Fighters and bombers of the Russian Air Force took combat positions, from which the United States is within easy reach.
Danish intelligence using satellite imagery “calculated” another Russian threat – Moscow is hastily building another major military airfield in the Arctic. This time – on the island of Alexandra Land (part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago). According to these data, the new base will become for Russia “the cornerstone of the construction of the advanced defense line in the Arctic”. This was reported by the Norwegian television channel TV 2 Norge.
Of particular concern, according to the television channel, in NATO caused work to lengthen the existing runway from 2500 to 3500 meters. Which, according to experts, will make it possible to take military aircraft of all types on the archipelago. Including MiG-31 fighter-interceptors and even Tu-160 strategic bombers. Given the distance (only a thousand kilometers to the North Pole), Russian aviation will be able to quickly reach Northeast Greenland and attack Thule (the main US military base in Greenland) with long-range cruise missiles. Such “fears” are issued by Danish intelligence, analyzing the existing threats.
Concern about this was voiced in the words of Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Sulberg, who said that Russia is increasing its military power in the North, “it has become faster, more mobile, it has more equipment and capabilities.” Actually, nothing new was heard, even the names of the prime ministers got confused – either it would be the Nagurskoye base, or the Nagurskaya base (here the linguistic subtleties of the Russian language affected). It simply outlined the topic, not forgetting to add that Norway regularly reports to its NATO allies on the growth of the combat power of Russian weapons in the Arctic.
– Our task is to be the eyes and ears of the alliance in the north, – said Ms. Sulberg.
Something was overlooked by these “eyes and ears.” And the assumptions about the readiness for operation of the northernmost Russian military base beyond the 80-degree polar latitude by 2020 were somewhat late. Because it has long existed in a degree of complete readiness. The construction of the Arctic Shamrock administrative and housing complex, erected in the interests of developing the military infrastructure of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Arctic on the island of Alexandra Land on Franz Josef Land archipelago, has already been completed. With a high degree of probability, it can be argued that the mentioned extension of the runway is also close to completion. Now, next to the Nagurskoye border outpost, the air base of the same name created in 2014 by our United Strategic Command North is fully operational.
Back in 2017, the Free Press talked about the commissioning of the world’s northernmost military airfield, which will be able to receive almost all types of military transport aircraft year-round. Moreover, not only the type of IL-76 or IL-78 tankers, but also fighters and front-line bombers. Even then, an air commandant’s office, a radar company, an anti-aircraft missile battalion of the Pantsir-S1 air defense systems, and a military aviation guidance point were formed on Alexandra Land Island. Aircraft parking was equipped. Including – indoor heated hangars for the Su-34, which serve here as part of the duty forces. The storage of aviation weapons (bombs and missiles) is designed to deliver massive strikes against a potential enemy.
Now the capabilities of the base, which area is more than 14 thousand square meters, are really expanding significantly. The autonomy of the complex allows for a comfortable stay and performance of official tasks for a group of 150 people for a year and a half. Roads are dumped on the island, an onshore pumping station has been built and is functioning, which allows receiving fuel from tankers.
Here even the northernmost church in the world – St. Nicholas the Wondermaker – was erected. It is clear that the deployment of fighters and bombers at the air base is already a settled issue. This is now such an “Arctic City” – a habitable place with almost unlimited military capabilities.
In total, Russia is building ten military airfields in the Arctic. The construction program started back in 2014. Most of them, including on the island of Alexandra Land, are already ready for military use. Similar in the conditions of the Far North and permafrost no one in the world has yet been able to carry out. Only Russia. And thus it provided its northern frontiers with reliable protection from land, air and water.
The main air bases of Russian air forces are now located on Cape Schmidt, Wrangel Island, Kotelny Island, Franz Josef Land archipelago and in the territory of the Murmansk Region. Each of them has the ability to provide takeoff and landing of both heavy transport aircraft and fighter interceptors. First of all – such as the MiG-31, which are able to enter the stratosphere and destroy there both the aircraft of the probable enemy and missiles of various classes, up to ballistic ones. All airfields are all-weather and can accept various types of aircraft.
- Fighter aircraft are extremely important places of deployment in order to quickly fly to intercept the enemy, – says aviation expert Alexander Drobyshevsky.
- Even during the Great Patriotic War, the practice of “jumping airfields” was used when the field airfield was practically at the front line. In the North, with its thousands of kilometers, it is also very important to be able to fly to an interception from a closer distance. Do not waste precious time taking off, say, from Novosibirsk. And take to the air in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Then here any target attacking us from the Arctic direction will be within the reach of Russian fighter missiles.
There is substantial benefit in Arctic deployment and for strategic aviation. In principle, there is no reason for it to constantly be based there. But if necessary, “strategists” can be dispersed across all military airfields. Therefore, it is supposed that in peacetime in advance throughout the country to equip a dozen of the corresponding runways. And if necessary, make military sorties with them to the same USA. With the possibility of a return return, the distance is quite allowable.
In fact, now the very “jump airfields” are equipped in the Arctic, which will allow, if necessary, to fully control not only the Arctic sky within the borders of Russia, but also quickly achieve any goals in this part of the continent. The northern “web” with the use of aviation means of both defensive and offensive weapons now covers the entire Arctic coast of Russia.
Previously, we “closed” the North, mainly by means of anti-aircraft missile forces, which are now significantly strengthened by the deployment of a new air defense division. “Arctic” access for fighter aircraft has greatly increased this potential.
A new group of forces and means of the aerospace forces in the polar region is able to reliably cover both the industrial Urals and the capital region. This is not only about the construction of runways, it is planned to build all the necessary infrastructure. Namely – aviation guidance points, radars. Most importantly, all this is already in the current mode – the security system is already working.
It is worth noting that the construction of military airfields in the Arctic primarily concerns the issue of national security. This problem first appeared in the middle of the last century, when in the spring of 1949 American aviation intensified intelligence in the border airspace of the Soviet Union. US planes flew to our borders regularly. We studied how far they were detected by Soviet air defense locators. Then they turned around 180 degrees and left home. The Americans needed this information to develop a war plan with the USSR called Dropshot. During which it was supposed to drop 300 atomic bombs and 200 thousand conventional bombs on the objects of the Soviet Union. It was easiest to implement this plan from the North.
That is why since the beginning of the 50s in the USSR began the construction of an airfield network on the northern islands. The idea was fully realized only now, and on a more global scale.
The Arctic has been and remains the most important region for both economic development and maintaining the balance of nuclear deterrence forces. Now we can safely say that Russia has managed to completely secure this area.
And at this time.
According to the commander of the Northern Fleet, Vice Admiral Alexander Moiseev, Russia intends to dramatically increase the capabilities of its air defense in the Arctic region. This year, the anti-aircraft missile regiment of the air defense of the SF, deployed on the island of South Archipelago Novaya Zemlya, was completely re-equipped with new S-400 systems.
It is planned that in the coming years all our Arctic divisions will be equipped with such complexes, and in fact an anti-air dome will be created over the Russian part of the Arctic, – said the Vice Admiral.