|Royal Armoured Corps|
Badge of the Royal Armoured Corps
|Active||1939 to present|
|Type||Army Armoured corps|
|Size||Currently: 3 armoured regiments|
3 armoured cavalry regiments
3 reconnaissance regiments
4 yeomanry regiments
|Equipment||Currently Challenger II, FV107 Scimitar|
The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) provides the armour capability of the British Army, with vehicles such as the Challenger 2 Tank and the Scimitar Reconnaissance Vehicle. It 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 fourteen regiments - ten regular and four Yeomanry.
|Arms of the British Army|
|Combat Support Arms|
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.
The Royal Armoured Corps is divided into regiments which operate main battle tanks (Armour), those in reconnaissance vehicles (Armoured Cavalry), and those in Weapons Mount vehicles (Light Cavalry). Of these, three regiments are designated Dragoon Guards, two as Hussars, one as Lancers and one as Dragoons. The remaining regiment is the Royal Tank Regiment. In the regular army, there are three armoured regiments, three armoured cavalry regiments and three light cavalry regiments. In the army reserve, there is one armoured regiment and three light cavalry regiments.
Being a corps, the RAC is made up of several independent regiments, but the corps does control few separate units which include:
1: For operational purposes, the Household Cavalry Regiment is considered to be part of the RAC and constitutes the third armoured reconnaissance regiment.
2: The Royal Tank Regiment retains a CBRN reconnaissance and survey squadron as part of its establishment
A system of pairing exists in the British Army of Regular to Reserve unit. Through this, operational and training cycles are aligned, resources shared and strategic depth enabled. In the Royal Armoured Corps this manifests with each yeomanry unit being paired with a regular unit of the same role.
|Regular Army||Army Reserve|
|1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards||Royal Yeomanry|
|Royal Scots Dragoon Guards||Scottish & North Irish Yeomanry|
|The Light Dragoons||Queen's Own Yeomanry|
|King's Royal Hussars||Royal Wessex Yeomanry1|
|Queen's Royal Hussars|
|Royal Tank Regiment|
1: The Royal Wessex Yeomanry provides replacement soldiers for armoured regiments, and therefore is paired with all three regular army units operating main battle tanks.
The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps is the single band representing the RAC, which falls under the administration of the Corps of Army Music. This was formed in 2014 by the amalgamation of the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band, and the Light Cavalry Band. The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps is stationed at Catterick.
The Royal Yeomanry also operates an Army Reserve Band, which, alongside the bands of the Household Division, and The Honourable Artillery Regimental Band, form the state bands.
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:
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, the Royal Lancers, 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 three 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 three 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 three 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 to 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:
(Land Rover WMIK)
|1st Armoured Infantry Brigade||7th Infantry Brigade|
|The Royal Tank Regiment||Household Cavalry Regiment||1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards||The Royal Yeomanry|
|12th Armoured Infantry Brigade||4th Infantry Brigade|
|The King's Royal Hussars|| The Royal Lancers|
(Queen Elizabeth's Own)
|The Light Dragoons||The Queen's Own Yeomanry|
|20th Armoured Infantry Brigade||51st Infantry Brigade|
| The Queen's Royal Hussars|
(Queen's Own and Royal Irish)
|The Royal Dragoon Guards|| The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards|
(Carabiniers and Greys)
|The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry|
| The Royal Wessex Yeomanry |
(MBT crew replacement)
Under a further review called "Army 2020 Refine", there will be a further change to the Royal Armoured Corps. The King's Royal Hussars will exchange its Challenger 2 tanks for Ajax (Scout SV) vehicles and with the Household Cavalry, form the first "Strike Brigade".
|Order of Precedence||Succeeded by|
Royal Regiment of Artillery
This unit is allied with the following:
Colonels Commandant were:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Armoured Corps .|
The 11th Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army established in 1715. It saw service for three centuries including the First World War and Second World War but then amalgamated with the 10th Royal Hussars to form the Royal Hussars in 1969.
The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is the oldest tank unit in the world, being formed by the British Army in 1916 during the First World War. Today, it is the armoured regiment of the British Army's 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade. Formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps, it is part of the Royal Armoured Corps.
The Royal Yeomanry (RY) is the senior reserve light cavalry regiment of the British Army. Equipped with Supacat Jackal variants and the Land Rover RWMIK, their role is to conduct mounted and dismounted formation reconnaissance. The Regimental Headquarters is located in Leicester, with squadrons in Fulham, Nottingham, Dudley, Croydon, Telford and Leicester.
