Exclusive: British Army will be most lethal in Europe by end of decade, CGS says

The British Army will be the most modern and the most lethal army in Europe by the end of the decade, the head of the service has said.

In an exclusive interview with Forces News, General Sir Patrick Sanders said the British Army had adapted what was set out by the Future Soldier programme at a "real pace".

"We know that we could be required to fight and certainly we need to be able to deter the threats in Europe this decade," the Chief of the General Staff explained.

General Sir Patrick said Future Soldier was "incredibly exciting", describing it as the most radical transformation of the British Army that he had experienced in his 40 years of service.

"This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining the Army and, if you're in the Army now… the Army you joined will look radically different in the course of the next six or seven years," he said.

"We've now got a really clear sense of our purpose.

"The Army's purpose is to fight and win wars on land - that's an important point of clarity for everybody.

Watch: Army chief says he felt 'emotional tug' seeing destroyed Challenger 2 tank in Ukraine.

"Secondly, we have thought through and tested to the destruction how we're going to fight.

"So the doctrine about how we fight, both in the ... 2026 time frame and then beyond that into the 2030s, is now set out and its set out in the land operating concept.

"We know how we are going to fight and then that drives the capabilities that we need and the pace of that is extraordinary."

General Sir Patrick explained the Army would be fielding more than 200 Armoured Fighting Vehicles every year for the next five years.

"That's Challenger 3, that's Ajax, that's Boxer… a replacement for the AS-90," he said.

"We've got 50 AH-64 Echos ["E" variant of the Apache], the attack helicopters being fielded, that's two regiments of attack helicopters.

"This is by a country mile the most advanced fighting helicopter, attack helicopter, in the world, and then there is a full programme of digitisation."

The Army chief said the service would be reduced from a number of legacy platforms to much more "cutting-edge, advanced platforms".

General Sir Patrick said this would then be deployed across the Euro-Atlantic region.

"Our offer to Nato will be forward land forces, so up to a brigade, ready to defend and fight alongside our Estonian partners," he said.

"It'll have a corps headquarters with a warfighting division and corps enabled under that as Nato's strategic defence force.

"This year, or next year, we will provide Nato's allied response form, so the most high-readiness part of Nato."

Related topics

Join Our Newsletter


Ukrainian firm shows how its drones are being armed against Russia

Ukraine's flat-pack cardboard drones destroying Russian jets

Army v RAF LIVE! | Inter Services men’s rugby league 2023