HMS Duncan
HMS Duncan has a space on deck for a missile launcher, but it's empty.

When it comes to projecting power around the world, the British establishment still thinks it has what it takes. Unfortunately, our military leaders beg to differ.

When the US, France and the UK attacked alleged Syrian chemical factories last week, key members of the government gave themselves a pat on the back.

However, it has since transpired that of the UK fired only eight of the 105 missiles sent the Assad regime’s way. The UK was forced to rely on French and American warships — because the only British frigate in the area doesn’t have missile launching capabilities.

All of the missiles fired by UK forces came from four Tornado jets, which made their RAF debut in 1979. These antiquated fighters are to be replaced next year with Typhoons.

The Tornado GR4
Four Tornadoes fired eight missiles at Syrian targets.

Incredibly, the destroyer HMS Duncan has a space on deck for a missile launcher, but budget cuts have left it unoccupied. The frigates that will give Britain missile-launch capabilities won’t become operational until at least 2025.

Let’s hope the world waits for us to upgrade our pathetic defences before getting the next global conflict underway.

An anonymous military source told The Times that the UK’s lack of firepower is depressing:

“We need to brace ourselves for the fact that President Macron is trying to be the go-to guy,’ the source told the newspaper.

“He wants to have a strong relationship with the United States and we have not woken up to that. If they are trying to muscle in and they are determined about it and they end up firing more missiles, these things sort of count. They do actually count.”

Meanwhile, the UK’s benefits bill continues to balloon, and aid to foreign nations is at an all-time high.

The UK has one aircraft carrier undergoing trials, and one in the fitter’s yard. Neither have any aircraft to go on them.

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