The UK Ministry of Defence is set to loan four Jackal armoured vehicles to the Estonian Armed Forces (EAF).

The weapons-mounted 4×4 vehicles will increase the capability of Estonian troops deployed to Mali to fight against Islamic terrorism in the region of Sahel, Africa.

The British Army will also provide three-week training to Estonian drivers and crews. The course at Robertson Barracks in Norfolk will familiarise them on how to operate the vehicles.

Using Jackal vehicles, Estonian soldiers will be able to traverse the adverse terrain in Sahel.

The vehicle with its air-bag suspension system allows rapid movement in the rough terrain.

Estonian presence will assist the UK’s contribution to counter-terrorism and eliminate illegal migration routes into Europe.

The Jackals are expected to be loaned to Estonia until March next year.

Previously, the UK extensively used the Jackal vehicle while deployed in Afghanistan.

The high-mobility weapons system has been designed to protect personnel against roadside explosion, mine attacks and a gun-ring with 360° sweep for observation.

Armed with a machine gun, the vehicle is also capable of carrying a heavy machine gun or a grenade machine gun according to mission requirements.

UK Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “Having served with the Estonians in Afghanistan, I’ve seen first-hand the excellence of their armed forces and the depth of the friendship between our two nations.

“With the Jackal 2 the EAF will be equipped with a proven, battle-winning vehicle as they join the international effort to tackle terrorism.”

In June 2010, a Supacat-Babcock alliance delivered more than 140 additional Jackal to the UK in support of operations in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the UK awaits the delivery of Coyote armoured reconnaissance vehicles.