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Royal Armoured Corps
Royal20Armd20Corps.gif
Badge of the Royal Armoured Corps
Active 1939 to present
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Corps
Role Armoured
Size 5 armoured regiments and 5 reconnaissance regiments
Equipment Challenger II, FV107 Scimitar

The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry 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.

Contents

History

British Army Arms and Services
Flag of the British Army.svg
Combat Arms
Royal Armoured Corps
Infantry
Army Air Corps
Combat Support Arms
Royal Artillery
Royal Engineers
Royal Corps of Signals
Intelligence Corps
Combat Services
Royal Army Chaplains Department
Royal Logistic Corps
Army Medical Services
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Adjutant General's Corps
Small Arms School Corps
Army Physical Training Corps
General Service Corps
Corps of Army Music
Recruiting areas of the regular army regiments

The RAC was created on 4 April 1939, just before World War II started, by combining the cavalry wing (cavalry units that had mechanised), and the Royal Tank Corps (which was thereupon renamed the Royal Tank Regiment within the new corps). As the war went on, many other units became mechanised and joined this corps. In 1944, the RAC absorbed the Reconnaissance Corps.

The regiments (like the Royal Tank Regiments, battalion-sized) of the RAC during the war were numbered in the range from 1 to 200. These included training regiments and battalions of infantry converted. For example the 5th Bn of the Gordon Highlanders became the 116th Regiment RAC

Units

The Royal Armoured Corps is divided into those regiments that operate main battle tanks (armoured regiments) and those that operate reconnaissance tanks (formation reconnaissance regiments). Of these, three regiments are designated as Dragoon Guards, two as Hussars, two as Lancers and one as Light Dragoons. The remaining two are the two regiments of the Royal Tank Regiment. In the regular army there are five armoured regiments and five formation reconnaissance regiments:

The 1st Royal Tank Regiment forms approximately two thirds of the regular establishment of the Joint CBRN Regiment.

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.

The RAC armoured regiments are supported by 32 Armoured Engineer Regiment (Royal Engineers) which operates tank based AVRE and AVLB equipement.

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Deployments

Regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps are deployed primarily in the UK and Germany:

UK regiments

Overseas regiments

Armoured regiments:

Formation reconnaissance regiments:

Bands

The Corps of Army Music is responsible for the administration and training of the two RAC bands:

  • The Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band - this band represents the regiments of The Royal Dragoon Guards, Queens Dragoon Guards, 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.

Reorganisation

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.

Future deployments

As part of the reorganisation, postings will be realigned:

UK regiments

  • Catterick: Armoured Regiment (RDG) (4th Mechanised Brigade), Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (QRL) (19th Light Brigade)
  • Tidworth: 2 x Armoured Regiment (2RTR, KRH), Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (QDG) (1st Mechanised Brigade, 12th Mechanised Brigade, 3rd Mechanised Division)
  • Windsor: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (HCR) (Theatre Troops)
  • Swanton Morley: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (LD) (Theatre Troops)
  • Warminster: 2 x squadrons (1RTR)
  • Honington: JCBRN Regiment (1RTR)
  • Bovington: HQ RAC

Overseas regiments

Order of Precedence

Preceded by:
Household Cavalry
Order of Precedence Succeeded by:
Royal Regiment of Artillery

Related units

This unit is allied with the following:

See also

Notes and references

External links


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