Fighter jets for Russia’s new Arctic base

The new base at Franz Josef Land will be equipped with a 2,500 meter long landing strip and a fleet of MiG-31 or Su-34, Northern Fleet Commander Nikolay Yevmenov tells Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu during this week’s visit to the islands.
April 22, 2016

Shoigu this week paid a visit to the Island of Alexandra land at Franz Josef Land, the site for Russia’s new northernmost military base. Several major installations are under construction on the island, among them a 2,500 meter long air strip and a 14,000 square meter base compound.

The new base is located on the 80th parallell, further north than any other comparable piece of infrastructure.

During the visit, the defense minister inspected anti-aircraft defence capabilities on site, as well as local living conditions and the construction progress of the local buildings, Interfax reports.

According to new Northern Fleet Commander Nikolay Yevmenov, the new base will house a fleet of either MiG-31 or Su-34 fighter aircrafts, as well as refuelling tankers Il-78.

«We are expanding our orbit of operations», Yevmenov told Defense Minister Shoigu, Interfax reports.

Russia is in the process of developing and reopening a string of military bases in the Arctic. In addition to the one at Franz Josef Land, the country constructs base structures at the Island of Kotelny in the New Siberian Islands, in Tiksi, Yamal, Amderma and several more places.

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