Exercise Arrow is a two-week long training exercise that aims to develop Finnish Defence Forces’ ground combat capabilities and the ability to operate joint fires, alongside international Allies.

The British Army say here that the exercise will test and develop mechanised units operating in a multinational environment, with more than 3,000 soldiers in total taking part.

“There will be the US Army Europe’s Cavalry Regiment’s Stryker armoured fighting vehicle, a mechanised infantry platoon from Latvia with Finnish-made Patria vehicles, the Estonian armoured Jaeger platoon, equipped with CV9035’s, plus the Finnish soldiers using Leopard armoured fighting vehicles.”

Wing Commander Steve Boyle, UK Defence Attache in Helsinki, said:

“UK Defence Forces haven’t been in Finland for a couple of years because of COVID-19. But being interoperable with like-minded allies like Finland, which is one of 10 Joint Expeditionary Force nations, is pretty important and means that we can operate with each other to respond to a range of crises in world.

JEF is on a journey, and we’ve made massive progress in the last year or so. Being able to do things in partnership demonstrates resolve, togetherness and it demonstrates that if a crisis comes, not necessarily in the Baltics or Nordic Baltics, but elsewhere in the world, a group of like-minded countries could get together, think about it, plan for it and be used to operating with each other to go and do something. Exercise Arrow was an “important calendar day” for the Finnish Defence Forces.”

The Ministry of Defence said earlier that the troops from B Squadron of the Queen’s Royal Hussars will be embedded into a Finnish Armoured Brigade, with participation from other partners including the US, Latvia and Estonia. The exercise will improve the ability of UK and Finnish troops to work alongside each other as part of the JEF, “deterring Russian aggression in Scandinavia and the Baltic states”.

This is part of efforts undertaken by the UK to deploy 8,000 troops for exercises across Europe.

Britain deploying 8,000 troops for exercises across Europe

The exercises will see 8,000 British troops, 72 Challenger 2 tanks, 12 AS90 tracked artillery guns and 120 Warrior armoured fighting vehicles deploy to countries from Finland to North Macedonia.

British Apache helicopters are also in North Macedonia.

British Apache attack helicopters deploy to Macedonia

The move, say the Ministry of Defence, “demonstrates the Army’s modernisation into a lethal, agile and global force”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was quoted as saying:

“The security of Europe has never been more important. These exercises will see our troops join forces with allies and partners across NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force in a show of solidarity and strength in one of the largest shared deployments since the Cold War. Operating across Europe, the British Army will stand alongside partners, combining our capabilities and shared values, promoting peace and security.”

Commander Field Army Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse said:

“The UK makes a significant contribution to the defence of Europe and the deterrence of Russian aggression. The British Army’s series of exercises is fundamental to both. We continue to deploy across Europe, from the Baltic to the Aegean, to train and fight alongside our allies and partners, providing powerful, capable and ready forces to support NATO and show the UK’s commitment to peace and security.

A wide range of units from the Field Army will be involved, from light and airborne forces, to helicopters and armoured forces, supported by artillery, electronic warfare, air defence, surveillance drones, engineers and logisticians. The scale of the deployment, coupled with the professionalism, training and agility of the British Army, will deter aggression at a scale not seen in Europe this century.”

What exercises are planned?

According to the Ministry of Defence here…

  • Troops from B Squadron of the Queen’s Royal Hussars have deployed to Finland this week to take part in Exercise Arrow. They will be embedded into a Finnish Armoured Brigade, with participation from other partners including the US, Latvia and Estonia. The exercise will improve the ability of UK and Finnish troops to work alongside each other as part of the JEF, deterring Russian aggression in Scandinavia and the Baltic states.
  • In May, Exercise Hedgehog will see the Royal Welsh Battlegroup and the Royal Tank Regiment exercising on the Estonia-Latvia border alongside 18,000 NATO troops, including French and Danish, who are part of the British-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence. Hedgehog is the biggest military exercise in Estonia and takes place every four years.
  • Alongside Exercise Hedgehog, Exercise Defender in Poland is ongoing until late May, with 1,000 soldiers from the King’s Royal Hussars Battlegroup and C Squadron of the Light Dragoons deployed alongside troops from 11 partner nations including Poland, Denmark and the United States. This exercise involves Challenger 2 tanks and other armoured vehicles deploying from the NATO Forward Holding Base in Sennelager, Germany. The deployment is supported by 104 Theatre Sustainment Brigade operating from the UK and in bases in Europe.
  • Exercise Swift Response, which also began this week, sees elements of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team and 1 Aviation Brigade Combat Team operate alongside French, American, Italian, and Albanian counterparts in North Macedonia. There are 4,500 personnel on the exercise including 2,500 British troops. The exercise involves parachute drops, helicopter-borne air assaults and sees a company of French paratroopers integrated into the 2 Parachute Regiment Battlegroup and an Italian battlegroup working to a British chain of command.

The Ministry of Defence added that “these exercises showcase the scale and significance of the British Army’s contribution to the defence of Europe and highlight the continued importance of the leadership role which UK plays as a member of NATO and the JEF.”

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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John Williams
John Williams
6 days ago

When are all British tanks to be taken out of storage and updated?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  John Williams

All of them – never.
Only 148 tanks are being updated – we bought 386 Chally 2s from 1998.
The upgrade to CR3 has started and FOC is in 2030.

