The source says there are many reasons not to transfer aircraft from the main land to the remote archipelago of Novaya Zemlya. The Russian Air Force only has about 100 MiG-31 planes, and many of them are in poor technical conditions and need major repairs and modernization. The airport of Rogachevo is in no condition to secure safe take-off and landing for fully loaded MiG-31 aircraft, which weigh 46-47 tons with full fuel tanks and armament. The radar-location system on the island is not good enough and will need supplementation by other planes.
The last reason why it is not a good idea to base a group of jet fighters on Novaya Zemlya is the social strain on personnel. Officers are reluctant to bring their families to live at such remote bases, and would probably prefer to quit the job instead of having to move to 71° north.
Ex-commander of the Air Force Vladimir Mikhaylov says that it is too early to talk about a base of jet fighters in the Arctic:
- In the current situation we don’t need any base there. First we have to deal with all the problems on the main land, and only then, when we are “tougher”, we will move on to Novaya Zemlya, he says to Izvestiya.
He underlines that if it should come to a situation in the Arctic the Russian Air Force can form an aviation group in short time. - The air force is a very mobile branch of the Armed Forces, so there is no reason to worry, Mikhaylov said.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
People participating in culture-, sport and Barents cooperation projects can from October apply for visa to Norway without paying a single ruble, says Marit Egholm Jacobsen with the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk.