The British force in Estonia will soon number over 1,700 troops, 48 Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles and 24 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks.

The details on British reinforcement to NATO ally Estonia came to light after James Heappey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, answered a recent answer to a written question:

“As of 23 February 2022, there are 43 Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles and 18 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks deployed in Estonia.

A further five Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles and six Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks are currently in transit to Estonia, scheduled to arrive on 25 February 2022.”

How many troops? Well, the UK is sending an additional rotation – approximately 850 troops – to Estonia, doubling the size of its battlegroup contingent in the country. The UK already has more than 900 British military personnel based in Estonia.

Britain is boosting its military presence in Eastern Europe amid tensions with Russia.

Britain is moving army battlegroups, Apache attack helicopters, fighter jets and warships to Eastern Europe due to tensions with Russia.

According to a statement:

  • The UK is doubling the number of personnel in Estonia and sending additional equipment, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles. These troops and equipment will begin to move to Estonia today. 
  • The Royal Welsh battlegroup, which includes armoured vehicles and personnel, will leave Sennelager in Germany and bases in the UK and begin to arrive in Estonia during the coming week.
  • Apache helicopters will soon be making their way to conduct exercises with our Allies and partners in Eastern Europe.
  • Four additional UK Typhoon jets have also landed in Cyprus and will shortly begin to patrol the skies with NATO Allies in Eastern Europe.
  • HMS Trent – a UK Warship – has already begun conducting patrols in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea alongside NATO Allies from Canada, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
  • HMS Diamond is preparing to set sail in the coming days for the Eastern Mediterranean and will join up with NATO allies.

The Ministry of Defence say that the majority of the 350 Royal Marines of 45 Commando committed to Poland have already arrived, they added “we have also put 1,000 more British personnel at readiness in the UK to support a humanitarian response, if needed”.

The Ministry of Defence say that the majority of the 350 Royal Marines of 45 Commando committed to Poland have already arrived, they added “we have also put 1,000 more British personnel at readiness in the UK to support a humanitarian response, if needed”.

 

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 Clark
John Clark
1 month ago

Not an insubstantial deployment by UK standards, in reality it’s a tripwire force.

That said, with Apache support, it will be capable of punching back at any future border incursion

We are all waiting for the UK government position on defence spending. I’m slightly surprised that nothing has been mentioned yet….

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yup, I’m surprised to.

This has the smell of Treasury argument.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

The treasury did already give them a pretty massive funding increase and so far the Russian army is not making a great argument for increasing the budget. Germany has been taking the piss for decades and needed to increase to the bare minimum 2%. The UK adding more spending requires a further assessment of the long term assumptions. It’s pretty hard to argue with the treasury that you need X extra billion a year to deal with an enemy that is toiling to overpower one of the poorest equipped militaries in Europe. The Dnieper ain’t the Rhine or the Sein.… Read more »

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Air dominance is what really matters. NLAW and Star strek are great when bunkered down defending an airfield or City. NATO could obliterate Russia’s exposed heavy armour in Ukraine in a single night but don’t want to give Russian an excuse to escalate hoping Putin will give in to international pressure. Once NATO intervenes the gloves come off.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Morning Martin, I don’t agree re the massive increase. First off the last two SDSR’s and spending increase haven’t even repaired the damage done by Cameron … And we were under strength in all areas prior to that! Defence has been driven into the ground hard over the last 30 years, I stand by a ring fenced 3.5% is a sensible amount to spend on defence. This should be enshrined in law…. After all, our NATO commitments aside, the first duty of the the sitting government of the day is to protect its population from aggressors. We need to increase… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Great idea on tax and benefits however that will then hand control to a different party come the election that will simply offer to reverse it. The sad reality of the democracy that we live in.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Link for your assumption? Fact check?

At this moment in time it would seem that Putin is tired of restraint and going full on loon – when anyone sees the death and destruction wrought increasing defence spending will be a no brainer and as @john_clark suggested 3.5% seems a sensible mumber.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Really and you expect the mass majority of people on benefits to accept a cut to what they get in the times of current inflation?

