The head of Britain’s armed forces has said the conflict in Ukraine has emphasised the need for the UK to equip itself with more drones, and he said he hoped to have up to 10,000 by 2030.
Speaking at the second day of the London Defence Conference at King’s College London (KCL), on Wednesday, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, chief of the defence staff, said drones were now “ubiquitous” in modern warfare.
He said the lessons of the Ukraine conflict would have an impact on the UK and there needed to be an “open conversation” about what that meant for the structure of the British armed forces.
Radakin, in conversation with KCL’s Prof. John Grearson, said: “We’re trying to challenge ourselves around the need for more drones, and be honest about what that might mean to some of the existing force structures. What does it mean in the future?”
Grearson said he had heard Radakin mention before there were aspirations to have 10,000 drones by 2030 and the admiral replied: “I think those kinds of things that’s what we should be contemplating.”