Exercise Hedgehog involved 15,000 troops from 14 countries coming together on the Estonia-Latvia border.

The exercise was the largest military exercise ever to have taken place in the history of Estonia, say the British Army here.

“The scale and complexity of Hedgehog was mightily impressive with the British Army providing a somewhat heavy presence among the 10 participating nations; not least due to the 64 tonne Challenger 2 main battle tanks and 25 tonne Warrior armoured fighting vehicles sent to support the Estonian 2nd Infantry Brigade in the south of the country. Hedgehog is an annual exercise designed to test the security of NATO’s eastern flank, referred to as the ‘B three P’ – the three Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and Poland.

The Deterrence factor towards any aggressive neighbouring state who may covet the thought of rolling across the border was another major consideration in the planning of Hedgehog. Estonia shares a border with Russia and there is a palpable heightened level of concern following the events of the 24 February in Ukraine. For the past nine months that presence has been around 700 troops of the Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) battlegroup and for Exercise Hedgehog they were joined by a further battlegroup centred on the armoured infantry of the Royal Welsh meaning the British Army contributed some 1500 troops to Hedgehog.”

The Commanding Officer of the RTR and Commander RTR Battlegroup, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Worth was quoted as saying:

“We are working this week with the 2nd Estonian Brigade and it offers them a significant increase in their combat power, normally they are a light brigade and we are bringing something much heavier that has increased their lethality significantly.”

You can read more here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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expat
expat
10 days ago

A little off topic but I see Biden will not provide long range weapons to Ukraine. Even if Ukraine could push Russia back to its border if it cannot neutralise artillery or other long range weapons on the Russian side then Russia will just wear down Ukrainian positions. Russia will be able regroup out of range and counter again. Sadly I guess the end game for most western leaders is for Ukraine to give up territory.

Marked
Marked
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

Biden is scared of his own shadow. Sadly for ukraine Russia has waited until the US has a weak and timid president in the white house.

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  Marked

We don’t know why they aren’t supplying them. Considering they are happy to supply shorter range weapons, I can’t imagine it’s simply not hitting russian soil that is the issue. Something else is at play in the background, no idea what though, maybe China.

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

There could be a security issue in that the US doesn’t want some items falling into Russia’s hands. Probably not an issue with low level stuff like ATGM or MANPADs or even M-777 but the newer and more important an item is the higher the risk of operational damage due to the loss of secrets. There is also the issue that the longer range a weapon is the higher the likelihood of it needing some kind of external guidance either before launch or in flight. The Russians may regard that as only being possible with direct US input, hence their… Read more »

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I would also guess they don’t want to see US weapons being used on russian civilian areas and the associated negative media stores, which would for sure be a temptation for ukraine after their towns have been leveled.

Daveyb
Daveyb
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Interesting to see Poland has just ordered both MLRS and HIMARS. They are ordering some 500 units shared between the tracked and road systems. That will give them one heck of a punch.

Airborne
Airborne
9 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Poland are on the ball, the new tip of the spear and understand the threats.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Perhaps AB, you are subtly suggesting that Germany is the polar opposite!

Airborne
Airborne
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Would I suggest such a thing? However how different are the two, major players in the defence of Europe nowadays l!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Are the UK Army and RA also potentially looking at this variant? I know we’re not at the front line right now but we don’t have a wheeled Himars ability which could be very useful and only have tracked (that’s getting upgraded). I’m not sure that it can fit on a Boxer chassis!

John Clark
John Clark
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Still waiting for that condemnation of the Russian Regime John…..

Jacko
Jacko
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Talking of kit being deployed how about your leaders decision to deploy 60yr old T62s for your 40 yr olds to die in? Getting short of tanks then?

Airborne
Airborne
9 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Whats next, T55s with wheelchair access or a stenna stairlift for the newly rounded up cannon fodder grandads!

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I didn’t realise that Johnson had access to T-62s. On the other hand the Russians are believed to have around 4000 of them in store and it makes sense for them to give them to the LDR/DNR militias to use in the steadily increasing rear areas, in effect as mobile pillboxes when they offer better protection and firepower than a BMP or similar. Still plenty of T-72s in storage for the Russian Army itself.

Jacko
Jacko
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Oh good! Just send in a 50 yr old tank instead.

https://defence-blog.com/russia-deploys-cold-war-era-t-62-tanks-to-ukraine/

700 tanks lost in three months! Outstanding effort.
Good idea though introduce another vehicle to the stretched supply system just for the sake of it🤔 different calibre gun different spares etc just because you want too👍

Airborne
Airborne
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

“Steadily increasing rear area” yes those rear areas where women are raped, fathers/sons/brothers murdered and housing looted! Also those rear areas which will never allow any of the Nazi troops any peace, by way of an expected, effective partisan campaign! Hasn’t Putin done well!!!!! FFS get a grip and lay out your stall, you talk the talk but haven’t got the nads to admit and back up your pro-Putin and pro-invasion stance! Typical troll coward!

