For the first time, 17 Griffon armoured vehicles and three 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-based NATO battlegroup and will be utilised by the new rotation of 350 French Foreign Legionnaires, the battlegroup said in a statement.
“Today, for the first time in Northern Europe, French forces deploy their best assets with the Griffon vehicle and Scorpion network combat system,” the national representative of French forces in Estonia, Lieutenant Colonel Edouard Bros, said.
The Griffon armoured personnel carrier is developed and produced by the French government-owned weapons manufacturer Nexter and entered in the operational service in 2019. It is used by infantry, engineers, and anti-tank troops.
This latest version of the Griffon can move up to 110 kilometres (68 miles) per hour and has a 40mm Grenade launcher, laser warning receivers, a 50-calibre machine gun, air and drone, CBRN, counter IED defence systems and it can carry 10 soldiers with all their equipment.
The Griffon uses the Scorpion network – a system that allows a live intelligence exchange through digital interface meaning the vehicles communicate with each other when they detect enemy fire and movement.
Additionally, the three AMX-10 tanks can travel up to 70 kilometres (43 miles) per hour and have been previously deployed in Africa and Afghanistan. France has already provided AMX 10-RC to Ukrainian forces. The vehicles consist of a 105mm cannon, a six-wheel propulsion and two 7.62mm machine guns.
The NATO battlegroup in Estonia is led by the United Kingdom and has approximately 1,500 troops. In addition to the British and French, Danish and Icelandic troops also serve in the battlegroup.