Russian military capabilities in the Arctic

Russian military capabilities in the Arctic
With the development of the world economy Arctic zone is becoming increasingly important. In connection with this growing concern of regional countries and the security situation. Our homeland is planning to retain a major role in the Arctic, but the negotiations to defend their rights to marine areas, the continental shelf and natural resources is becoming increasingly difficult. Management of the country, declaring the Arctic «zone of peace», coupled with the fact wants to strengthen its military presence in areas of fundamental importance as the actual basis of the belief of the economy and national security.

Economy or security?

Geopolitical importance of the Arctic greatly increased, and in the main this is due to climate change, which offer the prospect of large-scale economic activity in the region. In this connection, it is possible aggravation of international rivalry for control of the Arctic resources and access to the region. This band stick to NATO countries, but a number of extra-regional countries such as China, Japan and South Korea tend to combine the principles of cooperation and confrontation, regardless of the specific situation.


Russian interests in the Arctic are concentrated in a few areas. In 1-x, it’s the economy, because the region accounts for about 11% of national income, with the ability to significantly increase this figure in the economic system of our country. In the arctic zone extract significant amounts of hydrocarbons and other necessary resources, has industrial potential is considered very promising and implementation of the Northern Sea Route — the shortest route between European and Far Eastern ports.
In-2, is security. In the Arctic, where the enterprises of the defense industry, the Northern Fleet bases and military infrastructure, in addition, the municipal boundaries of in over 20 thousand kilometers passes through the Arctic Ocean. Increasingly necessary, although less critical to national security, such as scientific and environmental interests. In 2006, was posted concept of sustainable development of the Arctic Zone Russian Federation, which has led to lengthy guidelines and principles of state policy in the region. Assumed a phased implementation of this document until 2015, and he foresaw providing a measured economic growth and the creation of criteria for solving environmental problems. In 2008, President Dmitry Medvedev approved «Fundamentals of State Policy in the Arctic Russian Federation for the period until 2020 and the subsequent term.» This document sets out the national interests, which emphasize the importance of the Arctic zone as a strategic resource base, as the introduction of the Northern Sea Route as a national unified transport communication. The purpose of the security software has been named a suitable operational mode, including the maintenance of proper combat potential.


Large walk

New initiatives of the Russian Federation in the Arctic got a practical embodiment, first, in the military field.

In late 2012, President Vladimir Putin said that the Northern Sea Route is more economical than the Suez Canal, which makes it very principle for our country. [6] Together with those in the Arctic region is now converging interests of many countries, including those outside the region, such as China, Japan, Brazil and India, and this leads Russia to act decisively to maintain control over the wider marine area, reaching the 1st million square km. With all this the head of the Russian state more than once observed that all disputes in the region should be solved by peaceful means, and the Arctic itself should become a «zone of peace.»


In 2013, at the International Forum «The Arctic — Territory of Dialogue» in Salekhard Putin said that Our motherland wants at times to increment the network of specially protected areas in the Arctic region, and ensure their safety there. In the north, produces more than 80% of Russian gas and more than 90% of nickel and cobalt, this area provides the formation of 12-15% of gross domestic product and about a quarter of Russian exports. «


In this regard, it is logical that the new initiatives of the Russian Federation in the Arctic is not confined to installation Artur Chilingarov titanium flag on the Lomonosov Ridge in 2007, and received a practical embodiment, first, in the military field. In August-September 2013 survey ship «Horizon» and seagoing tug MB-56 Northern Fleet made an expedition to the archipelago of Franz Josef Land to explore the situation. In the campaign was a detachment of special purpose submarine of the Northern Fleet of Zaozerska who was responsible for the security of the ship and the safety of the participants of the expedition.


In October 2013 a group of 10 warships under flagmanstvom nuclear cruiser «Peter the Great» and accompanied by the nuclear icebreakers «Yamal», «Vaygach», «50 Years of Victory» and «Taimyr» made the 2000 mile trek through the Barents Sea, Kara Sea Sea and the Laptev Sea, covered with ice. Connect came to the New Siberian Islands in the delta of the river Ellen, bringing the peninsula Boiler more than 40 pieces of equipment, large social and domestic units and more than one thousand tons of real assets, property and lubricants. The plan foresaw campaign and landing on the northernmost point of the island archipelago of Rudolf Franz Josef Land.


According to Deputy Minister of Defence Bakhina Arcadia, «the operation was part of a larger mission to the Northern Sea Route and the development of the Arctic zone.» As said Navy Commander Victor Chirkov, «expedition completed puzzles to collect disk imaging change navigation and hydrographic conditions, proof cards and sea sailing directions, meteorological observations, geodetic survey Fri archipelago, research abilities neledokolnyh navigation of ships in high latitudes.»


This operation is unique in many ways: the number of units involved, the passage of compounds difficult route, virtually inaccessible to other countries, shipping equipment and supplies to the remote database. Noteworthy that zabugornye expert circles abstained from optimal critical observations and limited facts of the case. Sensual attacks in the spirit of «restoration of gunboat diplomacy» only confirm the lack of reasonable arguments of our opponents.


