French Griffons and AMX-10s arrive in Estonia
On Thursday, the French Armed Forces' Griffon multi-role armored vehicles and AMX-10 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) arrived in Estonia for the first time, to take part in a six-month NATO training exercise involving 350 troops.
The 17 Griffons and three AMX-10s reached Tapa Army Base by rail as part of the continuing French representation within Estonia's NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (eFP BG) and will be used by the new 350-strong rotation of French troops.
The Griffon is a multi-role troop carrier, which has been deployed in combat missions around the world. The type, which have arrived in Estonia can travel at speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour and come equipped with 40-mm grenade launchers, laser warning systems, a 12.7-mm machine gun, and a range of protection systems. They have the capacity to carry up to ten soldiers plus their equipment.
The Griffon uses the SCORPION communications network, which allows real-time exchange of intelligence data via a digital link, meaning the vehicles can communicate with each other when they detect enemy fire and movement.
"Today, for the first time in Northern Europe, French forces deploy their best assets with the Griffon vehicle and SCORPION network combat system," said Lt. Col. Edouard Bros, national representative of the French Armed Forces in Estonia.
"We are proud to operate those new capabilities alongside our Estonian and British allies to show our commitment to the NATO eFP," Bros added.
The AMX-10 can travel at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour and has previously been deployed on missions in Africa and Afghanistan. France has previously provided AMX 10-RC armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine.
French and Danish troops have been in Estonia on a regular rotation since 2017.
However, following Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine last year, French troops stayed in Estonia and still remain in the country.
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Editor: Michael Cole