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Ukraine conflict: British Army deploys tank-heavy EFP battlegroup to Estonia

The transfer of authority of the UK-led NATO EFP contingent between the incoming KRH Battlegroup and the outgoing Royal Welsh Battlegroup took place in Tapa, Estonia, on 21 September. (UK MoD/Crown copyright)

The British Army has deployed a tank-heavy battlegroup to Estonia, completing the restructuring of the UK-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) contingent in the Baltic state.

The King's Royal Hussars (KRH) Battlegroup was deployed to Tapa in Estonia, relieving the armoured infantry battlegroup of 1st Battalion, the Royal Welsh regiment, on 21 September.

The KRH has been deployed with two squadrons of Challenger 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) and an anti-tank company from the 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, which is equipped with Mastiff mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles and Javelin anti-tank missiles, the British Army announced on its website on 23 September. The NATO contingent is rounded out by a squadron of Danish Leopard 2A7 MBTs and a French mountain infantry company with Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé (VAB) armoured vehicles.

Since 2017 the UK has rotated an armoured infantry battlegroup, based around a squadron of Challenger 2s and an armoured infantry company in Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, through Tapa. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UK deployed an additional armoured infantry battlegroup to Estonia in March.

This began to evolve in June, when one of these two battlegroups was replaced by a dismounted infantry unit, dubbed the Agile Task Force, for a six-month tour of duty. This comprised the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, augmented by towed 105 mm Light Guns for fire support.

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