Jonno
Jonno
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Why not? It seems we need to have a lot more than 148. Perhaps we should start to manufacture an armoured vehicle of proven design that works again! How about it?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Jonno, We certainly need more than 2 armoured regiments (I remember when we had 8!).
Not sure what you mean by manufacturing an armoured vehicle of proven design? Build a foreign-designed tank? Why? We are building CR3 – it will be a very good tank, a worthy successor to CR2, but they are very expensive, we are building too few and too slowly.

Bill
Bill
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

2030? Are you serious? FFS!!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Bill

CR3. IOC in 2027, FOC in 2030. It is a glacial pace upgrade.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Considering Ukraine has demonstrated the necessity of everything the MoD has been ignoring, like APS, it’s mad our long term plan is still to fight ww3 without it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

MoD has not been ignoring APS. All CR3 are to be FFNW Trophy ADS and we are buying 60 units. The issue is that we should be buying one set for every tank.

Bill
Bill
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Oh right. 5 years to build 148 tanks. In Scotland l presume. Maybe they’ll glue them together.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  Bill

More like 8 years.
Scotland? They will be mostly built in Telford.

Bill
Bill
1 day ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

A tongue in cheek reference to the Clyde built patrol vessels.

Dern
Dern
9 minutes ago
Reply to  Bill

Simple industrial strategy my friend. Japan did the same, building only 10 tanks a year for 10 years. That way you keep the production line running and the skills set in existence, rather than disassemble it and lay everyone off after quickly cranking out 100 in a year.

Deep32
Deep32
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It does seem glacial I must admit, but, have just read an article on CH3 upgrade which throws some light on the time span. Before they can fir Trophy APS, they need a completed turret – so they can work out where to place the radars to give 360 deg coverage, as well as then putting in the pluming for the cooling system to cool the radar. Another issue the Mod has is with which ammo provider to go with out of the two choices of programmable rounds. The RM round wont achieve FOC until 2026 so is untested, whereas… Read more »

Shay
Shay
4 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Yes mate, make no mistake! The NATO’s full force is hitherto unknown.
NATO cann obliterate both Russia and China together, make no mistake about this.
After the full scale attack by NATO, there will be no Russia and China in this world!
Make no mistake about this.

Regine
Regine
14 hours ago
Reply to  Shay

Also no humans will be left but bei, that’s only a minor detail, isn’t it. You raving militarists

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
6 days ago

Join the army and see the world. They sure are these days.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 days ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Join the army see the really muddy and cold bits of Eastern Europe. It’s less appealing that the navies offer.

Dern
Dern
8 minutes ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Depends what unit you’re in…

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago

Great to see. Finland is lovely place. Challenger 2 really is a beast of a tank

alloydog
alloydog
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Except the Challengers are not coming to Finland. A few blokes from 2Bn Queen’s Royal Hussars are joining part of the Panssariprikaati.

farouk
farouk
6 days ago

Just looking at the above picture of Challenger 2 Tanks, yes they offer a little more protection than anything with the DNA of the T64, but the fact remains they are still susceptible to ATMs, something the Israelis came to realise around 20 years ago and who for the past 12 years have fitted their Armour with the Trophy Active Protection system. Something the Turks, Americans Dutch, Germans, Koreans and Chinese have realised and have started fitting their armour with similar sysytems. But here is what gets my goat, the Uk decided last year to upgrade the Chally 2 to… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

The pendulum has swung in favour of the ATM (which will probably evolve over the coming years) as you say. The smart money from NATO surely would be spent as a defensive alliance on ATMs until such time as someone comes up with a tank design or enhancement which will definately dominate the battlefield against everything which can be thrown at it for the next 25 years at least. Will Chally 3 be good enough?

dan
dan
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I’m sure Russia is already trying to reverse engineer the Javelins and NLAWs they’ve appropriated from Ukraine. Active defenses will be an absolute necessity for NATO tanks and APC now.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

As I understand it, from open source information the missile approach, warhead response and speed are dynamically tuned for each target.

The principle of how NLAWs works isn’t secret but how the warhead is made and the firmware that directs it and then times the tandem warhead dynamically will be the interesting bits.

The dynamic bit is how the missile takes data from the sensors to make the warhead effective against that particular target.

You cannot reverse engineer that as the code will be compiled and some of it will be hashed out.

Steve
Steve
5 days ago

Any code can be hacked, just a question of how long it takes. Assuming Russia manages to get its hands on a few of them, it will make breaking the code eaiser. Hashing isn’t an absolute protection if you have access to the hardware that the code controls.

Although the Russian active defense systems on their tanks appear to be completely failing (you can guarantee they would have borrowed some of the code from other systems, good old spy craft), so even if you have the code you still need quality control on manufacturing to make them work.

Last edited 5 days ago by Steve
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
5 days ago
Reply to  Steve

When I’m taking about code I mean compiled software.

You can try and decompile complex software code but you don’t get all of it or the interesting or unusual bits.

I’m not that worried as we will have sent NLAWS that are perfectly up to the job of destroying T72/80 tanks, as the Ukrainians have proved, but they won’t be the latest versions as we are inevitably giving away our oldest stocks

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

The Russians have already got ATGWs. Russian ATGWs have taken out Abrams and Leo2s and Israeli tanks in various parts of the world for many years. We should always have been worried about their capability in this regard.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Only Israeli Merkavas up to 2010. This is when Trophy was first fielded and used in combat. Since then no Merkavas or Namer have been lost in combat with Trophy fitted.

