Weapons and Kit

Why Cold War Skills Are Making A Comeback In The Army

Ground-based air defence specialists 16 Regiment Royal Artillery must be ready to deploy anywhere when needed.

On a Norfolk training area, soldiers lie in wait for the enemy, using skills and capabilities deployed during the Cold War.

Ground-based air defence specialists 16 Regiment Royal Artillery have been training to ensure that they can be deployed anywhere needed with their heavy weaponry.

"Cam and concealment is the biggest thing, it will give your position away if it's not carried out correctly," says Bombardier Danny Whitham.

The techniques used mean being concealed electronically and making sure radar and communications remain undetected by the enemy.

STANTA weapons

"It's all about manoeuvre," says Major Rob Deane, Battery Commander, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery.

"Gone are the days of us being static on a location defending it for weeks on end.

"We need to be able to be in position and move within 36, 48 hours to constantly keep the enemy guessing as to where we are."

Maj Deane says the training is "hugely relevant": "With a resurgent Russia, they have a significant air capability and it's right that NATO, and us being part of NATO that we are ready."

During the years of counter insurgency and desert warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan heavy armour fell out of favour, but in Norfolk is it back in style.

STANTA weapons

However, taking on a sophisticated enemy means upgrading ageing technology.

Sky Sabre is the new missile system which will take over from Rapier.

First unveiled in February, the system is due to enter service from 2020 and is designed to be able to strike an enemy target from beyond visual range.

The capability could make a difference to the regiment’s key tasking in the Falkland Islands and the wider range of taskings where they may be needed in the future.