The British Army’s new Apache AH-64E attack helicopter has taken its first outing 26102022 CREDIT MOD Crown Copyright
UK Apache helicopters to support the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup in Estonia (Picture: MOD).
Estonia

UK Apaches and Chinooks to deploy to Estonia to bolster defence co-operation

The British Army’s new Apache AH-64E attack helicopter has taken its first outing 26102022 CREDIT MOD Crown Copyright
UK Apache helicopters to support the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup in Estonia (Picture: MOD).

The UK will deploy Apache and Chinooks to Estonia as part of a commitment made at the Nato Summit in Madrid earlier this year, to bolster defence co-operation in the region.

Ben Wallace met Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur in London, where they agreed on a roadmap to see a more capable UK presence in Estonia, to deter Russian aggression and defend European and Nato security.

The UK's Defence Secretary said: "The deployment of assets such as Apache and Chinook helicopters to exercise in Estonia is a clear example of the strength of our relationship, and the importance we place on our ability to effectively operate side by side."

The UK will also support the development of Estonia's warfighting division and provide a brigadier to lead the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup from April 2023.

Watch: UK troops help Estonia prepare for Russia advance.

This deployment will be enhanced with divisional-level assets such as short-range air defence and multiple rocket launch systems in the country.

These will be further augmented with periodic deployments of additional capabilities, beginning in January 2023, when Chinook helicopters will deploy.

A brigade-sized force will also be held at high readiness in the UK, ready to reinforce Estonia and the Baltics if needed.

RAF Chinook from RAF Odiham supports enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic region 170722 CREDIT RAF
RAF Chinooks are to be deployed to Estonia in support of the UK-led Nato enhanced Forward Presence (Picture: RAF).

These forces will regularly exercise in Estonia and the first exercise, Spring Storm, is planned for May 2023.

Estonia is supporting these plans by building four additional accommodation halls and other necessary support facilities at Tapa Camp.

Separately, the UK will be providing Baltic Air Policing in Estonia from March to July 2023 using Typhoon aircraft and will continue to contribute to NATO maritime patrols in the Baltics.

Estonia and the UK are both part of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), a group of 10, mostly Nordic countries, who work together to maintain the security of Northern Europe.