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I have no information personally on this but I want to draw it to your attention so that perhaps others here can check it out as it seems relevant to accusations on here. You may not have noticed that the Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, just fired human rights ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova. MPs claimed her work focusing on the rape of Ukrainians by Russian troops which “couldn’t be confirmed with evidence […] only harmed Ukraine and distracted the global media from Ukraine’s real needs.” That is, that the rape allegations against Russian soldiers in Ukraine were made up and false and the… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
6 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Bit of a late reply, however had a peruse at those websites! FFS both are absolute shite, Russian supporting, anti-capitalist type blah blah crap. Just read some of the posted and supported tweets on the moonofalacrapa! Come on Johnksie more effort required if you are trying to justify your tripe pal. Im sure Farouk could do a much better job of ripping your “proof” to shreds but im sure he is exhausted trying to explain reality to you.

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Given Biden’s mental decline I doubt that he has much if any say in what is happening. Those who control his teleprompter are the ones in charge.

DMJ
DMJ
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Care to provide an insight into your beloved leader Putin’s state of health. Your long awaited condemnation of Russia’s invasion at the same time would be good to have as well.

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

What has that got to do with this thread?

DMJ
DMJ
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

That’s never bothered you with your propaganda posts. Pot kettle black would seem appropriate, but you will not understand that

Airborne
Airborne
9 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

Agreed

John Clark
John Clark
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

You either condem it or support it John, simple, your silence is effectively support….

So you support the invasion of a sovereign independent state, murder of civilians, looting and rape I guess….

Astonishing that a country who bore the brunt of those same exact crimes via the Nazis, would in turn meet them out on another, it’s disgusting and you should be absolutely ashamed….

Airborne
Airborne
9 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agreed, he avoids the question every time, but occassionaly answers with vague whine and comment which has no direct response to what was previously said. Its sad, but expected there are many trolls/uneducated supporters both here and there, of the new Nazi regime of Putin.

Airborne
Airborne
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Very much like your Putin, but without the obvious support of murder, rape and looting I suppose.

Anthony Sloane
Anthony Sloane
2 days ago
Reply to  Marked

As opposed to a President who openly fawned on Putin🤔😄

David A
David A
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

I think there is some confusion in the media regarding this. MLRS will still be delivered (Unless I misunderstood). But with the shorter range missiles.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  David A

Yes, that’s also my understanding.

expat
expat
9 days ago
Reply to  David A

Yes shorter range is my understanding. Doesn’t help Ukraine long term.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
8 days ago
Reply to  David A

Exactly. They aren’t sending a 300km missile. They are sending 70km missiles which you can fit 6 into the space of one Large missile. It out ranges artillery so will fit in nicely.
While it would be useful for Ukraine to be able to take out airbases near belgarod and far back helicopter areas in the Donbas I doubt the USA will supply the missile just now. (Wait a bit and who knows)

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

Yes, these ‘in / out’ announcements very noticeable. First heard on daily Denys Davydov Utube blog. Ukrainians just as confused at present, and it seems they may only have been discussing 20 MLRS for now anyway.
Trust Biden has not blinked, as is doing the rounds, and Ukraine gets what it clearly requires regarding fires, and on mobile platforms. If the rumour mill has any truth, then we’d not talking Kennedy here would we? Don’t care a damn what Putin sees as a line – red or otherwise.

expat
expat
9 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Ultimately we’re either going to
1)let Ukraine fail,
2)talk them into some sort of compromise with a possibility of further Russian aggression in the future or
3)provide weapons that can actually make a difference.

One US general 3 month ago said pick a fighter jet and start training Ukrainian pilots because if we’re serious we’re going to have to supply jets at some point. 3 months on Ukraine would now have trained pilots. we continue to kick the can down the road.

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

I dont think your 1, 2 and 3 are mutually exclusive. Ukraine won’t be able to completely push Russia out and so sooner or later will need to compromise and give up territory, it’s just a question of how much they will have to give up and how long before they come to that conclusion. I fear no amount of western hardware is going to allow Ukraine a total victory. Western leaders are going to need to be doing the math, around how long can they let Ukraine continue to fight and the corresponding impact to the global economy. Not… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Steve
Jacko
Jacko
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

As we see the orcs deploying 60 yr old tanks it does make you wonder how much more they can push! Can they hold on to what they have taken or will the Ukrainians with newer kit when they get it be able to push them out?