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Leo have been lost by Turks, M1 by US and Iraq. No MBT is invulnerable. The side, rear and top protection are weak.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Perhaps I was going back to the 1973 Yom Kipppur war – you are right to make a more contemporary point. My point was that ATGMs are not new and have been killing tanks for over 50 years.

Steve
Steve
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They do, but if I read right, they lack top attack capability, which appears to be massively useful.

AV
AV
5 days ago
Reply to  dan

I’m sure they are but they’ll struggle, Russian tech / chip / manufacturing etc are well behind. Couple this with sanctions on western tech, chips etc this isn’t something they can put together quickly (even if secured via dark companies)
More likely they’ll be a pallet going to our Chinese friends for them to take a ‘looksee’.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

This might be on the cards?

“The British Ministry of Defence has opened discussions with France and Germany about signing up as an observer on their next-generation Main Ground Combat System program, according to government and industry officials in the U.K. and Germany.”

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2021/01/11/british-military-looks-to-the-eurotank-as-it-weighs-its-hardware-options/

G7QXPXVEV5HPRA4YFUUQVZVAWI.jpg
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Funny that the article says that CR3 should last out to 2035, or even 2040. FOC is 2030, so I hope it lasts 5 years!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Indeed!

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I hope not. Will emerge as overly expensive per unit price and produced in low numbers. We will need a new MBT in due course but I’d hope we would buy the US army’s next MBT or possibly Israeli Merkava mk5?
Whatever we opt for post Chally 3 hopefully get production in UK so industrial capacity to build tanks returns to UK.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Do you not trust British industry to build a good successor to CR3? Why buy the US or Israeli products?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Of course tanks operate as part of all-arms groupings – it is up to the Infantry to find and neutralise ATM crews.
Very optimistic that a future tank design or enhancement will be good for 25 years at least.

farouk
farouk
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Oh there’s a vid:

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Ooh loads of fun. That’s a great video. See the guy firing a missile, is that what hits the tank about half way through? Some kind of practice rounds?
With thoughts on active protection I wonder how much armor would it take on the top to stop a round and is it possible? I don’t know if even the thickest front armor can stop an anti tank missile.
Next step Star Trek energy shields

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Of course armour can stop an ATGM. Laminated composite armour like Dorchester fitted to Chally2 is recognised as being the best in the world. Survivability of MBTs can be further increased by reactive armour tiles and active protection systems. The best defence of a tank however is its aggressive attack and when coupled with IFVs, UAVs, screening infantry etc etc.
Chally 2 has survived many ATGM hits in Iraq vs insurgents.

peter Wait
peter Wait
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

If the turret tops get more armour the ATGM’s will be programmed to hit rear decks!

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Chally 2 has survived many ATGM hits in Iraq vs insurgents.

How many?

Dern
Dern
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Unlikely, anything flying through the air at speeds to mimick a ATGM would run the risk of severly injuring nearyby infantry or the tank crew if they happened not to be buttoned up. At a guess I’d say maybe pyro for filming? It doesn’t appear to be any sort of blank round being fired off (it’s in a very weird position too, which makes me think pyro for filming purposes).

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Not sure if any Ukrainian hotels are taking bookings at the moment? I wholeheartedly agree. Frontally since the Dorchester upgrade to the lower glacis, they are much better. If they could withstand Milan fired at their sides in Gulf War 2, with the older theatre entry appliqué armour. Then should be ok against the newer stuff with the newer side armour. Challenger will be vulnerable to ATGMs that use top down attacks or diving attacks, plus RPGs fired down at the turret from elevated positions. I really hope DE&S are funding fitting Troohy to Chalkenger 2s under a urgent operational… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I agree. At least there is a costed solution that was already on the purchase Gantt chart.

ATM I would say that was more urgent than the CH3 upgrade TBH.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago

Don’t follow your last sentence. Trophy APS is more important than upgrade of CR2 to CR3?? Trophy is part of the upgrade, just we are not buying enough sets.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You don’t need to upgrade armour, power pack or main gun to fit Trophy?

So Trophy can be fitted independently of that part of the upgrade?

Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see rows of CH3 with all the trimmings.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago

I am no expert on the fitting of Trophy but I doubt you have to do all those things to retro-fit it. I understand all 148 CR3s will be FFNW Trophy and we will buy just 60 Trophy units. Rather pathetic.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think the current Chally 2 would still be a match, if not an overmatch for anything Russia has fielded in Ukraine, including the T90Ms.

If we had to chose just one urgent modification. Adding Trophy APS, would be the best upgrade for the current Chally 2, to not only increase its defence. But also Triphy’s IR and radar sensors can be used to increase it offensively, by giving it better situational awareness.

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I think installing Trophy needs a change regarding energy power in the tank, after all the thing hasa couple of radars always in operation while in combat.

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

That was with the first version. The newer one combines aircraft missile approach warning (MAW) technology with the X-band AESA radar. It can either operate with the radar being fully active. Or in a passive mode, whereby the MAW detects the incoming threat then activates the radar. The system could work in a purely passive mode, but the range to the target cannot be guaranteed.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

We used to upgrade our tanks frequently which changed the tank so much that we allocated a new Mark number – Chieftain had many different Marks.
Ridiculous that frequent upgrades did not happen with CR2, beyond replacing Clansman and fitting some better air filters.
We should have fitted APS at least 10 years ago.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

As I recall UOR funding is only released by The Treasury once combat has started.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I believe for a build up to deploying, UORs can also be used.

