The deployment to Estonia is also likely to include armoured Infantry, Warrior armoured fighting vehicles, unmanned aircraft and Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon confirmed the UK will be sending 800 personnel to Estonia, with France and Denmark contributing further troops.

“We will work harder for our alliances and partnerships when we leave the EU because we are committed to the defence of our continent.

That’s why we are moving troops to the NATO mission in Estonia, a company to Poland and RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft to the Black Sea.”

The M270 is an armoured, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher; a type of rocket artillery.

Since the first M270s were delivered to the US Army in 1983, the MLRS has been adopted by several NATO countries.

Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured in the United States and in Europe, along with more than 700,000 rockets. The production of the M270 ended in 2003, when a last batch was delivered to the Egyptian Army.

The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System has twice the range of other artillery systems used by the British Army.

Within the British military, a common nickname is “Grid Square Removal System”, a play on the initialism GSRS (from the older General Support Rocket System).

With the adoption of the new M30 GPS guided rocket, it is now being referred to as the “70 kilometer sniper rifle”. During the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqis referred to the small M77 submunitions rockets as the “Steel Rain”.

The system can fire up to 12 rockets in less than 60 seconds.

19 COMMENTS

  1. 1) We should be de-escalating the pressure building up at the border countries by means a phased withdrawal on both sides to mutually agreed locations.

    2) We could probably deploy half a dozen of these. How many hundreds would the Russian advance?

    3) If we go to war, it will be merely a game of Russia calling our bluff and watching billions of pounds of under investment obliterated in a few hours by sheer numerical superiority.

    4) When it comes to defence I rather like these two paraphrased sayings:
    “speak quietly but carry a big stick” (ancient Chinese philosophy)
    “if you’re going to flash, flash hard” (coach at local cricket club)

    5) Our investment in the armed forces does not match the rhetoric coming out of the government. Russia is no Libya. We simply do not have the depth, resilience and industrial base required to sustain a conflict with the likes of Russia, on Russia’s door step.

    • 1) We should be de-escalating the pressure building up at the border countries by means a phased withdrawal on both sides to mutually agreed locations.

      We aren’t the ones that increased tensions in the first place. This is all a response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. NATO has always been reactionary.

      2) We could probably deploy half a dozen of these. How many hundreds would the Russian advance?

      You vastly over-estimate Russian capabilities. Remember that they have a defence budget fairly similar to the UK and they’re trying to maintain a large standing army, navy and airforce whilst also fighting in Syria.

      3) If we go to war, it will be merely a game of Russia calling our bluff and watching billions of pounds of under investment obliterated in a few hours by sheer numerical superiority.

      Again, you’re over estimating Russian capabilities, it has been demonstrating that Russia aren’t particularly capable of fighting against even a relatively poorly organised force such as Ukraine (there are Russian regulars fighting it has been proven) so I’d suspect they’d do even worse against professional well trained NATO armies.

      4) When it comes to defence I rather like these two paraphrased sayings:
      “speak quietly but carry a big stick” (ancient Chinese philosophy)
      “if you’re going to flash, flash hard” (coach at local cricket club)

      Sure, but the UK isn’t the only element that has deployed forces there. We are one of 14 nations that has deployed soldiers.

      5) Our investment in the armed forces does not match the rhetoric coming out of the government. Russia is no Libya. We simply do not have the depth, resilience and industrial base required to sustain a conflict with the likes of Russia, on Russia’s door step.

      Neither does Russia. Russia definitely doesn’t have the capability to go toe to toe with NATO in a conventional war. It was only just maybe capable in 1980 but the Russia of 2016 is definitely not the USSR of 1980.

    • Russia has a GDP smaller than Korea and its declining fast! Under Putin its only a matter of time before its broke again so all the West has to do it wait it out. As far as your assessment of their military capabilities I believe they are way overestimated. I think only NATO senior staff and Putin would agree with you for different reasons; NATO seniors want to gain greater investment and what better than a country thats got fantastic weapons and a massive military machine? trouble is, Russias military is neither massive or has great weaponry but keep the image going so our politicians can sink more money into our armed forces. Putins only real threat to the West is his nuclear weapons. In a conventional war IMHO they’d be crushed by the US and thats without any European power being involved.

      • I would love to believe that but when I see Russia becoming a leader in hypersonic delivery vehicles, the new Armarta tank and have started to deploy robotics in Syria I am concerned we underestimate them.

        Yes we learned from WW2 that it is not just about quantity but quality, especially at el alamein but we should also remember that the Russians turned back superior German forced by pure sacrifice and numerical superiority.

        I think they still pose a serious military competition. We do not have the depth in numbers and a few lucky hits could wipe out the back bone of our fighting forces.

        • I don’t think Russia is a leader in much to be honest; the T14 is a propaganda tank until its tested and I doubt whether it will last long on the battlefield against a few brimstones. You mention robotics but have you seen the fantastic machines developed by MIT? I doubt the Russians even come close. Putin is about propaganda; he’s convinced a large portion of his own people that its true but theres not many outside Russia who are taken in by his bull.

  2. I think to a point we overestimate Russia. They may have the numbers in terms of hardware and soldiers but their armed forces are underpaid and the hardware is poorly maintained. Additionally they don’t have the economy to take on Europe and there is very little benefit for them to do so.