Opposition party would do the usual, 3.5% isnt enough it should have been more, 2 hours later its disgraceful something has been cut to pay for this increase in spending. Usual merry go round of UK politics.

3.5% may seem sensible but its never going to happen. We may get an extra 5-10 billion thrown into the pot this year to move forward a few projects, I really wouldnt expect anything more.

David Michael Barry
David Michael Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The great unwashed have been accepting cuts to their disposable oncome for several years and ot is about to get worse; what makes you think they will complain about a 3.5% defence budget when £37Bn was by magic raised and spaffed on consultants?

andy a
andy a
1 month ago

think this is massive chance to spend more on defence and for once the public may just support it after seeing ukraine

James
James
1 month ago

They will complain as thats all they do, especially when they are being riled up by the opposition party that pretends to represent them going on how can it be an additional x many billion and benefits have not been increased.

What 37billion are you talking about exactly?

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Test and Trace
Track and Trace
Dido Harding?
Bells are ringing?

Umpteen billions lost to fraud?
£5Bn spaffed on Ajax?

Your record needs changing – go digital, you can get updated versions.

As to Labour, adults leading at the front and a growing membership of adults supporting; I’ll stand for Labour now that [email protected] Corbyn has gone.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Ajax is hardly the government itself its a complete cluster f*ck by the army procurement side, hopefully they cant rectify the issues with the thing and GD take full responsibility and we get some if not a large portion of the money back. Im not surprised you sound like one of mundane starmers front benchers. What fraud exactly are you talking about, numbers, dates, accounts etc that no one seems to be able to supply? Test and trace was indeed a big expense for very little impact, however if anything it supplied thousands of people with a half decent salary… Read more »

David Michael Barry
David Michael Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The buck stops at the top.
Cons have the fall for Ajax.

Did you work in either T&T? No?

Stop mainlining the Jif.

James
James
1 month ago

You expect the PM to personally sign off on every single government procurement program? Get real.

GD has the fall for Ajax, they have totally screwed it up.

Did you work in test and trace?

What is the ‘Jif’?

peter Wait
peter Wait
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Cameron signed off the AJAX, can we blame him ?

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Did he physically sign the documents himself?

Be good if he did as it would actually be a change to see him spend some money as opposed to cut spending!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  peter Wait

The PM does not sign-off individual defence programmes. He is far too high up the food chain.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  James

3.5% is too high.

2.75% is more like where it needs to be.

More and you just have loads of crazy high end projects that hoover all the cash……

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Got to go with others on this point… I’m sure the vast majority of the public would rather the government concentrate on the NHS, rebuilding the country post covid, get the budget back in the black, get pension/welfare payments at appropriate levels…
A big Increase in defence spending is not a vote winner.. as mentioned elsewhere a couple of billion chucked into high priority projects to speed them along seems most likely…

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Aim high 😉

Get something more but several of you/us want an increased spend, that’s for sure; and great points have been raised.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Income Tax, rises in NIC etc are not vote winners, but it still happens.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

No, no it won’t. It seems so simple talking about a mere increase to 3.5% but look at it in real monetary terms: Our current defence budget is approx. £44 billion PA – 2.32% 3.5% would be around £75 billion – an additional £31 billion. That’s a significant amount of money right there! I’d be in favour of increasing to 2.5% – an even £50 billion, so a small but significant increase of £6 billion per year. With that we could replace all T1 Typhoons with T3s and keep those numbers at around 150, and increase the size and lethality… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

Rather than Spending ‘X’ amount of extra funding in Defence,surely it would make more sense to sort out all the legacy issues -from Planning and Strategy at Govt Level,from the waste that must be prevalent at the MOD,and finally the issues with Procurement ( especially regarding the British Army ),get those sorted first then consider putting more Funding in where it might actually make a difference.

Python15
Python15
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

I’d love to tell you what we could do with that extra cash but I would get my collar severely felt under the OSA!

