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Military Capabilities

British Army to deploy Lynx Wildcat helicopters to Estonia

07 March 2018
The deployment to Estonia next month will be the first operational deployment for the British Army's Lynx Wildcat helicopters. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

Key Points

  • Four British Army Lynx Wildcat are deploying to Estonia next month as part of the NATO eFP mission
  • It is the type’s first operational deployment

Four UK Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx Wildcat AH1 battlefield reconnaissance helicopters are to deploy to Estonia next month on the type’s first operational mission.

The helicopters, normally based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset, are to spend four months supporting the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh’s battlegroup in Tapa as part of Operation ‘Cabrit’ (the United Kingdom’s contribution to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Eastern Europe), according to a British Army announcement on 1 March.

The four helicopters will be provided by 661 Squadron AAC, while 659 Squadron AAC is also to deploy to Estonia in April 2019 for another four-month tour as part of an ongoing commitment to the Baltic nation.

“We learnt in the autumn [2017] that we would be deploying, so there’s been a considerable amount to do in a relatively short period of time,” Major Alex Rivett, officer commanding 661 Squadron, was reported as saying in the announcement.

During their deployment the Wildcats will be supporting Estonian troops and The Royal Welsh in training, as well as participating in NATO’s Exercise ‘Sabre Strike’, which is to span all three Baltic states and involve the armed forces of about 20 nations.

“The Estonians have only four Robinson R22 light helicopters in their fleet, so they’re really excited about us bringing a cutting-edge platform such as Wildcat to provide air support,” said Major Rivett.

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