British tanks and their crews are currently taking part in Exercise Arrow in Finland.

According to a news release:

“The Leopard 2 Finnish tanks had been poised in position for a few minutes, surveying what was in front of them and ready to manoeuvre. Then all of a sudden the ground roared, the noise of gun fire erupted and everything was in play – including the British Army’s Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank. 

This is Exercise Arrow and an opportunity for the Queen’s Royal Hussars (QRH) to showcase their full capability in front of a sizeable watching audience of media from around the world.”

Tank Commander, Sergeant Kieran Jardine, said in the release that he and his crew relish this kind of experience.

“The Challenger 2 is the biggest armoured vehicle out here and I think it’s the best tank in the world. But of course I’m biased. Wherever we go, it always draws the attention. We’ve loved being in Finland and testing ourselves in an opposing forces role. Our main job is shock action, always to get at the enemy hard, fast and aggressive and destroy what’s in front of us for the rest of the Army to roll in behind. Being here is one of the few occasions where we get to do force on force, instead of being in simulators against a notional enemy. Whereas now, we’re up against a free-thinking, free-moving force, so it’s going to make us think harder. So this is pretty unique being involved.”

Exercise Arrow is taking place in the Pohjankangas training area near Niinisalo Garrison in the west of the country.

The objective over the two weeks, say the British Army, “is to develop the Finnish Defence Force ground combat capabilities and the ability to operate joint fires, alongside international allies, with more than 3,000 troops and 670 vehicles.”

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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Andrew D
Andrew D
12 days ago

Hope there let us know who comes of best ? Come on challenger 2

eclipse
eclipse
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I think it will be down more to the training and skill of the crew. And, while the Finns have excellent troops, I hope we have the edge there 😉

Dern
Dern
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

It doesn’t work like that. Military exercises aren’t like Sports games where people are just set loose and the best side wins.

Andrew D
Andrew D
12 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Very true Dern ,I know how it is but sometimes it’s good to make light of things sure the Finns are no push overs and both sides give there all.👍

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
12 days ago

I just looked up how many tanks the Finns have in service. Apparently they have 200 Leopard 2, 100 A4 and 100 A6 variants and they are due to have upgrades made to their fire control systems.

Cheers CR

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
12 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I wonder how much that is costing them to do the upgrades

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
11 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

It will depend on what is included. If it is only the computer or does it include sights, environmental sensors and barrel sensors, displays, etc. Could add up to a reasonable sum…

Cheers CR

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Makes a fleet of 148 tanks seem very little.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

My thoughts exactly, there are only 5m or so Finns…

Cheers CR

Chris
Chris
20 hours ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

CR2 is the best protected tank in the world. It wouldn’t be fair to put 148 CR2 against 400 Leopards. Maybe a Sqn of 18 CR2 is more of a fair fight. Not one CR2 has ever been lost to enemy fire. As for the German cat, it’s a good tank but not in the same league as the British Bulldog; just look what happened when the Turkish Army used them. Some looked blown in half.

Airborne
Airborne
12 days ago

The type of training the Russian amateurs never bothered with, and see the result!

Kari Reinikainen
Kari Reinikainen
12 days ago

Really impressed and grateful to the UK, where I have lived for a long time now, for the help and support it has given my native land in these challenging times! As a Finnish friend of mine recently said: “Now we know who really are doing something and who just talk!”

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago

You could always pick up the phone to Macron?

Joe16
Joe16
11 days ago

Hopefully it’s truly “free thinking” and the Finns have an opportunity to really test us. Even if we come off with a bloody nose, it’s better to have it in training than when it’s real.
I’ve read that isn’t always the case when we’re training at home, with pre-set conclusions and such limited resources and scope that it’s not possible to really test things- mostly as a cost-saving measure. But that was a newspaper article so not necessarily true or fair. I very much hope it’s wrong

Dern
Dern
11 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Pre-set conclusions are pretty much necessary if you want to get training done unforunatley, it’s got very little to do with limited resources or scope. To put this into perspective seen completely free and unscripted exercises at section level, and scripted exercises at brigade level. For example, if you have a free thinking exercise that doesn’t have a script you might have one side knock out the others armour with artillery being called in from a disguised OP. Great practice for your Recce screen and all, but it kind of means that you can’t get your Javelin platoon to train.… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Fair point- I hadn’t considered it that way. I supppose the challenge is in making it free enough that you’re not following a script to a foregone conclusion- and thus never challenging your pre-conceived ideas of how it would go. But you’re right, too much freedom of manouevre and you may never get to test some critical areas.

Alex
Alex
10 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes, it’s as important to learn from a failure as it is from a success. Keeps one grounded.
The American navy twice in 2 sessions has lost severely in war games with their friendly opponents.
To their great credit they took it on the chin and said it would help them develop their strategies and improve. It’s a far better approach than the chest-thumping we so often see.

Joe16
Joe16
9 days ago
Reply to  Alex

This is something I have *generally* found with Americans (in a non-military professional setting): They are confident in their abilities to a point that we might consider it arrogant, and defend their point of view/proces/plan with passion. But if you have a valid counter-argument / prove them wrong/ show them a better way, they do exactly what you noted-take it on the chin and apply what they’ve learned to come back better. Have to give respect that.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago

I wonder when this exercise was planned – in the last few weeks?! To demonstrate support for Finland’s decision to join NATO?