Britain needs air defences amid Russia’s Ukraine invasion as it is “entirely exposed” to attacks by long-range Russian missiles, a former Air Marshal warned, according to a report.

Edward Stringer, former commander of the UK’s defence academy, told UK’s Telegraph that Britain’s military was limited with what it could do without a long-range air-defence system.

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“UK defence has much to learn from the Ukraine War, and the manner in which a country with a defence budget one tenth of our own constructed a defence that held off the army of an assumed superpower,” he said.

“This requires us to rethink our approach to nuclear weapons and we must consider our response accordingly,” he added.

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The only way to protect London from a missile attack would be to station a Type 45 destroyer in the Thames, stocked with Sea Viper missiles, he said.

He also said that the war in Ukraine has reminded the West that “nuclear weapons did not disappear at the end of the Cold War, and that nuclear powers do not just hold these weapons as an act of deterrence”.

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