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About the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC)
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.
History of the Royal Armoured Corps
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.
Regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps
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 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:
- 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 – NBC and training/demonstration
- 2nd Royal Tank Regiment – Armoured
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 Royal Yeomanry – CBRN Reconnaissance
- The Royal Wessex Yeomanry – MBT crew replacement
- The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry – MBT crew replacement
- The Queen’s Own Yeomanry – Formation Reconnaissance
Regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps are deployed primarily in the UK and Germany