Defense

Equipment for NATO tactical group brought to Estonia

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British tanks, artillery arrive in Estonia

More than 130 units of British Army heavy equipment which will serve the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia, including Challenger 2 tanks and AS-90 self-propelled artillery, arrived in Paldiski on Wednesday.

Over 200 British and 50 French soldiers have already arrived in Estonia; the remaining troops and equipment belonging to the battle group are scheduled to arrive over the coming weeks.

The NATO battle group will consist of a total of nearly 1,200 allied soldiers. The U.K. has said that their contribution to the group will be an armored unit of more than 800 troops whose equipment includes Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), AS-90 self-propelled artillery and other armored vehicles. France has announced that they will contribute a 300-strong unit whose equipment includes Leclerctanks, VBCI IFVs and VAB armored vehicles.

Upon their arrival on Wednesday, the British Army’s equipment was transported to the 1st Infantry Brigade’s base in Tapa.

NATO leaders decided at the Warsaw Summit last July to deploy allied troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in response to the changed security environment. The contingent to be stationed in Estonia will be led by the U.K. and supported by France and Denmark.

French tanks arrive in Tapa

The final segment of military equipment of the French Armed Forces’ contingent of the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia, including Leclerc tanks, arrived in Tapa on Wednesday.

France will be contributing 300 soldiers and various military equipment to the NATO battle group, including Leclerc tanks, VBCI infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and VAB armored personnel carriers.

51 French troops are already in Estonia; the remainder are scheduled to arrive in the first half of April. The French contingent will serve in Tapa for the next eight months, following which they will be replaced by Danish troops.

The NATO battle group stationed in Estonia will include a total of nearly 1,200 allied troops, headed by the U.K. and supported by France and Denmark. The U.K. is contributing more than 800 personnel as well as Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior IFVs, AS-90 self-propelled artillery and armored vehicles.

Last July, the leaders of 28 NATO member states decided at the Warsaw Summit to station battalion-sized allied battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in response to a changed security environment. The battle group to be stationed in Estonia will be led by the U.K. with support from France and Denmark.

140 French troops to arrive in Estonia on Tuesday

The second batch of French military personnel to be stationed in Estonia as part of the new NATO battle group, consisting of 140 troops, will land at the Ämari air base on Tuesday.

The first 50 French military personnel arrived in Estonia on Mar. 20, and the transfer of the French contingent’s equipment to Estonia was completed on Wednesday, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.

The 1,200-strong NATO battle group to be deployed to Estonia this spring will have British and French tanks and IFVs as well as British self-propelled guns among its equipment. French troops will serve in the group for the next eight months, after which they will be replaced by Danish units.

The French contingent of 300 soldiers will be armed with Leclerc tanks, VBCI infantry fighting vehicles, and VAB armored vehicles.

The British contingent to eventually consist of 800 personnel will be armed with Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and AS90 self-propelled artillery.

Leaders of NATO member countries decided at the alliance’s Warsaw summit in July last year to increase NATO’s presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland because of the changed security environment. The contingent to be stationed in Estonia will be led by the UK, with additional troops contributed by France and Denmark.

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