Marked
Marked
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

In light of events the planned active defence system fitting should be rolled out as an urgent requirement. Just in case.

If as hoped the C2s aren’t needed in the near future it’ll save a job when they go off for the C3 upgrade.

It’s coming anyway, better to get it now when there is a chance, however moderate, it may be needed.

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Should not be only on Challenger, Boxer needs it too.

Marked
Marked
6 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Warrior as well really. Anything in the front line that’s expected to go head to head with enemy infantry is vulnerable. Too vulnerable as ukraine is proving!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Everything the army has from the tank down to the dismounted soldier can be deemed to be vulnerable to one or more threats. Nothing new there.

Dern
Dern
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The dismounted soldier especially! They can be put out of action by even the humble 9mm parabellum! Talk about vulnerable.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Exactly. No-one is saying they are ‘obsolete’ though!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Marked

We have used the CR2s a lot in the past. Optimistic, especially now, that they aren’t needed in the near future.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Farouk,
CR2 has only slightly more protection than a Soviet tank fielded 30 years earlier – really?
I think the Israelis realised their tanks were vulnerable to ATMs in the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
I have heard that we are only buying 60 Trophy systems, which is hopeless.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I honestly believe that is being looked at based on what’s happening in Ukraine. It may have finally opened peoples eyes to how APS is necessary to survive on today’s battlefield. (Fingers crossed!)

Steve
Steve
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

That assumes they work. It might be that the MOD has decided not to buy too many as it doesn’t consider their effectiveness sufficiently reliable to be worth the cost. Ok more likely just lack of funds but possible.

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think funding is an issue. When it was planned to included APS on Chally 3, there was not a European conflict, nor one that we could easily be dragged into. A bit of background, about 15 years ago, I did a course that included personnel from various countries around the World. One of these was from Israel. He at that stage was a SNCO in the tank corps and commander of a Merkava 3. We kept in touch after the course. He took promotion and went up through the ranks as an officer. Being one of the first to… Read more »

Steve
Steve
5 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Interesting. You would think that APS would have been in the plans for boxer and Ajax. Will be interesting to see if this is the outcome from Ukraine.

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  Steve

It may well be going forward as lessons learned from the Ukraine conflict. Ajax in particular could use the additional Trophy sensors for enhanced situational awareness.

Rafael the company that makes Trophy, also has Trophy VPS, which is a lightweight version. Leonardo DRS are in partnership with Rafael. They have helped to increase the magazine capacity, along with removing 40% of the system’s weight.

trophy_VPS_dsc_2770.jpg
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Chally 2 is the best armoured tank in the world currently. Its Dorchester armour is 2nd to none but top attack weapons are a danger. Therefore trophy APS sets are needed under UOR immediately. Id like to see all 300 Chally 2s upgraded to 3 standard and retained in service.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Pretty certain CH2 has been overtaken by Leo 2A5 for protection, at least for the turret front.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

We bought 386 CR2, but one was written off that I know about.

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

60 would be about right Graham, two planned Armoured Regiments and not much hope the government will deploy more than a single Regiment at any one time, so 60 Trophy systems work out just fine as far as they are concerned.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Qty 60 Trophy would equip only one CR2 Regt (56 tanks), which 4 spare for training/attrition stock.

Paul T
Paul T
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

The Challengers in the picture do look quite bare but when they are deployed in combat they have a lot of extra Armour and protection fitted, Theatre Entry Standard I think it is called.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

1) T-72 is not derived from the T-64 it’s closer to T-62 and T-55, whereas the T-64 was more of a clean sheet design

2) as Russia has demonstrated: They/Them army beats Was/Were army.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
6 days ago

Strange that a lot of the military hardware we intend to decommission as part of the new world order suddenly becomes essential under the, err, new world order.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Indeed, you’d even think we should have another SDR to rethink those decisions. Hard power matters, troop numbers matter, tank numbers (ideally all upgraded to Chally 3 and all fitted with trophy sets) matter. The last SDR was foolishly naive. Lets have some common sense- an uplift in defence spending and a return to some sensible force levels.

john
john
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

You are asking for common sence from the wrong people,Iam afraid none of them have any.

DMJ
DMJ
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

And yet 12 months ago most commenters on here were fixated on China as well

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

With good reason, they have the money, and numbers and are learning fast! Still not as capable no doubt as to the next-gen UK/US models, but a concern nonetheless.

The Type 99A Is the Most Advanced Chinese Tank

“The newer Type 99A variant has upgraded composite armor along the front of the hull and turret. The tank has a new explosive reactive armour kit that may be capable of defending against warheads in anti-tank missiles.”

https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/04/meet-the-type-99-chinas-top-tank-could-make-the-us-army-sweat/

“The Chinese government has announced a 2022 defence budget of CNY1.45 trillion (USD229.5 billion), a nominal year-on-year increase of 7.1%.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/china-increases-2022-defence-budget-by-71

Last edited 6 days ago by Nigel Collins
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

Well China is the real future problem.

Russia is a busted flush.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

A ‘New Chapter’ was written for the 1998 Defence Review when 9/11 happened.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, look how that turned out.
SDSR 2004 “New chapter”
Army cut.
RAF lost Jaguar, Tornado squadrons.
RN lost SSN, 3 T23, and T45s to 8.
Lots of other bits and pieces lost.
I wrote a long essay on my thoughts to MoD at the time, which they’d asked for.
None of those cuts were on it! 😆

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago

Daniele, I was sure that those cuts were from SDR 1998, not from New Chapter of July 2002.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 day ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

No Graham.

SDSR 98 reduced escort force 35 to 32, and then 31. Retiring 3 T22s then another later.

The additional 3 T23s were new chapter, not 98 SDSR. Along with T42 11 to 8 ( T45 planned ) made 23 escorts.

2010 finished job with 4 T22 to take us to 19.

SDSR 98 did indeed cut fast jet numbers too but new chapter also retired the Jags and more Tornado.

New chapter was hopeless and just cut conventional peer to prioritise sand box against Taliban. So short sighted.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yep, even 40 to 50 year old CVR(T)s are getting a new lease of life in the Baltic states. Funny how a vehicle with low ground pressure is proving useful in swampy and boggy terrain!

Sean
Sean
6 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

“new world order”?… careful, that’s the term all the conspiracy theorists use to refer to reptilian aliens disguised as humans who are slowly taking over the planet… 😆

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
6 days ago
Reply to  Sean

No, no, I’m talking new world order, not New World Order. No comparison at all 😊

Sean
Sean
6 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Ah you mean the 1992 version after the fall of communism, the ‘end of history’ and the the belief in the inevitable growth spread of western liberal democracy and capitalism across the globe…

how naive we all were…
shattered by 9/11 onwards

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
6 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

An army always prepares to fight the last war rather than the next one. Our last one was Afghanistan succeeding the Gulf Wars….

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago

14 tanks is nothing more than a token force but Putin will not like any NATO troops even a small force like this being deployed into Finland. Still he’s over-reached in Ukraine and likely to lose that war. Unless he calls up all his reservists and tries to do a full mobilisation and put Russia onto a “total war” economic footing he is going to lose. Finland must be feeling confident that they are going to announce their succession into NATO in which case, this exercise is perfectly timed to ensure NATO forces are in the country for support the… Read more »

FieldLander
FieldLander
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

And if he does go the ‘total war’ route?
It took the Russians 18 months to get up to speed during the last big conflict in Europe. This one is only 2.5 months old. let us hope they do not do it again.

Mark
Mark
6 days ago
Reply to  FieldLander

They can’t. Think about all the Lend Lease support they got that time, instead they have issues with lack of access to Western tech vital for production.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  FieldLander

Not a chance, technology wise they are at least 10 years behind if not more. Their manufacturing capacity is not capable of mass producing todays technology.

They do say numbers count. But as Ukraine is proving, if those numbers are not well lead, trained or supported they are easy meat for the new technology grinder.

Crabfat
Crabfat
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

“The exercises will see 8,000 British troops, 72 Challenger 2 tanks”

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

That seems to be the cumulative total in use in Europe this year. Anyone know how many actual Challenger 2 tanks have been shipped to Finland?

DMJ
DMJ
6 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Has Putin asked you to find out?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

How did you know?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

It was on sky news website. 14 chally 2s in Finland with Ben Wallace saying more can be deployed as required to anywhere in Europe in a matter of a few days.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Thanks.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

That’s a squadron then . A UK tank Sqn in a Type 58 Regt consists of 3 X Troops of 4 tanks each plus 2 in Sqn HQ. A UK type 58 Regt consists of 4 Sqns of 14 CH2 tanks total 56 plus 2 CH2 in RHQ ( CO and RSM) total 58.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
5 days ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

Sorry – they changed it since my time. Now it’s 4 X Troops per Sqn total 16 CH2 plus 2 X CH 2 in Sqn HQ . 3 x Sqn’s per Regt totals 54 plus 2 CH2 in RHQ – Type 56.

Louis
Louis
6 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

But only 1 squadron is deploying to Finland which happens to amount to 14 tanks.

Sean
Sean
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

In a tank battle I’d put my money on those Challengers even if they were faced by 3 times their number of T72s based on recent Russian performance.

dan
dan
6 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Same. Russian ground forces are about as effective as the Iraqi forces during the first Gulf War.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

Which is unsurprising given the kit and the tactics are essentially the same?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Me too Sean. I think those 14 tanks could destroy an entire Russian armoured brigade.

dan
dan
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Putin doesn’t like much of anything these days especially the performance of his vaunted military. The only thing Putin now has to threaten the world with are his nukes. The Russian conventional forces are a joke.

David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

Not just a joke but getting smaller and smaller every day.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The article talked about 72 tanks spread over several countries.
I wish Finland would announce intention to join NATO on Putin’s big day next week.

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago

Are we therefore making a statement that we will defend Finland regardless of the fact it is currently not in NATO?

Grizzler
Grizzler
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

yeah I did wonder that – if Russia were to attack Finland now and hit our tanks…how would that impact on Article 5 ?

dan
dan
6 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

NATO has said they will defend Finland once the process of joining NATO has started. Should be in a week or 2. Btw, what would Putin attack Finland with? The Fins could probably defend themselves given the poor performance of the Russian Army.

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

Interesting. Putin has miscalculated badly. Are there any assessments of what they have got left? Is their current activity in the Donbas a last gasp before a strategic withdrawl or can they force a stalemate in eastern Ukraine? Indeed is there any chance we are underestimating their strength?

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Based on evidence from various media sources. There are around 5 to 8 brigade combat teams (BGTs) in Kaliningrad, there are some 20 in Belarus facing the Polish border and at least 50 near China along with 20 along the Arctic coast. These are all supposed to be 1st line units, so in theory they should be at full strength. I would suspect the ones in the Arctic have lost a lot of equipment, especially MBTs. As they were predominantly equipped with T80s, due to their gas turbines being easier to start in lower temperatures. However, there have been 10s… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

An attack on our tanks wherever they are is an attack on NATO.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Yes

Chris.
Chris.
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Boris has said we will defend them.

Grizzler
Grizzler
6 days ago
Reply to  Chris.

Does he have the remit to do that – I would hope not , not without further discussions in parliment anyway.
Going to war just because he says so is not how its done.

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

The declaration of war is a perogative power. Cameron just confused everyone by asking parliament which was not strictly necessary. Not one of the world’s great decisive leaders.

Last edited 6 days ago by Mark B
DMJ
DMJ
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

So nothing to do with Blair getting us involved in Iraq? After which it was decided particularly in a Coalition govt that parliament has to agree to future actions

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

Not really. Some might take that view but in reality parliamant would need to assert itself and legislate to abolish the perogative power as happened with the fixed term parliament act (now itself abolished). In reality in a time of ICBMs it is not really practical. So far as Blair is concerned a PM weilds much nessasery power which we can influence only when we vote. If we want wiser politicians we need to attract better candidates.

Grizzler
Grizzler
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

So you think it would be done merely on Johnsons say so – perogatove or not I bloody well hope not.

Mark B
Mark B
5 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

The unwritten British constitutuion in a democracy handles this quite well as Boris is not the head of state and could in theory be dismissed by the queen should she feel it was a serious enough issue and he would no longer have the confidence of parliament and/or the public. In normal circumstances (i.e.self defence or that of our allies) it would normally be the military / inteligence etc. seeking permission to respond. If the PM just decided to declare war on Denmark for no reason he would probably be ignored until such time as there were broader agreement or… Read more »

Marius
Marius
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Well laid out. A British Prime Minister cannot go to war on his or her say-so alone.

peter Wait
peter Wait
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

If Cameron’s only job outside being a carrier politician was marketing it explains a lot !

Jay R
Jay R
6 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Russia could not invade Finland. What is the strategic advantage to Russia in doing so?

DMJ
DMJ
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Didn’t stop them in 1940!

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Putin seems intent on intimidating any Country who steps out of line. It’s control over the whole region (and some of the wider world) is based on it’s ability to bully & control. Ukraine has stood up to the bully and it would appear Finland is about to do the same.

Russia is trying to do many things it cannot do.

Frank62
Frank62
5 days ago
Reply to  Chris.

Boris’s word is worth what nowdays?

James
James
5 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

It would certainly stand for the bar tab!!

Martin
Martin
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I’m guessing Finland will use the opportunity of hosting NATO forces to announce its membership of NATO. Especially given Vlad is reduced to driving troops around in Ukraine in Transit vans and has F**k all left to send to Finland.

14 Challenger 2 could probably take out a Russian division at the moment.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

As its an EU country whats the UK’s status on defending EU nations?

I cant remember as part of the Brexit deals what we agreed on defence levels with the EU.

Mark
Mark
6 days ago
Reply to  James

There was no agreement on defence/security in the TCA, though the U.K. has bilateral agreements with EU nations.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I remember reading about Germany fumbling at a quick rate to get a defence agreement in place but couldnt remember if an EU wide agreement was put in place or not.

Mark
Mark
6 days ago
Reply to  James

There isn’t any, there has been very few “EU wide” agreements since the TCA was agreed, more mutual stand off since. While Germany and other nations had some talks with the U.K., not sure how far it has developed?

Matt
Matt
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

..

Last edited 6 days ago by Matt
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The Americans have given ‘assurances’ to Finland whilst their NATO membership is pending

maurice10
maurice10
6 days ago

Will all or some CH2s deployed to mainland Europe be up-armoured as in Afghanistan? Is there a case for some to be fitted with Trophy or equivalents, which would create a CH2.5? The UK wasn’t slow to up-armour CH1 in Kwait and CH2s in Iraq and it would make good sense to do so in light of drone attacks.

Chris.
Chris.
6 days ago

We only have 200 odd tanks!. About time we got a few more if we are slinging them around!!!.

Sean
Sean
6 days ago

Perhaps another reason for Putin’s timing in attacking Ukraine now is as a distraction away from his totally incompetent handling of the pandemic? Dictators often detract from trouble at home by military action, such as 40 years ago.

906289F1-D0DA-409B-B2A8-C1B9D2F28374.jpeg
farouk
farouk
6 days ago
Reply to  Sean

The problem with reporting deaths from C19, is the varying standards across the world, for example in the Uk anybody who kicked the bucket within 28 days of a positive test is recorded to have died from…COVID, in fact there have been many incidents where people who have died of other causes have been recorded as a C19 death simply down to the fact of less paperwork. Other countries go out of their way to under-report their C19 death toll, in fact Russia publically congratulated itself on its very low death toll at the beginning of the pandemic (despite many… Read more »

Matt
Matt
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Those are Excess Deaths, which is the most comparable measure.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

The most deluded figure in those stats is China has had 15,329 deaths.

