Rogachevo airfield near the military settlement of Belushaya Guba on the southern island of Novaya Zemlya has been expanded in recent years. Image created from Google Earth

Further expansion for Novaya Zemlya air base aims to serve long-range bombers

The Russian Defense Ministry has approved a 5-years plan to expand and modernize the Arctic air base.
April 17, 2023


Within five years, the entire infrastructure at the airfield will be upgraded, a newly approved modernization plan by the Defense Ministry outlines, newspaper Izvestia reports.

Rogachevo airfield is already upgraded to serve MiG-31 and Su-33 fighter jets. Such aircraft have since 2020 served the Arctic airport on a rotational basis from their airports on the Kola Peninsula.

The new plans include special buildings for basing aircraft equipment and new houses for the military servicemen and their families.

Rogachevo air base is located some 10 kilometers northeast of Belushaya Guba, the main military settlement on Novaya Zemlya. The airport serves other facilities on the archipelago with helicopters, such as the main testing area of nuclear weapons near the Matochkin Strait.

After modernization, the airfield will be able to base all types of aircraft, including long-range bombers, according to the plans reported by Izvestia. Today’s runway is 2,400 meters, likely too short for Russia’s long-range bombers like the Tu-95 and Tu-160. 

At the Nagurskoye base on Franz Josef Land, work is underway to extend the runway to nearly 3,600 meters.

The Russian Air Force has over the last years significantly stepped up its presence in the Arctic.





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