Defence chiefs are outraged over the UK’s plan to reduce its fleet of tanks – making it smaller than the defences of tiny nations such as Cambodia.
The British Army’s fleet of tanks is to be stripped by a third, and is planning to revamp 148 of its 277 Challenger 2 tanks, which were in use between 1998 and 2002, because of cost restraints.
Analysis from the Ministry of Defence says the British army would plummet to number 56 in the global league table of number of tanks available.
It would mean the UK’s mothballing of tanks would make it smaller than Burma, Serbia and Cambodia.
The league table is compiled from data collected by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
At present, the UK’s fleet of 227 tanks sit at a ranking of 48th below nations such as Ethiopia, which has 461, Romania with 418 tanks in its fleet and Spain, which counts 327.
Russia tops the tables with 12,950 tanks, followed by the US with 6,333.
It follows the British Army having £31billion stripped form its budget since 2010, according to a source at the ministry of defence.
The remainder of the Challenger 2’s no revamped would be used for parts – while it is possible some could be patched up to be deployed in emergencies.
In 1990, the UK had nearly 800 tanks, and has reduced by three quarters in the last 29 years.