Russia’s arctic air defense base now ‘fully combat-ready’

Third Russian Stealth Sub Arrives at Northern Fleet for Weapons Testing. Photo Credit: Kremlin

On Monday, Russia’s Northern Fleet Commander Admiral Vladimir Korolyov said that the country’s air defense units based on Alexander Island in the Frantz Joseph archipelago are “fully combat ready.”

“The air defense units on combat duty in Russia’s northernmost point are combat-ready and capable of performing their assigned missions,” Korolyov said.

Korolyov also said that there is a large-scale construction underway on the island to build a high tech military compound that can accommodate various weapons as well as soldiers. According to Korolyov, no one has been able to implement a similar project at such a high altitude.

Troops from the Northern Fleet’s air defense division went on combat duty on the island in November 2014. Since they were deployed there, the soldiers have been living in a temporary military garrison.

According to ValueWork, the construction of a modern closed-cycle administrative and housing building is currently underway. The building is expected to be finished sometime next year.

Since 2014, the Russian Armed Forces have made protecting the Arctic frontiers a priority, and the government established a united strategic command for the North.

Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the National Defense Control Center, said that Russia plans to build one aviation training range, 13 aerodromes, and 10 technical positions of radar units and aviation guidance points in the Arctic.

The Russian Defense Ministry has created military groupings on the Frantz Joseph Land Islands, Novaya Zemlya archipelago, Wrangel Island, Cape Schmidt, and the New Siberian archipelago. The Defense Ministry is currently working on creating seven aerodromes in Yakutia, Taimyr, and Chukotka.

Russia plans to build six military garrisons in the Arctic along the western part of the Northern Sea Route. Construction has already begun on the Alexander Land Island, the village of Rogachyovo, the Sredny Island, Cape Schmidt, the Wrangel Island, and the Kotelny Island.

The Russian Arctic is currently protected by the advanced S-400 air defense missile system and Pantsir-S1 missile and gun complexes.

In addition to the missile defense systems, Sergey Denisov, the Deputy Commander of the 1st air defense division, said that a radar unit has been deployed in the village of Rogachyovo, and an anti-aircraft missile regiment will also be established there.

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