Britain's Royal Artillery engages in live-firing exercises in Estonia

The United Kingdom's Royal Regiment of Artillery has been conducting live firing exercises at Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) central training area, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Tuesday.

MLRS battery commander Maj. Simon Phillips told AK that the weapon: "Can fire beyond 70km and has an extreme accuracy, so it will fire within five meters of the grid that you give it to, so a very long-range and very accurate weapon system."

The exercise was necessarily short-range in nature, though MLRS has a maximum range of several hundred kilometers.

Other weapons the Gunners were using on exercise included the 155mm AS-90 self-propelled gun (see gallery above).

A battery of AS-90s has been in Estonia for eight weeks already, and were conducting their first live-firing exercise here.

The three-day exercise sees 80 rounds fire per weapon, per day.

The AS-90 has a range of 25-30km, depending on the ammunition used, AK reported.

Battery commander Maj. James Hudson told AK that, given its mobile nature the battery does not remain in the same location for any length of time: "As little time as possible," he said.

"We're very conscious of our survivability, so a very low number of minutes per gun position," he went on.

British Army units in Estonia including those which make up the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based at Tapa will next be preparing for winter exercises as well as for the annual large-scale Spring Storm exercise for next year.

Personnel will also be acting in an advisory role to the EDF on the estbalishment of a planned division-level NATO HQ, AK reported; British helicopters will also be taking part.

eFP commander Col. Dai Bevan told AK that this will: "With Winter Camp, with the Chinook force coming out to support that, and then the one-star brigadier will be arriving in April 2023, along with additional staff, to come and help advise on the Estonian divisional headquarters."

"As we look further into the summer with Exercise Spring Storm, then the UK will be surging further assets to come," Col. Bevan continued.

The Royal Artillery have been using the US-built M270 MLRS since the late 1980s.

The artillery pieces used in Tuesday's exercise lingered longer in their positions, for the benefit of the media, than they normally would do.

The original AK segment in Estonian and English is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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