Cheap missiles from Russia and China are a major threat to expensive assets such as Britain's new aircraft carriers, a think tank has warned.
Russia and China have gained the surveillance and precision strike capabilities to put Western ships, large military aircraft and even any land system at "serious risk" - even the most heavily armoured.
The warning comes in a report by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), which calls for the Ministry of Defence to place a higher priority on protecting the country against these threats.
The report said: "The UK's potential adversaries have also focused on developing relatively inexpensive weapons that can disable or destroy expensive assets.
"Missiles costing (much) less than half a million pounds a unit could at least disable a British aircraft carrier that costs more than £3bn.
"Indeed, a salvo of 10 such missiles would cost less than $5m.
"China and Russia appear to have focused many (but not all) their efforts on being able to put at risk the key Western assets that are large, few in number and expensive." (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Sky News website.
Click here for the full report (40 PDF pages), on the RUSI website.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Responding to media questions, an MOD spokesperson said July 11 that “We keep all threats under constant review and we are confident our new aircraft carrier, and other state-of-the-art equipment, is well protected thanks to defensive systems we have invested in as part of our £178 billion equipment plan.
“Our carrier strike group will be able to operate around the globe allowing Britain to pro-actively meet future threats and support operations in a range of theatres. It will be robustly protected by air and sea assets against threats known and unknown.”)