulars about these weapons under, in addition to weapons utilized by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

A comparability of British Armed Forces missiles:



Length and weight

Max Range

Used by


Surface-to-surface anti-tank

1 metre

12.5 KG

600 metres

Army, Royal Marines, RAF Regiment


Surface-to-surface anti-tank

1.4 metres

24.3 KG

2,500 metres

Army, Royal Marines, RAF Regiment



1.4 metres

14 KG

7,000 metres



Surface-to-air, surface-to-surface, air-to-surface, air-to-air

1.3 metres

13 KG

6,000 metres

Army, Royal Navy FAA (as Martlet)



4 metres

1,670 KG

300 km




2.3 metres

45 KG

500 – 8,200 metres


Sky Sabre


3.2 metres

99 KG

25 km

Army (as Land Ceptor); Royal Navy (as Sea Ceptor)

Hellfire (Romeo variant)


1.6 metres

49 KG

0.5 – 11 km

Army, RAF (on drones)



2.9 metres

88 KG

25 km




3.7 metres

151 KG

55 – 75 km

RAF, Royal Navy FAA



3.7 metres

190 KG

200 km


Storm Shadow


5.1 metres

1,300 KG

250 km




1.8 metres

50 KG

40 – 60 km*


Sea Viper


4.9 metres

430 KG

113 km

Royal Navy

Sea Wolf


1.9 metres

82 KG

10 km

Royal Navy



4.6 metres

691 KG

129 km

Royal Navy

Sea Venom


2.5 metres

110 KG

20 km

Royal Navy

AIM-9 Sidewinder


2.9 metres

85.5 KG

18 km

Royal Navy FAA, RAF


Surface-to-surface cruise

6.25 metres

454 KG (payload)

1,600 + km

Royal Navy Submarine Service


Surface-to-surface ballistic missile

13.6 metres

59,000 KG

6,400 + km

Royal Navy Submarine Service

(Source: Forces.Net)

Britain vs Russia

Although all that spectacular tools is, nicely, spectacular it would all depend for nothing in opposition to the sheer dimension of the Russian military.

It is alleged that they’ve the world’s second strongest armed forces, based on Business Insider, trailing solely behind the USA.

Meanwhile, the UK resides in ninth place, behind Italy, South Korea, France, India, Japan and China.

Also compared to the UK, Russia has an estimated complete navy personnel of three million – whereas the UK has solely 275,660.

Russia’s airpower can also be far superior with a mixed 4,163 aircrafts reminiscent of fighters, transports, and helicopters, whereas the UK has 733.

Another barely scary determine reveals that Russia has 12,950 tanks in comparison with the UK’s 227.

SAS troops are training Ukrainian forces how to use British-supplied anti-tank missiles
SAS troops are coaching Ukrainian forces how you can use British-supplied anti-tank missiles

The UK has a complete of 5,000 armoured automobiles to Russia’s estimated 27,000. However, one space that we do exceed in is the the UK two plane carriers, in comparison with Russia’s one.

But sadly its not the identical story in the case of ocean-based fight automobiles reminiscent of submarines and destroyers. Russia owns 16 destroyers and 62 submarines to the UK’s six and ten.

One purpose for Russia’s dominance could come from the nation’s determination to proceed with armed forces conscription following the tip of the Soviet Union.

Men between the ages of 18 and 27 are drafted into the navy every year. They are then divided as much as serve for the military, Ministry of Internal Affairs forces, border troops, and different branches of Russia’s navy arsenal.

The Evening Standard reported that conscription in Russia has been closely criticised by inner critics, with some claiming the rich will pay bribes to keep away from doing their time.

Those unlucky sufficient to be known as up are required to serve a minimal of 12 months – a discount on the two-year time period lowered in 2008 reforms.

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