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Python15

In theory with that kind of money we could have a 300,000-strong armed forces, a 30-ship escort fleet and 250-300 fast jets but then again, realistically would we get that many people wanting to join up?

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

Hi Steve, it would absolutely take 3.5%, or an extra £31 billion to correct force levels…. Most areas of our defence are ‘so far’ below critical mass, it will take every penny of that money, year in year out to rebuild force structure to sensible levels. You ask what I would do….. Below is still a small professional Armed forces, but sized to provide defence of the UK, it’s wider interests and our NATO committments. Army, 115,000 along with the current 30,000 Reserve structure. Much of the additional personnel used to rebuild Armoured capability, support and the AAC. Rapid reaction… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Whilst all of the above would be lovely I can’t see it as realistic and verges on fantasy fleets. 25 P8s is overkill and unnecessary. We have 9, I’d say increase to 12. 40 frigates and destroyers is also unrealistic. I’d say our priority is making sure we get the numbers to the 24 that BoJo described (6x T45, 8xT26, 10x T31/32) and as we start to replace the T45 in due time, replace the 6 ships with 8 or 9, which would give us a 27-ship escort fleet. We need a credible air-launched anti-ship missile to be operated from… Read more »

WillDbeest
WillDbeest
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Sensibile suggestions. The nuclear deterrent should also be removed as a cost for the MOD aside from the crewing costs and funded separately as used to be the case I believe before Osborne got involved.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

I agree. The display the Russians have put on seems staggeringly inept; perhaps they really believe their own propaganda and thought the Ukrainians would run out of doors to hug them as liberators?

Frankly is it not money that is the problem. Procurement timetables and mismanagement have elevated the urine ever higher up the brickwork for decades. I am not joking when I speculate a team of professionals from one of the larger supermarkets would have got this country toa better place faster and cheaper.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

👍

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

6th day of war only.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

From what i have seen so far i wouldn’t describe the performance of the Russian Army as inept – when you consider they have Invaded a Country with a Land Mass equivalent to Germany and France combined,attacked on multiple Fronts in great depth and surrounded the Capital City on day 6 ,facing a large reasonably well equipped Military with recent Combat experience,id hate to think what they could do if they were competent.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Supermarkets just have to buy simple stuff like beans and bread.
Most Defence equipment is unbelievably complex.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

I’d tend to disagree.

This happened because we looked weak and had well advertised gaps plus disunity from the German, and other, statements.

The constant talk of cuts is a red rag to Mad Vlad.

The very minimum we need to do is to fund the various costed gaps.

That is quite a big lump of money in itself.

RobW
RobW
1 month ago

The US underpins NATO, what gaps did they have that encouraged Putin he could get away with invading? I think he knew full well we wouldn’t start WW3 over Ukraine regardless of defence funding, but I doubt he realised the West would be so united in opposition and go so far with sanctions. They will be brought to their senses eventually, but at what cost to Ukraine and its people.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

The point was we had our sleeves rolled up and had trainers in there.

We could have sent a larger training force or done a joint exercise if we had the trousers to go with our mouth.

If we were stronger Mad Vlad wouldn’t have tried it.

I don’t think anyone realised how much worse(?) than Sadam’s army the main Russian army was. It is a rerun of Op Granby.

Last edited 1 month ago by Supportive Bloke
David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

The gap was resolve.

Germany has finally stood up and slammed the door shut.

A door shut on navel gazing,
A door shut on Russian aggression.

Russia is going to worry and hopefully be changed… Russian mentality is a different issue.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

It’s pretty hard to argue with the treasury that you need X extra billion a year to deal with an enemy that is toiling to overpower one of the poorest equipped militaries in Europe.

This is completely false. Ukraine is a 40M country with more tanks the UK for example.
Second were are in 6th day of war. It is too earlier to say there is yet a big problem for Russian forces.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Agree, from a depth point of view Ukraine has a not insignificant army and airforce. But by all accounts it’s beginning to be pushed into a static defence. If Russia begins to manoeuvre freely it will become a different war as encircled and trapped units only end one way if they cannot be resupplied or relieved.