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Time will tell how much more mobilisation Russia can achieve, in theory they still have a lot of tanks that can be brought back into service with time.

I suspect Russia/Ukraine reaching stalemate is likely, but I can’t see Ukraine achieving their aim of pushing Russia out of Crimea. The tables would need to be turned and Ukraine would need to be attacking russian defences that have been well dug in, with supply lines directly from Russia

Last edited 9 days ago by Steve
Jacko
Jacko
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Your right Crimea has gone but as for the other parts after having their homes etc flattened by the Russians that might have dampened the enthusiasm for Pootin

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

Biden and his staff have been weighing up the prospects of holding ‘Europe’ together politically. The mood music from Paris, Berlin and Washington is compromise.

Meanwhile, some sort of backbone is being constructed in Estonia, itself linguistically and ethnically close to Finland. I doubt there is a mood of compromise in Finland.

geoff
geoff
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

Surely to an extent,’long range’ vs ‘short range’ is to an extent a function of your starting point? So Ukraine could use relatively short range weapons to hit targets in Russia from it’s Northern border? I presume Biden is referring to Cruise missiles and the like?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

Switchblades?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  expat

I hear USA may provide some MLRS to UKR.

What will Biden do if there are ‘peace talks’ and Russia push to keep their ill-gotten gains and Zelensky refuses to give up any territory?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

So is the TES kit what adds the extra weight? I had thought challenger 2 came in between 70-74 tonnes. Now maybe I’m using the wrong ton, tonne weight. I will need to look into what add ons the challenger can put on take off etc

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I understand CR2 at TES is 72 tonnes.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I will take a guess that tes is tactical enhanced system? Total guess
Or in the army it’s probably known as the extra sh*t

Last edited 7 days ago by Monkey spanker
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Sorry mate. TES is Theatre Entry Standard, ie all the goodies that you add-on to an equipment to deploy into a particular Theatre to do its job. Examples on Challys have in the past included sand filters, external drum fuel tanks, bar/cage armour, ECM boxes etc.

Extra sh*t does cover it!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Haha. I was watching a tank chat on you tube from the tank museum Chanel about warthog and the guy said TES which stands for theatre entry standard.
Amazing from hearing something for first time then hearing it several times in the following days

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
10 days ago

…and the “Heavy deterrence” is….25 tanks or so? Or as many as 48.
Mind you, our next deployment will be MUCH heavier as all the 7 ton Scimitars and 25 ton Warriors will be replaced by 25 (Boxer) and 40 ton behemoths (Ajax)…little joke there of course. Next deployment likely to be just as light.

But my, doesn’t the Challenger look a right beast!
AA

Daveyb
Daveyb
9 days ago

Not fitted with its TES kit. I guess they don’t want to destroy Estonia’s infrastructure, just yet!

maurice10
maurice10
9 days ago

Good to see the British at the forefront in these exercises. A bit off track, but why does the RA have so few artillery pieces? The Ukraine war has demonstrated how critical artillery is on the battlefield. Yet, the UK originally had a fleet of 179 heavy tracked vehicles and around 120 towed light guns, but these numbers have reduced…….WHY? One noticeable facet of the current conflict is how vulnerable the MBT is to loitering weapons and how destructive artillery is when combined with missile systems. My observations are based on the size of the RA in both World wars… Read more »

Marked
Marked
9 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Artillery has always been the biggest front line killer, even in the days of jets and helicopters.

The state of the army’s artillery is just another symptom of the incompetent management that had decimated the countries military capability.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
9 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

During WW2 the Corps had over 1 million men spread over 960 Regiments according to Wiki. I joined in 73′ and it was still a big corps then and as always sad to see so many regiments go into suspended animation. I came out in 93′ in the last of the 3 redundancy years when the army shed 27k over a 3 year period, saw the writing on the wall, but I still miss it.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

The RA has been neglected for decades. Fire Shadow, longer range rounds, improved barrels, just about every RA programme in the 2000 – 2010 years was cut or cancelled and not much has improved since.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Maurice, the simple answer is….defence cuts aka defence reviews. The British Army has been cut once or twice a decade since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
The RA was 25% of the army’s strength in WW2 – probably about 8% today.

taffybadger
taffybadger
9 days ago

Putin has clearly shown he cares little for the life of his own troops, no deterrent will stop this idiot from invading anywhere if it gets his political message to his own people. He will gladly sacrifice his ‘own’ people if he can say he is ‘ confronting nazis/NATO’