Britain to soon have ‘third world’ military, former First Sea Lord warns

Britain will end up having a ‘third world military’ unless ministers spend more, the former head of the Royal Navy has warned.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, who retired last year, told The Sunday Times that the Navy was ‘hollowed out’ in terms of resources, and questioned how much more the post-Brexit Navy could be stretched in global waters.

He said that after the UK’s 2015 defence review the country had to make a choice regarding the future of the Navy - either put more money in or stop doing serious things and disappear into a Third World nation security-wise.

Zambellas said the Navy did not have enough missiles, combat surface ships or ‘integrated support’, and recommended 12 hunter-killer submarines to protect the four submarines carrying the UK’s nuclear deterrent, but only three of the seven have been built.

He also questioned the delayed response from the UK after Hurricane Irma swept the Caribbean islands, leaving hundreds of UK citizens stranded.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “Our budget is growing and, for the first time since the Second World War, so is our Royal Navy.

"Our Navy can already carry out all its operational requirements, but with two types of brand new frigates and two huge aircraft carriers in the pipeline, the UK is fulfilling its global maritime role.”

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