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UK deploys up-armoured Warrior IFVs to Estonia

08 November 2019
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Up-armoured Warrior IFVs being loaded at the British Army’s Ludgershall vehicle depot as part of the UK’s ‘Tractable’ deployment. Source: British Army/Crown copyright

Up-armoured Alvis Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) have been deployed to Estonia as part of a rotation of the equipment for the UK-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup.

The new vehicles were identified in video and still imagery released by the British Army showed equipment rotation, dubbed 'Tractable'.

Until now the Warriors on duty in Estonia have been standard vehicles from the British Army training fleet with no theatre-specific enhancements. In the imagery the Warriors appeared to be fitted with plates along the length of their hulls to defeat high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads, which British Army sources said is designated Operational Equipment Standard 3 (OES3). This is an evolution of the theatre entry standard armoured packages developed for the Iraq and Afghan campaigns.

'Tractable', held between mid-October and 5 November, involved the first complete rotation of the battlegroup's entire British Army armoured vehicle fleet since UK troops were deployed to Estonia in early 2017. This rotation also involved handing over the UK's eFP commitment from the King's Royal Hussars to the Queen's Royal Hussars.

The rotation involved moving 200 vehicles to Estonia from the United Kingdom by train via the Channel Tunnel and by Ministry of Defence-contracted roll-on/roll-off ships to the German port of Emden for onward movement by low loader. Dozens of other vehicles, including Challenger 2 main battle tanks, were also moved by rail from the UK vehicle depot at Ayrshire Barracks in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Other vehicles moved included FV432 armoured personnel carriers, Combat Vehicles Reconnaissance (Tracked), Stormer High Velocity Missile (HVM) air defence vehicles, and AS90 self-propelled howitzers.

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