Just consider how long it took the coalition forces to conquer Iraq in 2003 and that was a nation that had no airforce to speak of and was utterly out classed in every possible way.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Hi Martin, the reality is that all the previous defence reviews And the NATO 2% spend plans have been based on a stable Unipolar Geopolitical picture in which all sides were basically going to follow a set pattern of geopolitical competition that increased universal wealth. It was not explicit but it was a version of the interwar 10 year rule ( no threat of a major or general war within 10 years). As recognised by Germany, this have irreversibly now changed. You have to remember the German Government is spending in year a 100billion boost on top of its standard… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You have this gift with words!

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, You make a very well argued and sound case for recapitalising our defence capability. The world has indeed shifted dramically in the last week. The previously rules based international structure was respected by the Soviet Union, at least for the most part. However, Putin and indeed President Xi’s China choose to ignore this and are trying to bully their neighbours into their spheres of influence. Be it Eastern Europe or the counties around the South China Sea we face serious geopolitical challenges. The West’s response to Putin’s war is surprisingly strong and may yet bring sufficient economic pain… Read more »

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

A week or more ago I might have agreed with you about the numbers – but as we can see from ‘might’ of the Russian forces in Ukraine – the Russian air force is not going to be able to help their cross eyed, semi literate conscripts as they are cattle prodded across the border, with probably no food and very little ammunition. The Russian doctrine has always been pile it high and sell it cheap – I am not sure anyone realised the price has dropped so low. But it should be a kick up the backside to increase… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

Some years ago, after the end of the Cold War, I read a story of a Russian general observing a British army exercise turned and said he was glad the British army was so small.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Hi Barry,

I have heard from someone who has served that the Russians respected USN submariners, but feared the Brits…

So I suspect that comment can be applied to all three services. However, it is both high praise for our service people and a damning indictement of our national apathy towards our forces particularly when it comes to funding.

Cheers CR

Python15
Python15
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Couldn’t agree more their pal!

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

Love your accurate way with words mate!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

We certainly need it. Back end of 2020 at best. Delivery of many critical Royal Navy capabilities still years away Carrier strike capability is on track to achieve FOC by December 2023. By the end of 2022, there will be sufficient UK F-35s and trained aircrew to support routine carrier deployments of up to 12 jets. Maintenance and training demands mean this is cannot sustain back-to-back deployments and must be carefully paced. The Lightning Force is still regenerating after CSG21 and it will be instructive to see how many jets can be mustered for operations in response to events in… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Frankly we were very lucky the boost in spend was confirmed before Covid hit. The economic projections were grim before the Russian invasion they won’t have gotten any better since. The sanctions will hopefully trash the Russian economy but they’ll hurt us too. Every 1% increase in Govt debt interest rates will cost us £20bn pounds and trying to predict them even a week from now has just gotten a hell of a lot harder. I’m sure there’ll be more money but wrecking the economy will not help our Armed Forces.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Steeper
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

UK economy is recovering quite nicely ATM.

Main thing slowing it down is actually a lack of labour and Sky high wages.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

Until the hike in energy prices and tax increases hits in April. If the war in Ukraine is still going on it’s going to be a huge hit to the economy. ‘If’ that’s the biggest problem it’s going to be bad in the best scenario in the worst it’s going to be brutal. Then you add what might happen to the interest in HMG debt. If we get it wrong we will not be talking about more spend on Defence or anything else.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I’m not so pessimistic on the economics.

Yes, energy prices go – for everyone. So there is no additional competitive skew.

Russia was not a particularly major trading partner anyway.

Yes, it will have an effect. But IRL not that much.

