Royal Armoured Corps
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2013)|
|Royal Armoured Corps|
Badge of the Royal Armoured Corps
|Active||1939 to present|
|Type||Army Armoured Corps|
|Size||Currently 5 armoured regiments and 5 reconnaissance regiments|
|Equipment||Currently Challenger II, FV107 Scimitar|
The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) was created as a loose association of armoured regiments, both the Royal Tank Regiment and those converted from old horse cavalry regiments. Today it comprises ten regular regiments and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army. It provides the armour capability of the British Army, with vehicles such as the Challenger 2 Tank and the Scimitar Reconnaissance Vehicle.
- 1 History
- 2 Present day units (circa 2013)
- 3 Reorganisation
- 4 Order of precedence
- 5 Related units
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
|British Army arms and services|
|Royal Armoured Corps|
|Army Air Corps|
|Combat Support Arms|
|Royal Corps of Signals|
|Royal Army Chaplains Department|
|Royal Logistic Corps|
|Army Medical Services|
|Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers|
|Adjutant General's Corps|
|Small Arms School Corps|
|Royal Army Physical Training Corps|
|General Service Corps|
|Corps of Army Music|
The RAC was created on 4 April 1939, just before World War II started, by combining regiments from the cavalry of the line which had mechanised with the Royal Tank Corps (renamed Royal Tank Regiment). As the war went on and other regular cavalry and Territorial Army Yeomanry units became mechanised, the corps was enlarged. A significant number of infantry battalions also converted to the armoured role as RAC regiments. In addition, the RAC created its own training and support regiments. Finally, in 1944, the RAC absorbed the regiments of the Reconnaissance Corps.
Present day units (circa 2013)
The Royal Armoured Corps is divided into regiments which operate main battle tanks (armoured regiments) and those in reconnaissance vehicles (formation reconnaissance regiments). Of these, three regiments are designated Dragoon Guards, two as Hussars, two as Lancers and one as Dragoons. The remaining two are the two regiments of the Royal Tank Regiment. In the regular army, there are six armoured regiments and four formation reconnaissance regiments:
- Regular Army
- 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards - Formation Reconnaissance
- The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) - Armoured
- The Royal Dragoon Guards - Armoured
- The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) - Armoured
- 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) - Formation Reconnaissance
- The King's Royal Hussars - Armoured
- The Light Dragoons - Formation Reconnaissance
- The Queen's Royal Lancers - Formation Reconnaissance
- 1st Royal Tank Regiment - Armoured and training/demonstration
- 2nd Royal Tank Regiment - Armoured
The Household Cavalry Regiment (consisting of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals) is not part of the RAC; instead it is part of the Household Cavalry, which is classed as a corps in its own right. However, for operational purposes, the Household Cavalry Regiment is considered to be part of the RAC and constitutes the fifth formation reconnaissance regiment.
- Territorial Army
- Role Affiliations - The four TA regiments are affiliated to the regular army regiments by role:
- RY - SCOTS DG, QRL, RTR
- R WX Y - RDG, KRH, RTR
- RMLY - QRH, RTR
- QOY - HCR, QDG, 9/12 L, LD
Regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps are based in the UK and Germany:
- Tidworth - Kings Royal Hussars 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (Armoured)
- Catterick - The Royal Dragoon Guards (Armoured); Queen's Royal Lancers (Formation Reconnaissance)
- Windsor - Household Cavalry Regiment (Formation Reconnaissance)
- Swanton Morley - Light Dragoons (Formation Reconnaissance)
- Honington - 1st Royal Tank Regiment (Armoured)
- Fallingbostel - The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (Armoured)
- Sennelager - The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (Armoured)
- Sennelager - 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (Formation Reconnaissance)
- Hohne - 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) (Formation Reconnaissance)
The Corps of Army Music is responsible for administration and training of the two RAC bands:
- The Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band - represents the constituent regiments of The Royal Dragoon Guards, Queens Dragoon Guards, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Royal Tank Regiments, and was formed in 2006 by the amalgamation of the Band of the Dragoon Guards and the Royal Tank Regiment Cambrai Band.
- The Light Cavalry Band - this band represents the regiments of Light Dragoons (classed as hussars), Kings Royal Hussars, Queens Royal Hussars, Queens Royal Lancers and 9th/12th Lancers, and was formed in 2006 by the amalgamation of the Band of the Hussars and Light Dragoons and the Band of the Royal Lancers.
- In addition, there is a TA band within the RAC, the Regimental Band (Inns of Court and City Yeomanry) of the Royal Yeomanry.
In 1992 BSM WO2 (Spike) Wilkins was appointed as Band Sergeant Major of Kneller Hall. Royal Military School of Music, after 19 years serveice in the Cambrai Staff Band, Royal Tank Regiment.
Delivering Security in a Changing World (2004)
The reorganisation of the Army announced in 2004 led to significant changes to the Royal Armoured Corps. Reorganisation that began in 2003 would see three armoured regiments removed from Germany to the UK, with one re-roled as an FR regiment. In addition, three Challenger 2 squadrons will be converted to Interim Medium Armour Squadrons, while each FR regiment will gain a Command and Support Squadron.
As part of the reorganisation, postings will be realigned:
UK based regiments
- Catterick: Armoured Regiment (RDG) (4th Mechanised Brigade), Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (QRL) (4th Mechanized Brigade)
- Tidworth: 2 x Armoured Regiment (2RTR, KRH), (1st Mechanized Brigade, 12th Mechanized Brigade,)
- Windsor: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (HCR) (Theatre Troops)
- Swanton Morley: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (LD) (Theatre Troops)
- Warminster: Training/Demonstration squadron (A Squadron, 1RTR)
- Honington: Armoured Regiment (1RTR)
- Bovington: HQ RAC
Germany based regiments
- Bad Fallingbostel: Armoured Regiment (SCOTS DG) (7 Armoured Brigade)
- Sennelager: Armoured Regiment (QRH), Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (QDG) (20 Armoured Brigade)
- Hohne: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (9/12L) (7 Armoured Brigade)
Strategic Defence and Security Review (2010)/Army 2020
In 2012, following the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2010, specific proposals about the make up of the future British Army were announced under the title Army 2020. These proposals were intended to reduce the size of the army to around 82,000. The Royal Armoured Corps was to be reduced by a total of two regiments, with the 9th/12th Royal Lancers amalgamated with the Queen's Royal Lancers to form a single lancer regiment, and the 1st and 2nd Royal Tank Regiments joined to form a single Royal Tank Regiment.
The Royal Armoured Corps will also see a shift with one third of its regiments operating as armoured regiments with main battle tanks, another third as formation reconnaissance regiments and a final third as light cavalry using Jackal vehicles. Armoured regiments would consist of Type 56 regiments, each with 3 Sabre Squadrons (comprising 18 Challenger 2 Tanks each) and a command and recce squadron. Armoured Cavalry or formation reconnaissance regiments would also have a command and recce squadron and 3 Sabre Squadrons; which will initially be equipped with Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), and then with Future Rapid Effect System Scout vehicles. Jackal regiments will be part of the Adaptable Force, comprising 3 Sabre Squadrons (each with 16 vehicles). These regiments will be paired with a Yeomanry regiment.
The new structure of the Reaction Force will see three armoured regiments, each assigned to a new "Armoured Infantry Brigade", alongside a formation reconnaissance regiment (renamed as "armoured cavalry"), two armoured infantry battalions and a heavy protected mobility battalion. These six regiments will fall operationally under what will become known as the "reaction forces", which will be the army's high readiness force. The remaining three regiments will be located with the remainder of the regular army under what has been term the "adaptable forces", which will provide a pool of resources to back up operations conducted by the "reaction forces".
This new basing plan on 5 March 2013 gave an overview of where the regiments will be based. All RAC regiments will be UK based, with the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards moving to Swanton Morley, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards moving the Leuchars area, the Queen’s Royal Hussars to Tidworth, the Royal Lancers settling in Catterick, the Light Dragoons in Catterick, and the Royal Tank Regiment to Tidworth. The expected Army 2020 layout for the RAC is to be:
- Armoured Regiments (Type 56 Challenger 2 Regiments)
- Armoured Cavalry (Scimitar CVRT then FRES SV Scout)
- Light Cavalry (Jackal-mounted)
- Army Reserve
- The Royal Wessex Yeomanry - MBT crew replacement for any of the Armoured Regiments (Challenger 2 Tank)
- The Royal Yeomanry - Light Cavalry, paired with 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards
- The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry - renamed as The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, Light Cavalry, paired with the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards
- The Queen's Own Yeomanry - - Light Cavalry, paired with the Light Dragoons
The Royal Yeomanry, The RMLY and the Queen's Own Yeomanry will be armed with Refurbished Weapons Mounted Integrated Kit (RWMIK) vehicles.
Order of precedence
|Order of Precedence||Succeeded by
Royal Regiment of Artillery
This unit is allied with the following:
- Kor Armor Diraja (Royal Armoured Corps) - Malaysia
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Armoured Corps.|
- Forty p. 63.
- The Royal Tank Regiment [UK]
- Royal Armoured Corps [UK]
- Forty pp. 50–1
- "Regular Army Basing Announcement". AFF. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/Army2020_Report.pdf page 24