Fleet Head Commander Vladimir Korolyov this week inspected personnel and equipment ahead of a major shipment to the new far Arctic islands. The new base be a permanent year-round installation, which is to protect offshore oil and gas resources in the area and keep an eye on the growing number of ships sailing along the Northern Sea Route.
According to Korolyov, the tactical group now established in the area will be equipped with missile systems, including anti-aircraft defence, a radiotechnical unit, as well as a material and technical supply unit, the Ministry of Defence informs.
As previously reported, the Russian Northern Fleet late 2013 took major efforts in the reopening of the Temp airfield at Kotelny, one of the main islands at the archipelago. Three Navy vessels, including the “Petr Veliky” missile cruiser, as well as seven support vessels and four nuclear-powered icebreakers, were involved in the operations. The operation included the moving of more than ten housing modules on shore.
In March this year, a total of 350 paratroopers from the 98th Paratroopers Division in Ivanovo were dropped over the island.
The Island of Kotelny in the period 1933-1993 housed a research station and military base. Significant volumes of abandoned military equipment and metal scrap is covering major parts of the island. Reportedly there is a total of more than 60 thousand rusting oil barrels left on site.
Commenting on the role of the Arctic, President Putin last week stressed the importance of the region saying that it has ”cosmic reserves of natural resources”. He also highlighted the need for enhanced national security engagements in the region. ”Unfortunately, U.S. attack submarines are concentrated there, not far from the Norwegian coast, with missiles which can reach Moscow in 15-16 minuntes”, a transcript reads.