There will be some pain points but we will have to deal with those.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

It looks like recession in Europe and N.America is probable. The only bright spot is the German decision to raise def spend. If they spend it soon and pay for it through borrowing rather than tax it might just be enough to keep them out of recession. That might be the only positive sign currently. For us we have no room for maneuver. If we don’t raise tax the debt interest rate will rise. Which would end up taking more cash out of the economy is unknowable we’ll take a hit regardless.

peter Wait
peter Wait
1 month ago

MP’s have a couple of thousand pay rise to pay for their heating !

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The UK is not alone in Estonia, the UK actually leads a multinational Nato force in Estonia. Plus I imagine Russian troop movements are carefully monitored so reinforcements would be made available if needed. Lastly Russia has deployed a significant part of its ground forces in Ukraine and getting help from Bielorussia, so i doubt they could open a new front.

andy a
andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

they have deployed roughly a 1/10 of their army I believe (and yes I know that nos includes everything from front line to weather forecasters)

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Unfortunately John, I am not surprised at all. I hate to be cynical but there will be no such announcement. That said, I’d love to be proved wrong!!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I’ve sent my letter into the PM, opposition, ministers of state and chair of the defence committee. Telling them they are all good chaps but the West has been caught with its pants down, thumb ups it’s arse and what are they all going to do about a geopolitical landscape that’s being flushed down the toilet please.

prj
prj
1 month ago

they look the business and can walk the walk. However to operate they need control of the airspace which means a strong RAF (not just 8 fast jet Squadrons), anti drone capabilities and excellent GBAD. Lots of armour means nothing without control of the air. Priority in defence should be more Typhoons, more GBAD, more loiter, more drones, more anti drone. Once that’s in place then order more, not before.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  prj

I’m probably add in more long range precision fire, as we sit in Ukraine it’s all good having drones finding enemy formations but you need something to reach out and touch them. Can always rely on air based assets for this with enemy air defence as well.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Even Watchkeeper with LMM could wipe out all of their logistics vehicles and discourage their heavy armour for venturing too far into Ukraine. We need budget precision strike munitions to take out thousands of low value targets.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Hi Martin, I’d second that. I’ve suggested a couple of times that a quick way forward in the short to medium term for precision fires would be to mount Brimstone 3 or SPEAR 3 on trucks in a similar way to CAMM has been for the Land Ceptor system. Longer term I’d like to see the Army deploy truck mounted versions of SPEAR 5 (FCASW land attack missile). This could be operated in the deep precision strike role to disrupt enemy long range weapons, attack logistic choke points or undertake SEAD missions in support of RAF NATO air forces undertaking… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  prj

To be honest I think we should push for 12 squadrons, either:

  • 7x Typhoon squadrons plus 5x F35 squadrons
  • 8x Typhoon squadrons plus 4x F35 squadrons

Could probably be achieved just by increasing spending to 2.5% of GDP and replacing the Tranche 1 Typhoons with new Tranche 3s.

Perhaps when this is over we should donate our T1 Typhoons to Ukraine, if we’re going to just scrap them otherwise anyway.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  prj

Agreed, but add fires too. The RA should take priority land wise.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

So what have we got in reserve? Some kind of boil in the bag army? We will have to do the best with what we have, typically the British way. We have a professional Air Force, Army and Navy who would step up to the plate. The Russians have quantity but has been seen the Russians squaddies heart is not in it. To be told by your generals that you will be opened with open arms as a liberating force only to be confronted by a hostile and angry population must be highly demoralising.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

From some of the reports of people questioning the Russians they got told it was a training exercise and had no idea they would be needing to shoot at let alone kill people.

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago

Now ship out the reactive armour kits plus top-down ballistic protection. I also hope the vehicles get the latest camo to help to increase concealment.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago

Where are the HQ tanks per squadron.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago

At the very least, this may convince the decision makers of the need to upgrade all of our (already meagre) CR2 fleet to CR3 standard. As for other kit and equipment upgrades that the Army needs, these have already been discussed and argued about on UKDJ by better informed contributors than me. I also agree with Supportive Bloke that the Treasury is probably putting up every argument that it can to block or reduce the increase in Defence spending that we all know is now essential.

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
1 month ago

Based on footage coming out of Ukraine, Warrior doesn’t seem so redundant anymore does it! Nor Chally 2… Equipment is great but tactics and logistics are king. With the success of NLAW & the fact we have/had more than 20,000 units ordered I would suggest distributing these more widely than usual doctrine dictates, would be a good decision. Air Supremacy & integrated Air Defence is still key though. Videos showing drone strikes taking out BUK/S400 show the mobile units stuck in logistic chains rather than deployed & doing their thing. It is almost amateurish to see. I do wonder if… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

At the moment they arent holding anything back, everything they built up has been thrown into Ukraine. Theyve even today announced they were redeploying their Far East troops to Astrakhan in the near east for long distance maneuver drills (the same excuse they gave for the Ukraine buildup).

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I have to disagree. Just because 75% of it has crossed the border does not mean in the slightest it has been ‘thrown’ into Ukraine. UAV are not being utilised at the platoon level which is something the Russians have drilled & deployed with for years, especially in Syria. Severely restricts situational awareness at the ground level. Probably why several mobile units have ‘thunder run’ into seriously difficulty. Fast Air is extremely limited compared to the number of assets they actually have available. CAP is none existent. Artillery usage is minimal when you consider the type and volume of ordinance… Read more »

andy a
andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Your right they are capable even back in chechnya of levelling parts of whole cities with regimental artillery and massed air power and even heavy bombers which except for USA, NATO cant match.
I think he is still holding back from ordering what we would call war crimes

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

If they are moving further reinforcements from the far East then that sounds like they are not confident what they have already committed will get the job done.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

The Russians thought they just had to show up in numbers and Ukraine would give up like the Afghan government. The difference is one is fiercely United and willing to die for their country the other was not.
I don’t think Russia was prepared to give both barrels unless Putin gets desperate.
NATO should really be launching covert air strikes from Western Ukraine in small enough numbers to take out Russia’s exposed logistical support and wear them down. That 40km convoy is a sitting target and I’m sure there is one in Crimea as well.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

It looks like their recon troops have taken a beating. I’m sure they are keeping substantial armour ready for the imaginary NATO counter attack. As you say we need to double up our artillery and NLAW. Just like the Eastern front 1942-45.

peter Wait
peter Wait
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

If BAE had put bushmaster and their new turret on warrior it would have worked !

Donaldson
Donaldson
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Multiple NLAWs have been captured by the Russians, What would NLAW do to a Challenger 2 TES with all the bells and whistles?

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

Breaking news, Ukrainian pilots arrive in Poland to operate mig 29s. Possibility based in Poland. He’ll if true a NATO member has allowed the use of its bases for Ukrainian operations.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Franks
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Godspeed to all these pilots. May they truly decimate that huge column of trucks, tanks, missiles invading Ukraine and shoot anything Russian out of their air space. And maybe even reclaim lost territory, including Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine. Strength to 🇺🇦 and its people.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

If they are based in Poland then they will come under the Polish anti air defences that they posses when heading back into the Polish air space?

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Launching operations from a NATO member state? How do you think Putin will react to this?

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Maybes they are just collecting the aircraft from Polish bases to then fly into and be based in Ukraine?

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  James

This does not appear to be the case.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Hi MArk, I’d be very very surprised if Poland allowed the Ukrianain Air Force to opperate from a NATO base. More likely they are training the Ukrainians to fly those Migs that the EU are paying for. My understanding is that they have been updated with Western kit so are in effect equipped quite differently those normally flown by Ukaine, that might also include the weapons they can carry. As such potentially a significant increase in capability. It was reported yesterday on our local news that troops normally based in the South West Region are currently deployed in Eastern Europe… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Hopefully with Ukrainian Aor Force colours and not Polish Red ans white square markings or Vlad will have a field day at Natos expense and the way his going would give him and his propaganda machine the prove that the west is out to get him James

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Supplying lethal aid has not emboldened him to act, just threaten and he can ways put sanctions on Poland just as we did with Belorus.

