The Russian army can outgun British troops on the battlefield, according to a leaked report.
The analysis, seen by The Times, by the British Army warfare branch warns that Russian weapons, including rocket launchers and air defence systems, are more powerful than British equivalents giving President Putin’s state a “significant capability edge”.
It argues that hacking technology developed by the country is leaving UK and NATO allies “scrambling to catch up”.
The report also claims a planned £3.5 billion fleet of lightly armoured vehicles being developed for the British Army are “disproportionately vulnerable” to mortar and rocket fire from Russia if there was a war between the countries.
The country’s mastery of jamming and hacking is a “real game changer” which could threaten NATO aircraft, GPS-guided weapons and soldiers on the ground.
The assessment, marked “official-sensitive”, says that soldiers could also be targeted via social media.
It argues for personnel to be made more aware of the threat posed by the tactics after accounts of US troops operating in Ukraine were hacked and used to smear them in the past.
It added that troops should leave their electrical devices, such as phones and tablets, at home while on exercise.
Published in March, the report concluded that Russia used its conflict in Ukraine to test the new weapons.
The paper, Insights to “Training Smarter” Against a Hybrid Adversary, said:
“Due to the fact that some of our high-end military capabilities have been eroded since 2003, we must find ways to ‘fight smarter’ at the tactical level, acknowledging that some adversaries may be armed with weapons superior to our own.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said:
"Britain is a major defence power and a key part of the NATO alliance which, with four of the world’s ten biggest defence spenders, has unrivalled military capability."
"With the second largest defence budget in NATO and the biggest in Europe, Britain is meeting the 2% NATO spending target and growing its defence budget in real terms each year. Our £178 billion equipment programme means solid investment in stealth aircraft, nuclear submarines and cyber technology."
General Sir Richard Shirreff, Britain's former top officer in NATO, told The Times: "What we get from successive governments has been that it is all fine and dandy and 'aren't we doing well."
"Actually, the reality is that our capability has been dramatically hollowed out."