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Some 100 allied tanks, armoured vehicles expected in Estonia by late April

At the Spring Storm 2017 exercise.
At the Spring Storm 2017 exercise. Source: Karl Johanson, Ardi Hallismaa, Kristjan Kurg

Including the Estonian Defence Forces' own resources as well as allied equipment currently in the area, there are currently some 300 tanks and armoured vehicles in Estonia, the Ministry of Defence told ERR.

As a result of measures taken as part of NATO's enhanced forward presence, there are currently some 300 armoured vehicles in Estonia, including 20 tanks of allied forces, ERR's Estonian online news wrote on Wednesday.

The total number also includes the 200 armoured vehicles of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF).

The French government announced on Tuesday that up to 300 French personnel will arrive in Tapa on 23 April as part of the FRA-EFP LYNX mission. This French contribution to the alliance's enhanced forward presence will also bring in five Leclerc-type tanks as well as a few dozen infantry fighting vehicles, or IFVs.

The French contingent is replacing the Belgian units currently serving with NATO's British-led battlegroup in Tapa. The British units include some 20 Challenger-2 tanks, some 30 Warrior-type IFVs and three AS-90 self-propelled artillery guns.

The allied units will participate in the EDF's annual Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) exercise, to start on 29 April this year. The exercise will be held in Estonia's Lääne-Viru and Ida-Viru counties and involve some 10,000 troops.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the presence of NATO allies in Estonia will be enhanced further this summer also on the Baltic Sea, where the Baltic Protector and Baltops navy exercises are to take place.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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