French armored carriers, wheeled tanks arrive in Estonia

  • 2023-03-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Seventeen Griffon armored vehicles and three AMX-10 wheeled tanks, to be used by the French units stationed in Estonia during the next six months, have arrived in Tapa, Estonia, military spokespeople said on Thursday.

For the first time, Griffon armored vehicles and AMX-10 wheeled tanks have deployed to Estonia to train with NATO allies for six months. The French assets arrived in Tapa by railway this week as part of the continuing French detachment within Estonia's NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup and will be utilized by the new rotation of 350 French Foreign Legionnaires.

Presenting new and crucial training opportunities with the Estonian and UK forces, the Griffon armored personnel carrier has been combat proven on various missions around the world and has been used by infantry, engineers, and anti-tank troops.

The national representative of French forces in Estonia, Lt. Col. Edouard Bros, said that for the first time in Northern Europe, French forces deploy their best assets with the Griffon vehicle and the Scorpion network combat system.

"We are proud to operate those new capabilities alongside our Estonian and British allies to show our commitment to the NATO eFP," he said.

This latest version of the Griffon can move at speeds of up to 110 kmh and is armed with a 40 mm grenade launcher, a 12.7 mm machine gun, laser warning receivers, air and drone, CBRN and counter IED defense systems. It can carry up to 10 soldiers with all their equipment.

The Griffon uses the Scorpion network, a system allowing a live intelligence exchange through digital interface, meaning that the vehicles communicate with each other when they detect enemy fire and movement.

The AMX-10 tank, which has been previously deployed in Africa and Afghanistan, can move at speeds of up to 70 kmh, has six-wheel propulsion and is armed with a 105 mm cannon and two 7.62 mm machine guns. France has already provided AMX 10-RCs to Ukrainian forces.