Sergey Shoigu builds the most useless airfield in the country on Franz Josef Land

Airfields in the Arctic cost billions of rubles.
Origin source
Danish intelligence using space satellites discovered a large military airfield in the Arctic. It is reported that construction is underway on the island of Alexandra Land, which is part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. The new airfield will become one of the most northern, most expensive and possibly useless military facilities in the world.

According to Russian military sources, the construction of this airfield has been ongoing since 2017. Its infrastructure will allow year-round reception of almost all types of military aircraft. A year ago, an air commandant’s office, a radar company, an anti-aircraft missile battalion of the Pantsir-C1 air defense systems, a military aviation guidance point were set up here, as well as aircraft parking lots, including indoor heated hangars for the Su-34, which serve here in personnel on duty. In addition, a storage facility for aircraft bombs and missiles was built, designed to deliver massive strikes against a potential enemy.

At the airfields!

Particularly noteworthy are the work on lengthening the already existing runway from 2,500 to 3,500 meters. Initially, it was reported that this airfield was designed to provide for the landing of cargo IL-76 and IL-78 tankers, as well as front-line aircraft, - the new strip will allow receiving all types of combat aircraft, including MiG-31 fighter interceptors, which today removed from storage, modernized and entered service with aviation units of the Northern Fleet. This type of aircraft is capable of developing tremendous speeds, entering the stratosphere and destroying there both aircraft of a probable enemy and missiles of various classes, up to ballistic ones. At the same time, apparently, a so-called jump airfield is being created for strategic Tu-160 bombers. Thus, from the new airfield, airplanes will be able to quickly get to northeastern Greenland and use long-range cruise missiles to attack, for example, the main US military base in Greenland - Tula.

Russia has been increasing its military presence in the Arctic over the past 10 years. In December 2014, the Northern Fleet combined strategic command was established with a base in Severomorsk. This year, his status was increased to a military district and it received under its control the territories and military units allocated from the Western military district. Then the Arctic group was strengthened by troops of the Central and Eastern military districts located in the Arctic.
At the same time, a program was launched to build military airfields. In total, 10 air force bases of the aerospace forces are being restored and rebuilt in the Arctic. The main objects are 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. Most of them, including those located on the island of Alexandra Land, are already ready for military use. All airfields are all-weather and can accept various types of aircraft.

The military declares that the new VKS group in the Arctic region will cover the industrial Urals and Central Russia. It is alleged that fighter aircraft are extremely important these places of deployment, allowing you to quickly fly to intercept the enemy. And in the North, with its vast desert expanses of thousands of kilometers, it is especially necessary to be able to fly to intercept from a closer distance. Now the enemy, attacking from the Arctic, will be within the reach of Russian fighter missiles.

Phantom menace

True, it is not yet clear what goals Russian fighters will find for themselves in these latitudes - by and large, all this infrastructure is created for hypothetical tasks. Therefore, it is unclear whether it makes sense to wait for the attack, which is unlikely, and to keep dozens of aircraft in this direction, containing insanely expensive infrastructure.

Arctic aerodromes can, in principle, bring some benefit to strategic aviation. It is a plus that the generals came to the conclusion that there is no sense in constantly deploying strategic aircraft in the North. Airfields are created so that, if necessary, “strategists” can be dispersed, for which, in peacetime, appropriate runways are prepared in advance, and if necessary, make military sorties with them in the direction of the United States. Although, in general, there is a less expensive way to do this - for example, tankers that increase the range of bombers. But now they are sorely lacking.

Now a powerful infrastructure is being created to service these airfields. Recall that the administrative sham complex “Arctic Shamrock” was previously built, which was to become a reference platform for the development of the military infrastructure of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Arctic on the island of Alexandra Land of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Now the capabilities of the base, whose area is more than

14 thousand square meters, significantly expand. 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 Wonderworker - was erected.


Previously, the North was "closed" mainly by anti-aircraft missile forces, which are now significantly strengthened by the deployment of a new air defense division. New weapons are being transferred here - for example, last year the Northern Fleet air defense missile regiment deployed on the island of South Archipelago Novaya Zemlya was completely rearmament to the new S-400 systems. But this is not enough, because now it has been decided to strengthen the northern borders also due to aviation.

In fact, this idea was born back in Soviet times. The construction of military airfields in the Arctic was first discussed 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 then regularly flew to the borders, figuring out at what distance they were spotted by Soviet air defense locators. The Americans needed this information to develop a war plan with the USSR called Dropshot, which involved the dumping of 300 atomic bombs and 200,000 conventional bombs on Soviet Union facilities. It was believed that the implementation of this plan is easiest 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. However, then the idea was not fully realized in full, despite all the powerful resources available to the state. And now it is stated that the current infrastructure is already superior to the Soviet!

Nobody else has done anything like this in the Far North and permafrost, primarily because of the high cost of construction and maintenance of facilities. Due to the climate, the cost of military facilities is prohibitive - for example, the construction of the Arctic Shamrock cost 4.2 billion rubles. And the construction of the Temp airfield on the island of Kotelny archipelago of the Novosibirsk Islands in the Arctic Ocean cost the budget 5 billion rubles. Other airfields came out a little cheaper, but the total amount is still estimated at several tens of billions of rubles.


Anatoly Tsyganok, Head of the Center for Military Forecasting

The creation of this airdrome is an attempt to use Russian strategic aviation more efficiently. This is a kind of jumping airfield, on which aircraft can be refueled and various ammunition can be stored, it is possible that nuclear ones as well. The issue of price does not sound - safety is the priority.