Sean
Sean
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

The figures I quoted are excess deaths, which is the best method for comparison between countries because it discounts differences between countries in what they classify as a Corvid-19 death.

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

But it’s excess deaths so all that manipulation you mention does not apply, and on excess deaths Russia is shown to really have failed it’s people

Jay R
Jay R
6 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I think his reason was simple. Too push nato back.

farouk
farouk
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Jay wrote:

I think his reason was simple. Too push nato back.

The problem with that assumption , is the Ukraine isnt in NATO, in fact due to the annexation of the crimea and Kyivs issue with the Donbass region, Ukraine has no chance of joining NATO until those issues have been resolved and the irony here is 2 nations )Sweden and Finland) have openily applied to join NATO. With Finland sharing a 860 mile border with Russia,

Sean
Sean
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

No I think his reason is to rebuild ‘greater Russia’ aka the USSR – but without the communism.

My question wasn’t why he’s invaded Ukraine, my question was “why now”, ie the timing.

peter Wait
peter Wait
5 days ago
Reply to  Sean

The birth rate in Russia is 1.4, they have problems with antibiotic resistant T.B with underfunded health and education system. Being in decline Russia’s window of opportunity was closing !

Simon
Simon
6 days ago

Daily Mail has reported the first Russian T90 tank was taken out by Ukraine.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Be interesting to see that.

My guess is that the T90 isn’t really that much better than the T72.

Ukraine used to do all the high end metal bashing for USSR. Strangely since 2014 the Russians have got the dial tone!

farouk
farouk
6 days ago

SB wrote:

Be interesting to see that.



Opera Snapshot_2022-05-05_190256_twitter.com.png
DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago

T90A yes, T90M no. T90M is a major upgrade in armour, engine, gun and in particular optics. They have a true hunter-killer day/night optics sold to them by the French. Along with a French gunnery computer. These are licensed produced in Russia.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Until we see one in pieces I will reserve judgment.

Yes, to the optical and gunnery upgrades as we all know they were provided by the French!

I don’t believe the armour is all that fantastic BTW. I’m sure the Ukrainians will send some nice pics soon.

RobW
RobW
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

So the French, a member of NATO and ally, sold high end defence tech to Russia? I’m amazed.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Only a month after the conflict started, did they finally stop supplying parts, due to World political pressure. Sound familiar?

James
James
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Not like the French to be supplying military equipment in a conflict to an aggressor. Im sure they would never have done this before, ever.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Might be a sign hes starting to send in more modern equipment now?

I think clearly Russia doesnt have anywhere near the number of more modern equipment as it does pre 1990’s and he hoped the older stuff would just run through Ukraine without issue.

David_s
David_s
6 days ago
Reply to  Simon

They lost their first T90 on the 27th Feb, the tank that was destroyed is the first (known) T90M that they have lost, which is the latest…and laughably called most ‘advanced’ version, but just like the older versions of the T90 and the T80 it is just a T72 that they have tweaked so it explodes and catches fire in a slightly novel way.* It’s just a shame they only have a dozen or so T14s, they look as though they are mostly made of plastic, with the same ammo storage problems, they might produce a nice pretty colour when… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  David_s

Agree the entire T series tanks from 72, 80 and 90 are all basically 72s with the same ammo storage issues within the autoloader and turret ring. Result = any hit on the turret ring will cook off the rounds held, blow the turret off the tank and kill everyone inside. These vehicles are flawed. Would like to see some T14 Aramata deployed only so we can see how utterly rubbish these lauded tanks are as well. T14 vs Chally 2. My money would be on Chally 2 with a kill ratio of at least 3:1. (10 or 12:1 vs… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Simon

There’s been loads of the earlier T90As taken out. This report is meant to say the newest T90M variant. As far as I can find, there have been two of these knocked out. One looks burnt out, the other has its turret flipped off.

peter Wait
peter Wait
5 days ago
Reply to  Simon

They should be checking to see if illegally exported sight technology is in this tank !

Jay R
Jay R
6 days ago

Finland, should maintain thier neutral status, hear me out. If they join nato, Russia will see it as nato enveloping around it. This will only increase the possibility of a nuclear exchange, or other conflict. When in reality Russia have no interest in Scandinavia do they? The EU is also at risk, I predict some eu countries will have no choice and have to buy Russian oil/gas or face severe economic downturn. NATO could cause the very thing it was designed to stop. Look at the Treaty of Versailles, it led to resentment and made the world more dangerous. I… Read more »

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

The Germans, with arrogant contempt for the realists in the US, UK, and other countries in NATO, tried the only different approach. Under Angela Merkel, it thought it could use trade and economic ties to lure Russia into becoming a liberal democracy. Germany avoided conflict with Russia at every turn and ridiculed the United States for demanding it be tough with Russia. Putin saw that as a sign of weakness and disarray in the Western alliance and, undoubtedly, factored that into his decision to invade Ukraine. Putin’s actions over the last decade or so indicate that he wanted to rebuild… Read more »

Grizzler
Grizzler
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

What different approach would you advocate?