Unsinkable aircraft carrier ice


Besides constant sea voyages in the Arctic region Our homeland start restoring force base «Temp» on the peninsula Boiler. This database will be upgraded with new technology that will allow to use all year round and in all weather criteria transport aircraft AN-26, AN-72, AN-74 and IL-76 perspective. Delivery of goods to the airfield «Temp» now produces mixed air group, which is based at the airfield Tiksi in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking at the Forum «The Arctic — Territory of Dialogue» in Salekhard, said that this «important airfield as a reference unit for transport infrastructure development in the Arctic. And, of course, science will serve as a base Arctic expeditions and research. «


In high latitudes will be used intensively ATVs, snowmobiles and swamp, also develop telemedicine to assist the military. In other words, all objects will build up for long term use with a very probable comfort.


Complete modernization of the runway (runway) at the airport-based dual «Rogachevo» («Anderma-2»), which is posted on the peninsula Goose Land. There will probably be deployed several squadrons of fighter-interceptor MiG-31. These interceptors will be part of a missile defense system and will protect the borders of of an air attack from the north, also produce a cover stationed on Earth The latest nuclear test site («Object 700»).


It is possible that in the coming years the military department will also restore the world’s northernmost ice airfield on the peninsula Graham Bell in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land. During Soviet times, it was the airfield jump for strategic bombers, the distance to the North Pole is 896 km. In the late 1980s, there were held doctrines associated with basing the MiG-31 aircraft that could intercept the U.S. for a long time before its likely approach to the central regions of the Russian Federation.


Our homeland as before relies on the Air Force as a fundamental element of a show of force. In 2007, for the first time after the collapse of the USSR Russian strategic bombers Tu-95MS did fly with the bases in the Arctic zone Engels. Noteworthy that in the late 1980s, the number of such flights a year sometimes more than 500, but now the resumption of Russian presence in the air caused a surge of emotions in Norway, Canada, England and the United States. But many military experts still have assured the government of their own states, that our homeland is not going to anyone «to attack from above», and uses aviation as a political tool to refer to their own interests.

Russian management wants to continue taken in 2008 on the rate constant naval presence in the Arctic.

Russian strategic aviation now has 63 turboprop bomber Tu-95MS and Tu-18 supersonic 160 for suitable action in the Arctic and 80 medium-range bombers Tu-22M3. To varying degrees, the operational readiness of the Air Force base located in Anadyr, Monchegorsk, deer, Tiksi and Vorkuta. Meanwhile, these bases are facing such severe neuvvyazkami as aging aircraft fleet, the missing amount of air tankers and complexity of delivery in the Arctic zone enormous amount of funds logistics.


Huge ships for large latitudes


Russian administration, apparently wants to continue taken in 2008 at a fixed rate of naval presence in the Arctic. It is possible that a nuclear-powered cruiser «Peter the Great» for 10 years may join three ships — «Admiral Lazarev», «Admiral Nakhimov» and «Admiral Ushakov». In the Northern Fleet is also the only Russian aircraft carrier «Admiral Kuznetsov», with all this, some experts attribute the ability of establishing air advantages in the region with a specific carrier-based aircraft.


Of course, Our homeland is facing difficulties in securing control over sea area in the Arctic zone. Fleet experiencing shortage in modern surface ships of class «frigate». And while there is commissioning eight frigates «Admiral Gorshkov» and 6 ships of the «Admiral Grigorovich,» it is not enough to enter the Russian presence in the level of high latitudes.


We should not forget that one of the important components of a containment strategy — nuclear potential of the Northern Fleet. In times of Russian submariners have learned to use the features of the Arctic waters for a concealed movement due to acoustic noise and ice masses, also conduct missile launches, punching the ice at the last moment, which also reduces the vulnerability of the boat. Such training is conducted now.


According to experts, in the case of constant presence in the Arctic nuclear submarines of the U.S. Navy and organize sea-based missile parts here may seem our ability to intercept ballistic missiles, which makes the likelihood of «preemptive strike.»


In this regard plays a huge role modernization Russian submarine nuclear capability. Since 2007 667BDRM boats equipped with new missiles «The Blue», which can carry up to 10 warheads and run under the ice, eventually submarine able to remain on duty until 2030. In January 2013, the Navy has entered a new nuclear submarine «Yury Dolgoruky» missile «Bulava», only until 2020 to build eight such ships for the Northern and Pacific fleets.


For the needs of the Northern Fleet in 2012 was created the Arctic Centre of logistical support, which is engaged in supply of ships, engineering units and mc, as service facilities, technical supply bases, warehouses for storage of fuel and other divisions in the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions. Tsentranaschityvaet personnel more than 15 thousand people. It is about 3 thousand soldiers and more than 12 thousand representatives of civilian personnel and military guard. The private daily activities they use more than 150 support ships of the Northern Fleet and about 1,200 cars and special vehicles.