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY) is a Reserve armoured regiment of the British Army Reserve consisting of five squadrons. Formerly part of 43 (Wessex) Brigade, the regiment joined 3rd (UK) Division in July 2014, to provide armoured resilience to the three armoured regiments within the Reaction Force. In 2015 the Regiment was moved from the Operational Command of 3rd (UK) Division to 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade, but members of the Regiment still wear the 3rd (UK) Division formation badge to reflect their role in supporting the three Armoured Regiments in the Division.
The Queen's Own Hussars, normally referred to by the abbreviation QOH, was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, formed from the amalgamation of the 3rd The King's Own Hussars and the 7th Queen's Own Hussars at Candahar Barracks, Tidworth in 1958. The regiment served in Aden and Northern Ireland and as part of the British Army of the Rhine. The regiment was amalgamated with the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars to form the Queen's Royal Hussars on 1 September 1993.
The 9th/12th Royal Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1960 by the amalgamation of the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers and the 12th Royal Lancers. In the later years of its existence, the regiment served as a formation reconnaissance regiment, equipped with the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family of vehicles and was attached to the 7th Armoured Brigade, the Desert Rats. The regiment was based in South Wigston, Leicestershire, along with its affiliated Territorial Army unit, The Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry, which formed B Squadron of The Royal Yeomanry. It was amalgamated with the Queen's Royal Lancers on 2 May 2015 to form the Royal Lancers
The Light Dragoons (LD) is a cavalry regiment in the British Army. The regiment is a light cavalry regiment with a history in the reconnaissance role which dates back to the early eighteenth century. It is currently based in Catterick Garrison North Yorkshire.
The 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. The regiment was formed by the amalgamation of the 15th The King's Hussars and the 19th Royal Hussars in 1922 and, after service in the Second World War, it was amalgamated with the 13th/18th Royal Hussars to form the Light Dragoons in 1992.
The Formation Reconnaissance Regiment is one of two organisations currently provided by cavalry regiments of the British Army. Until recently, it was known as the Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment.
The 13th/18th Royal Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed by the amalgamation of the 13th Hussars and the 18th Royal Hussars in 1922 and, after service in the Second World War, it amalgamated with the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars to form the Light Dragoons in 1992.
The 17th/21st Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed in England by the amalgamation of the 17th Lancers and the 21st Lancers in 1922 and, after service in the Second World War, it amalgamated with the 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers to form the Queen's Royal Lancers in 1993.
The 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed by the amalgamation of the 16th The Queen's Lancers and the 5th Royal Irish Lancers in 1922 and, after service in the Second World War and the Gulf War, amalgamated with the 17th/21st Lancers to form the Queen's Royal Lancers in 1993.
There are 13 Cavalry Regiments of the British Army each with its own unique cap badge, regimental traditions, and history. Of the currently 9 regular cavalry regiments; 2 serve as armoured regiments, 3 as armoured cavalry regiments, 3 as light cavalry and 1 as a mounted ceremonial regiment. There are also four yeomanry regiments of the Army Reserve, of these, 3 serve as light cavalry and 1 as an armoured regiment. Each yeomanry light cavalry unit has been paired with a regular unit of the same role, the armoured yeomanry unit is paired with the 2 regular armoured units. All except the Household Cavalry are part of the British Army's Royal Armoured Corps.
The 12th Royal Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army first formed in 1715. It saw service for three centuries, including the First World War and the Second World War. The regiment survived the immediate post-war reduction in forces, but was slated for reduction in the 1957 Defence White Paper, and was amalgamated with the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers to form the 9th/12th Royal Lancers in 1960.
The 4th Queen's Own Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1685. It saw service for three centuries, including the First World War and the Second World War. It amalgamated with the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, to form the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars in 1958.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry was a unit of the British Army formed in 1902. Units of Yeomanry Cavalry were raised in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the 18th and early 19th centuries at times of national emergency: the Jacobite Rising of 1745, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. These were stood down once each emergency was over. The East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry, was established in 1902, and this saw action during the First World War both in the mounted role and as machine gunners.
The Northamptonshire Yeomanry was a Yeomanry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1794 as volunteer cavalry. It served in the Second Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War before being reduced to squadron level in 1956. It ceased to have a separate existence in 1971.
Armoured reconnaissance is the combination of terrestrial reconnaissance with armoured warfare by soldiers using tanks and wheeled or tracked armoured reconnaissance vehicles. While the mission of reconnaissance is to gather intelligence about the enemy with the use of reconnaissance vehicles, armoured reconnaissance adds the ability to fight for information, and to have an effect on and to shape the enemy through the performance of traditional armoured tasks.
The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps is the British Army military band representing the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) in the Corps of Army Music. The band is stationed at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire. It consists of 35 full-time and professional musicians form a variety of ensembles that include a traditional marching band, a big band and a jazz band. The band supports military and civilian events within the United Kingdom and overseas. Since its formation, the band has performed areas such as Cyprus and the Falkland Islands as well as Afghanistan.