British Army to deploy four helicopters to Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

British Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx Wildcat AH1 helicopter.
British Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx Wildcat AH1 helicopter. Source: (British Ministry of Defence)

Four British Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx Wildcat AH1 battlefield reconnaissance helicopters are to be deployed to Estonia next month.

Four British Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx Wildcat AH1 battlefield reconnaissance helicopters are to deploy to Estonia in April on the type's first operational mission, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly reported, citing a British Army announcement from March 1.

The helicopters, based out of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Somerset, are to spend four months supporting the NATO battle group serving at Tapa Army Base, the core of which is made up of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh battle group. The helicopters are tasked with supporting the training of the battle group and members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), and are also to participate in NATO's Saber Strike exercise.

The helicopters will be located at Ämari Air Base, Air Force spokespeople said.

According to Commander of the No. 661 Squadron Maj. Alex Rivett, they learned last fall that they would be deploying to Estonia, which has meant a lot to do in a relatively short period of time.

"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,” Rivett said.

The four Wildcats will come from the No. 661 Squadron of the AAC; No. 659 Squadron AAC will also deploy to Estonia in April for another four-month tour as parrt of an ongoing commitent to the Baltic country.

The Lynx Wildcat AH1, a multifunctional helicopter produced by the company Leonardo, can fulfill both battlefield and reconnaissance tasks. ts crew includes two pilots, and its maximum speed and range are 311 kilometers and 777 kilometers, respectively.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS



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