Jay R
Jay R
6 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

I don’t know. The fear is, the more Russia becomes isolated, the more dangerous is becomes. I literally can’t see an end to this peacefully. The worry I have is the MAD concept will start to lose it’s effectiveness as Russia starts to suffer.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

But that is precisely why western European countries tried to bring Russia onboard. I don’t blame them for trying, in fact. It worked with Germany and Japan.
Clearly, the recidivist Putin just wanted the empire back, with him as Czar – which he had already achieved internally, of course.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

But Jay my dear chap. There is a simple solution that is the gift of Russia to resolve and deliver. 1. Stop your war of fascist aggression against Ukraine. 2. Remove Putin and all his cronies from power 3. Withdraw from all Ukranian territory. No one is threatening Russia’s territorial integrity. Why would we? Its a dump. 4. Only by doing these steps can Russia be welcomed back into the international community and sanctions end. Russia will have to use some of its vast currency reserves and oil/gas/crude products exports to pay reparations to rebuild Ukraine. So a bitter pill… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

The convention in a major war is that Russia would wish to guard its maritime flank from Murmansk by securing the region around North Cape i.e. northern Norway – and Finland in all likelyhood. That’s why the UK and others spend so much effort exercising within NATO Norway.
Of course, Finland has a massive border with Russia and currently finds its similarity with Ukraine’s situation very uncomfortable.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

The argument that Nato is surrounding Russia is beyond laughable.

Finland’s border with Russia represents 2.3% of Russia’s overall border, its literally a joke that they use this argument. Plus out of that 2.3% it very quickly narrows down due to 2 lakes and the White Sea to effectively 3 small routes into Russia itself, hardly a threat.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  James

James you are right. Russia has 12000 kms of land border with 16 countries only 1200 are bordering NATO countries so around 10% of its border is along NATO countries.
Thats assuming Finland joins NATO. Its less currently.
The concept of Russia being surrounded by NATO is utter tosh. Its just Putin playing to the Russian peasants simpleton minds and feeding his hatred and rhetoric.

Jacko
Jacko
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Well we can all see what’s happening to a country with neutral status at the moment can’t we? The silly sod is actually pushing Finland and Sweden into NATO! I am sure they would have liked to stay neutral but self preservation comes first.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Finland , like Ukraine can and should make their own choices and decisions. Its not for Russia or anyone else to say what Finland should do.
Besides the Finns are not stupid and they definitely are not scarred of Putin’s Russia.

Sean
Sean
6 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Given Russia seized and occupied a large portion of Finland in the early 1940’s – including Finland’s 2nd largest city – what makes you think Russia has lost interest in the rest of Scandinavia?

dan
dan
6 days ago

Will be nice to have Finland as part of NATO. A great country with a very impressive military. Germany could take a lesson on their commitment to defense.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

Even nicer to have Sweden on board too, then all the Nordic countries are in NATO.

David_s
David_s
6 days ago

I have said it before, even a lunatic like Putin (and all of his cross eyed peasants in the upper echelons of the Russian military) knows, after looking at Ukraine, invading Finland they would be a massacre – the terrain along the borders of Finland and Russia, coupled with the fact the Russian military has next to no command and control, would create little more than target practice for the defenders; it would be a massacre on the scale that overnight the richest man in just about every town in Russia would be the undertaker.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  David_s

Exactly, if they stepped foot in Finland whilst they are still out of NATO Sweden would mobilise instantly and move in to reinforce Finland. Conventional forces wise Russia would not stand a chance.

andy reeves
andy reeves
6 days ago

72 challengers how did they all get there?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Surely by sea and rail or HET.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I thought we had got rid of our rail tank transporters?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago

We called them ‘rail flats’. I doubt they were ever owned by the RLC – they would have been owned by British Rail back in the day and of course they transport any heavy item(s), not just tanks. I don’t know whether Railtrack own these things now or one or more of the Train Operating Companies (TOC). I doubt they have been scrapped as heavy freight often goes by rail.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

I believe only a squadrons worth has go to Finland, not 1 and a bit regiments, which is what 72 CH2 are.

Old Tony
Old Tony
5 days ago

Q : What is the difference between Russians and a piece of toast ?

A : You can make soldiers out of a piece of toast.

OT

Bill
Bill
5 days ago

Here’s a radical idea while we dispatch tanks here there and everywhere, why don’t we restore six armoured regiments to the order of battle with the CR3, and become the most lethal armoured formation in Europe, Russia notwithstanding, and actually be able to punch our weight for once rather than trying to punch above it?
Do we have our anti-tank missile replenishment program underway as we don’t have any left in the shed?

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Possibly, Thales have a big recruiting campaign to work in Belfast funny old thing! So I think demand is outstripping supply at the moment. Based on evidence of how NLAW has been working in Ukraine, I’m sure Thales’s order book is overflowing for NLAW.

Graham
Graham
5 days ago

Just think. Russia has already lost 3 or 4 times as many tanks as the UK even possess.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 days ago

The bit about operating joint fires is interesting. I’m betting it’s more about the nato forces working closely with the Finnish defence force fires. They have a lot of artillery.

Kimmo Linkama
Kimmo Linkama
4 days ago

Britain has officially said it will back Finland if the country decides to join Nato. The Nato discussion in Finland (and Sweden) has caused lots of threatening language from Russia. Now the headline “British tanks arrive in Finland to ‘deter Russian aggression’” isn’t exactly helping. The Kremlin spin doctors are sure to latch on that, accusing the West of escalating hostilities. Was this a wise move?