One chart summing up Britain and Russia's military spending

Jessica Morris
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The amount Britain spends of defence has been called into question, after RAF fighter jets were scrambled this earlier week when two Russian bear bomber aircrafts were spotted flying "close to UK airspace."

It prompted Lord Stirrup, who headed the armed forces at the time of the 2010 strategic defence and security review to call for the reversal of military spending cuts.

"The 2010 defence review was predicated on defence expenditure increasing in real terms every year after 2015. The Prime Minister acknowledged that when he announced the outcome of the review in the House of Commons," he told Sky News. "We now have to make sure that those undertakings are kept. It was important in 2010. It is much more important now."

The UK's defence review in 2010 set out a 20 per cent reduction in regular army numbers from 102,000 to 82,000, from 2010 to 2018. Similar cuts, albeit smaller. were announced for the Royal Navy and the RAF.

Stirrup also warned over the nature of Russia's most recent visit, saying that he thought the planes were here to sound out Britain's defence system.

"These aircrafts are not going on these very long flights just as joyrides. They are mission rehearsals," he said. "They are testing our defences and they are engaging in a game of chicken."

So how has Britain's and Russia's military spending fared in recent years? The below chart shows a divergence:

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