Challenger 2 tanks, AS90 artillery, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and an array of other vehicle types have arrived in Estonia.

Earlier in the week, 120 Soldiers from the 5th Battalion The Rifles Battlegroup (5 RIFLES), including members of an Armoured Engineer Squadron, Military Police Detachment, Artillery Group and Port Task Group, arrived at Amari airbase.

They were welcomed by Estonia’s Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna, having flown from RAF Brize Norton by Voyager aircraft.

According to the government, the 120 soldiers are fundamental to setting up a UK headquarters in the country before the rest of the UK deployment arrives next month, increasing the total number of troops in Estonia to around 800.

According to a press release:

“The first of hundreds of UK military vehicles have arrived in Estonia to support the UK’s enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup based in Tapa, one of the largest ever NATO deployments to Eastern Europe.

Setting sail from Marchwood, Southampton, last Wednesday, the Roll-on-Roll-off ferry also stopped off in Emden, Germany, to collect Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, Challenger 2 tanks and AS90 self-propelled artillery guns. It also carried Terrier, Titan and Trojan armoured battlefield engineer vehicles. The vehicles will then be moved by road from the port to Tapa.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“This is the start of one of the biggest deployment in Eastern Europe since the Cold War and by the end of next month, we will have 800 British troops, with armour, with tanks, ready to help reassure our allies and to underline our commitment to the security of Europe

British troops are playing a leading role in Estonia and supporting our US allies in Poland, as part of wider efforts to defend NATO.”

French armoured vehicles, including tanks, are also due to arrive in Estonia via train after being loaded earlier in the week.

 

11 COMMENTS

  1. Budgets do not necessarily equate to the military effectiveness as the Vietnam war showed.

    Russia has the capability and political will to cause trouble in eastern Europe, NATO is right to deploy military forces to the region to deter Russian aggression.

    Georgia, Crimea and Eastern Ukraine are recent examples of such aggression.

  2. If you look at it from Russia’s perspective, NATO is a bunch of countries that can’t policitically agree on anything. Just look at what is going on across the EU to highlight this. Having the military power to stop Russia on paper doesn’t meant that it would be used. Can you really are the US going to way with Russia over Estonia or even the UK. Realistically this advanced force would be rapidly withdrawn to a safer area in the event of an attack, probably under the guise of a holding motion to await reinforcements, which would been reinforce the next state along and the game continues.

    I don’t think Russia will attack, but equally after ukraine we have to put a big enough force in place to at least make sure they don’t want to gamble on it.

  3. 4 Battalions across 4 Eastern Countries is hardly a match for Russia.
    But it is a deterrent never the less, and will no doubt make Russia go elsewhere for Land grab.
    Maybe Belarus

    • It was never supposed to be a match.

      It is the very very…… very least the NATO powers can do to dissuade any adventurism on the part of Russia’s czar.

      Working with the local forces (who are determined, if not well equipped) it should be enough to make Russia think twice.

  4. Anyone know what the deal is with the SPH pictured above?

    I would think that such short barrels are totally outmatched nowadays.

    • 39 calibre barrel on As90, were plans to upgrade to 52 but technical problems and cost put paid to that.

      The As90 is completely outgunned, like so much UK equipment it’s not up to the job.

      • Not really, 155mm is quite common. The Americans, French and Germans are all using the same. Larger guns always have the problem of slower rates of fire.

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