Specific tasks

In view of the complex criterion scale military build unproductive, seems more effective strengthening controls over air, land and aqua seats, also placing units to deal with special problems.

Most of the Russian armed forces in the Arctic region — two brigades of infantry and Marine Brigade, stationed in the Murmansk region. Coupled with the fact «Fundamentals of State Policy in the Arctic Russian Federation for the period until 2020 and the subsequent term» divine strengthening coast guards and border control, as the company technical control over the straits, the mouths of rivers, estuaries throughout the Northern Sea Route. But due to difficult criterion scale military build unproductive, seems more effective strengthening controls over air, land and aqua seats, also placing units to deal with special problems.


Interestingly, in October 2013, the Special Forces troops destination Russian Armed Forces carried out a series of operations on the Kola Peninsula. According to Colonel Oleg Kochetkova, «special attention was paid to conduct combat operations in the Arctic criteria, including in mountainous terrain.» Servicemen practiced ability to survive in extreme conditions, camouflage and sniper war. Perhaps in the coming years in the Arctic region will deploy 2-solving teams to guard military facilities and infrastructure in the Northern Sea Route. Namely, in Pechenga 2016 will be located 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade, whose soldiers are trained in special «northern» program there. This team will be armed with military hardware and equipment for operations in the Arctic.
It is also planned to organize a constant patrolling by the Coast Guard places from Murmansk to Wrangel Island off the north coast of Chukotka. With all this attention will be given to the fight against non-military threats — drug trafficking, poaching, illegal migration, will be improved procedures municipal border crossing in the northern areas.

In addition, Our homeland will continue to do its obligations under the «Agreement on cooperation in the field of preparedness and response to oil pollution at sea in the Arctic» and «Agreement on cooperation in the field of aviation and maritime search and rescue.» For this purpose is often carried out to monitor the situation, including sea and air.

Another complex issue — training for work in the Arctic zone. Core Russian military presence in the Arctic — Northern Fleet warships will continue hiking with working set of measures of combat training in adverse weather criteria and research activities in virtually unexplored areas. One of the values ​​of the Russian Air Force — increasing presence in the Arctic zone of our country, which presupposes the crew training for action in complex criteria.

Russian Arctic is under close attention to foreign — aircraft, ships and submarines of the NATO states, representatives of various scientific organizations and NGOs intensively studied arctic places. As we strengthen our presence in the region similar activity will only grow.

Together with those for addressing the full range of tasks required to improve human resources in the field of maritime activity in the Arctic. Need training of staff to work on the shelf and in the oceans, as the scientific staff and teachers for high schools, professionals underwater technologies, LNG technology and many other areas. Now engaged in training Murmansk Municipal Technical Institute, Russian Municipal Institute of Oil and Gas named after Gubkin school and vocational training FSUE «Arcticmorneftegasrazvedka» [26]. Exciting project was the creation in 2001 of the Institute of Arctic united 136 educational and research institutions of the Russian Federation, Canada, Denmark, United States, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden. Scientific and educational cooperation in the training of civilian professionals may be another key to international economic integration in the region and serve to efficient use of its resources.


***


It’s no secret that the Russian Arctic is under close attention to foreign — aircraft, ships and submarines of the NATO states, representatives of various scientific organizations and NGOs intensively studied arctic places. As we strengthen our presence in the region similar activity will only grow because Russian ability to prevent disputes and eliminate possible threats should be fixed throughout the Northern Sea Route.


It must be emphasized that the Russian applets to modernize the armed forces and increase military presence in the Arctic region is not targeted against any country in the region, although such fear and there zabugornyh our partners.


So, Thorvald Stoltenberg, Norwegian politician says the need to strengthen military cooperation between Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Requested to do military groups to intervene in crisis situations and conduct permanent patrols air space Iceland. T. Stoltenberg sees fit to form a 2020 joint naval forces frisky response, icebreaking fleet, amphibious units, civilian defense forces, and kiberpodrazdeleny satellite constellation.


Grows and the number of military exercises in the Arctic zone of the role of foreign countries, with all this activity the U.S., Canada and Denmark even surpasses the level of activity during the cool war. Arctic countries rapidly modernizing its armed forces, including taking into account the probable solution of problems in the region. Situation is complicated by the lack of existing international security regimes in the Arctic, are also increasingly active behavior of non-regional countries that will support those players who will offer them the best conditions in the role of Arctic projects. Specifically because of the Russian Federation will take a leading role in the formation and classification of all the «Arctic subsystem of international relations,» using his own authority, and potential competitive advantages.


Cost and lead successful examples of cooperation in the military field. Thus, in 2011 and 2013 conducted joint naval exercises «Pomorie» (the first was held in 1994). During maneuvers increased attention paid to the fight against terrorism and maritime search and rescue activities disposition. Similar experience of cooperation Our homeland could be extended to all stakeholders, making the Arctic really «territory of cooperation.»

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