Jack
Jack
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

If Russia attacks that Polish airbase……….

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

Worrying thought!

LongTime
LongTime
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

It triggers article 5 if the Ukrainians are there or not.

Donaldson
Donaldson
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Well there goes that!

James H
James H
1 month ago

What else makes up the International force it’s joining, artillery and air defence?

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  James H

Yes, I’d like to know what other NATO troops are there too so we get a complete picture, not just where our boys & girls are.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

French, Danish, Belgian and Icelandic.

Rotating NATO fast air.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Thanks DB.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Icelandic? I didn’t think Iceland had a military? According to Wikipedia Iceland is the only NATO country that does not maintain a standing army. They have a coastguard, which the RN got to know intimately during the Cod War 🙄

Cheers CR

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

It’s a civilian from Iceland.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago
Reply to  James H

We have deployed AS90s already and sky sabre will be or already has been deployed and there was talk of deploying GMLRS but I don’t know if that happened. Stormer HVM probably also deployed.

Donaldson
Donaldson
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

I haven’t read anything on Sky Sabre being deployed to the Baltics?

I know they deployed last year to the Falklands to replace the Rapier battery there.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago

1,700 troops, 48 Warrior IFVs and 24 Challenger IIs…

From what we’ve seen of the Russians this past week, if we send that lot into Ukraine with a dozen Apaches and 8-12 Typhoons or Lightnings fighting alongside the Ukrainians I think we’d kick the crap out of the Russians right now!

Jack
Jack
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

They could go all the way to Moscow 😂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Pretty much what I guessed the other day, 24 Tanks and 40 plus Warrior.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago

Yes, it turns out that you were right in terms of squadron size, I am still unsure as to why there are no tanks as HQ for the squadrons.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

There used to be.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago

So effectively regiments have been reduced to just 48 tanks. That’s is depressingly low.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

With only 3 and reducing to 2 that seems about right to me, adding reserves and those with Armour Centre at Bovington.
They’ve been 50 something for decades.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago

Before 2010 they were 58 in 4 squadrons and after they were 56 in 3 squadrons.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

Thanks, I always forget my Type 58 or Type 56 Regiments.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago

I guess the advantages of the type 58 is that squadron size is the same size as armoured infantry companies, but with type 56 regiments, they have the same amount of squadrons as an armoured infantry battalion.
Maybe all armoured/armoured infantry battalions should be increased to 4 manoeuvre companies.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

God, the cap badge mafia would have a fit! They’d have to cull a couple of battalions to find the savings to raise a 4th company.
Over on UKAFC he makes an interesting argument for permanent Combined Arms Regiments going forward.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago

I was thinking about that and it would be less radical to keep infantry battalions with infantry, and armoured battalions with armour and on then on deployment these combined arms battalions could then be made very easily.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

That little girl, just 6 years old……😡
I know accidents happen and we have killed civilians too in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but blatant attacks on civilian areas by dumb free fall bombs, tube artillery and unguided MLRS rockets!

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

The woeful performance of the Russians to date and clear incompetencies of the staff planners will mean Plan B – bomb the cities flat regardless. I wish I am wrong but Putin hasn’t ever looked like he would care about such details.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago

What really upset me was the video of a Russian tank deliberately running over and crushing a Ukrainian in their car on the road. Pointless, callous murder for nothing other than shits and giggles.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

Not seen that. I’ve only seen the earlier incident in Kyiv with the APC.

LongTime
LongTime
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

Steve R, Upsetting but if you watch the original uncut version a group of lads go and pull the old boy out and walk off together. So yeah the Russian vehicle commander tried to be a c*nt but the bloke somehow owned the worlds strongest LADA

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  LongTime

I don’t think it’s even as bad as that. Looked to me the driver was distracted and lost control. The video does not show that another gun battle was actually ongoing just below camera view ( which is filmed from another vantage point in those flats ) which seems to have distracted the APC driver.

