First batch of British troops' equipment arrived in Estonia on Wednesday

The first batch of heavy equipment of British troops to be stationed in Estonia as part of a NATO battle group arrived here on Wednesday.

A ship carrying more than 130 units of equipment including British Challenger tanks as well as infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) Warrior and various support vehicles arrived at the South Port of Paldiski on Wednesday morning, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.

The 1,200-strong NATO battle group to be deployed to Estonia this spring will be equipped with both British and French tanks and IFVs, as well as British self-propelled guns.

Close to 130 British soldiers, part of the NATO contingent, arrived in Estonia last Friday. Prior to their arrival, 80 troops from the UK had started service in Estonia to prepare for the arrival of the personnel and equipment of the NATO battle group in cooperation with members of the Estonian defense forces.

The first 50 members of the battle group's French contingent arrived in Estonia on Monday. French troops will serve in the group for the next eight months after which they will be replaced by Danish military. The remainder of the allied troops as well as their equipment is to arrive here in the coming weeks.

The NATO contingent to be stationed in Estonia will be led by the UK and supported by France and Denmark.