Russia shows off new missile shooting in high Arctic
Military buildup at the new and upgraded base in the New Siberian Islands continues with deliveries of new advance weapon systems. The latest armament on site is the Bastion missile system, a mobile battery designed for engagement of enemy surface ships.
On Wednesday, two command and control vehicles lined up on the local shooting range in the new Kotelny base and launched supersonic Oniks cruise missiles on targets located 60 km away in the Laptev Sea.
«The coastal missile complex Bastion successfully conducted the missile shooting on targets […], which shows its readiness to efficiently guard the Arctic and engage in protection of the Russian archipelagos and coastal zone,» Northern Fleet Head Commander Nikolay Yevmenov says in a comment.
The new missile system has «recently been delivered to Kotelny», the Russian Armed Forces inform.
The test shooting takes place as a group of Northern Fleet vessels are in the area on their return voyage to the Kola Peninsula. The ships in early August left their home base of Severomorsk and sailed all the way to the country’s east coast in connection with the Vostok-2018 exercise.
Several more types of advanced weapons have earlier been delivered to Kotelny. In August, the armed forces on site fired two Termit cruise missiles with missile complex Rubezh on targets located about 50 km away in the ice-covered part of the Laptev Sea. At the same time, Northern Fleet vessel «Vice-Admiral Kulakov» shot with its Kinzhal anti-aircraft missile complex, as well as missile complex Pantsir-S1 and artillery complexes AK-100 and AK-630, the Navy informed.
According to Admiral Yevmenov, the militarization should not be an issue of concern for Russia’s Arctic neighbors.
«The activities of the Fleet is conducted in strict coherence with the principles and norms of international law that applies to the Russian sector of the Arctic,» he says in a comment. «They are not aimed at third countries with national interests in the waters of the Arctic Ocean.»
Russia has over the last years bolstered its Northern Fleet with a wide range of new missiles. In 2015, the country moved the S-400 Triumph, the new generation anti-aircraft weapon system, to the Kola Peninsula. That was followed by the deployment of the Bastion mobile coastal missile systems in 2016.
In late 2015, a regiment of S-300 surface-to-air missile system was deployed in Novaya Zemlya, the Arctic archipelago. In November 2016, military representatives confirmed that a Bal missile system was soon is on its way to the Northern Fleet.
The establishment of the new air defense division comes as Russia is developing a series of new and upgraded bases along its Arctic coasts, including in the Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Cape Schmidt and Wrangle Island.