LongTime
LongTime
1 month ago

Hi DM Haven’t seen that video yet but if they are taking fire, I could see how that turn was a lose of control. Either way lucky bloke to walk away from RTA with an APC

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  LongTime

Yes, I really think the Russian driver just lost it. Off camera another Russian truck is brought to a halt by fire. The 3 occupants were all shot, one clearly seen on camera hiding against the trucks tyres. Captions suggested they were Russian SF.

I’ve seen the vid of the car occupant being pulled out.
Lucky but what I find interesting is how many people are going about their business in the middle of combat. Buses on their usual routes stopping as fights break out and so on.

LongTime
LongTime
1 month ago

“Lucky but what I find interesting is how many people are going about their business in the middle of combat. Buses on their usual routes stopping as fights break out and so on”
This is also fascinating me, they just seem to move out the way briefly then back on their feet to carry on what they were doing. I really hope the Ukrainian public will become the ultimate hero’s from this with their “no sh*ts given” reaction to an invasion.

Shaun
Shaun
1 month ago

Not to mention the little primary school girl and her parents gunned down in cold blood the other day.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Hi Daniele, Agreed, but urban warfare is brutal. It always has been and always will be. I guess that is why laying seige to a city is outlawed! We hear much talk about Kyiv and Kharkiv but the southern port city of Mariupol is now under seige by Russian and Russian seperatist forces. It is a major port for the export of Ukrainian wheat. Trouble with urban warfare a civilian pops their head up at the wrong moment and gets shot for their pains. It will get worse if the Ukrianians do indeed join the fight for their cities as… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Sadly.

Ukraine cannot win, but Russia’s military will be bled white taking them down the way the attrition rate is going.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Yeh and all for the ego of Mad Vlad. Sickening.

David Michael Barry
David Michael Barry
1 month ago

Well the Russians have woken up the idea the UKR arn’t friends and RusMil are not welcome. The gloves are coming off and normal jogging of unleashing utter devastation seems to be back in play.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago

Johnsonski is reported as on his way to Estonia today for a photo op with this deployment. Personally, I hope someone points out the Warrior obsolescence issues thanks to his government’s decision to scrap their upgrade. As usual, the MoD has decided to put our chaps/chapesses in harms way without the latest kit.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Warrior wouldn’t be ready anyway after being delayed by a decade. In reality we need air strikes to engage their ground forces rather than a land battle. Most of their heavy armour could be obliterated in a night if the US really out their mind to it. It’s the nuclear escalation putting them off

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

‘Johnsonski’ what are you talking about ? You saying he’s a Russian stooge ?

David Michael Barry
David Michael Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Well, we still don’t know who really paid for the wallpaper 😉

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

Yeah you’ve got your priorities right.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

My priorities if called back… in extremis… is to fight for my country.

I’ll gladly go, albeit, a bit slower than when I was 18.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Wallpaper or not.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

The kit with the lads in Estonia is as good as the rest of NATOs, not the best, but not the worst, operated however by the best.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
1 month ago

well so far Russia has lost 41 tanks and the Ukraine has lost 15

https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Hi Bringer of Facts,

Interesting list, especially as it lists only those vehicles for which they can find evidence (video or photos). Total losses must be significantly higher.

The exchange rate is about 2:1 it seems, but as has been pointed out about Russia can call on addition forces not yet committed or deployed into theatre. I also expect to see the Russian equipment losses increase in portion as they start to fight their way into the cities, especially if the Ukrainians can get plenty of LAW’s into the hands of their forces, including the irregulars.

Cheers CR

John
John
1 month ago

Thanks for the article, have been wondering details of this for a while, am impressed with the number of challenger tanks, thought it would be two lots of 4

peter Wait
peter Wait
1 month ago

I note the rubber mud flaps are missing from the photo, if you bend carbon rubber round 90 degree angle the inner surface is compressed and outer stretched which causes it to split after few weeks !