    Whatever small force we put in the Eastern front would be quickly overcome should Russia decide to attack, but they would only get so far before hitting real opposition and then it comes down to a question of economic might to sustained a long war and whether the ‘reward’ for winning is worth the cost.

    Pre WW2, the Eastern block were rich countries and invading them made economical sense, and also europe was the global powerhouse. However now the Eastern block are a shadow of themselves (thanks to years under USSR) and Europe is overshadowed by USA/China. I would question whether the military might/cost required to keep control is not going to be matched by the economical benefit of taking them.

    This is mainly polictics of showing our allies we are there for them and its Russia power playing trying to pretend its still a global power, but war would be senseless even for Putin.

  3. As the Romans use to say the best way to preserve the peace is to prepare war.

    Appeasement and pacifism has a very poor track record.

  4. Putin escalated tension along Russia’s borders with its Western neighbours because he needs to keep the Russian people unified behind him against a common “threat” i.e. NATO. Russia’s economy is an export-led basket case and Putin needs to keep peoples minds off it. To an extent, NATO and the EU goaded Putin into his invasion of Eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea by trying to incorporate Ukraine into their respective organisations. Of course, that is no excuse for his actions and we should stand ready to show Putin that he cannot bully us – because that is all he is, a bully and he will not act if he thinks he will be hurt. Backing away and trying to reason with him at this stage will only embolden him.

    • I agree. Putin is a gambler, the more he wins the more he’ll play. I suspect the 270’s are to counter the S400’s and the Isklander.

  5. Totally agree. The Russian threat is talked up. They are out numbered on everything but it’s the actions of Russia that has people worried and the small matter of nukes they have.

    I’ve seen articles that a pre-emptive strike by Russia is imminent to stop the build up of nato troops as a warning to stop all build up.

    • This build up is benefiting both sides to be honest.

      Russia is able to show its people that they are reacting to external agressors and europe is able to reinforce ties with the eastern block, during a period where the ‘wealther’ european countries are getting a lot of benefit from the EU compared to their eastern neighbours.

  6. Why the hell is the UK there yet again? We have spilled the blood of millions to protect these ungrateful peoples! We decided to leave the EU so Germany and her friends wish to teach us a lesson. We should now withdraw from NATO, only 5 nations value defence the rest assume free protection from the USA and UK. They have taken advantage for far to long, Russia you are welcome to them all!

    • Don’t think you speak for the UK. We will support anyone who want to be free from a dictatorship like Russia. No chance whatsoever of the UK leaving NATO; we are one of the cornerstones of the alliance. As long as dangerous lunatics like Putin are around we will always support other peoples freedom.

  7. Saw the steel rain of bomblet’s wipe out an Iraqi artillery division. The explosion of their arms dump and blast wave took a good 5 seconds to reach the firing point. We drove through the next morning utter destruction. Now even more lethal and accurate 24 years later

  8. You guys….look big picture, play the game through to at least the third or fourth move.
    1. Britain/NATO place token force on border.
    2. Russia makes a move/wipes them out, whatever.
    3. ?
    If a Ukraine style invasion happens by Russia strolling across Estonias border with a couple of divisions, we would be obliged as NATO to unite and push them back out. This ‘could’ go nuclear, but I doubt it. Russia supplies gas to half of Europe. If it turns it off during winter months, we take civilian losses. Russia would cripple it’s economy, but it wins ultimately.

    I agree that NATO is stronger than Russia, but in a confrontation of that level, someone has to step down and lose face. What would Russia gain mounting a massive incursion into NATO space?

  9. Going to take a contrary view to this entire thread because I believe we aren’t aware of our own propaganda / media bias.

    I listen to most of Putin’s public statements live when I can and most of the important ones can be found on You Tube.

    Play it from the other side.

    Look at NATO map at the end of the cold war and look at it now. From the Russian perspective, why, if the cold war is over?

    Who pulled out of the ABM treaty and what did Russia say about it at the time?

    To understand Ukraine a little history is necessary. There was no way Russia was going to let it’s access to the Black Sea port go. Also, we conveniently forget how the US was caught planning a coup and caring not about either Russia or the EU.

    The missile shield in Eastern Europe was said to protect from Iranian nuclear missiles. Well, there is a deal in place with Iran for nuclear weapons but the missile shield is still in place.

    People complain about Russia in Allepo, but that country is a cluster fuck with British, Saudi, Iranian, French, US and others all with deeply bloody hands much earlier than when Russia stepped in.

    Need I mention Iraq and Libya…

    Understand that Russia is largely populated in a swathe down the west with huge space in the middle. Then look at the map and how hemmed in Russia is becoming from the sea.

    Now before any one sounds off about me being a Russian apologist, don’t because I’m not and I don’t wear rose coloured specs. I study history, my wife is Polish. I know all about Russian ‘brotherhood’ and what ‘freedom from capitalist oppression’ really looks like so FRO having a try at that.

    However, I really don’t think Putin wants all this shit but he’s not going to lie down and watch his country’s strategic interests (see my points above) be very materially eroded.

    Russia does not have the capacity for a like for like war with the west, so he’s playing Sun Tzu with his nuclear advantage and Armata tanks etc to keep an alternative strategic balance.

    No one can honestly say that UK / US foreign policy has been error free over the last 15 years, we should allow Putin the same latitude and find ways to deescalate, find common ground and stop trying to ‘beat’ Russia.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here