KAZAN, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – Starting from 2017, the Russian Air Force will base MiG-31 interceptor jets and tactical aircraft at a Russian Arctic airfield in the urban settlement of Tiksi in northernmost Sakha Republic, Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Wednesday.
"Reconstruction of the Tiksi airfield will certainly begin next year. A formation of tactical aircraft and MiG-31 interceptors will be based at the airfield in 2017. MiG-31 will be also based at an airfield in Anadyr [the capital of Chukotka Autonomous Area]," Bondarev said during an inspection visit to Air Force facilities under construction.
In July, the Russia Air Force announced that Russian long-range aviation bases are increasing their presence in the Arctic.
Russia has been seeking to strengthen its military, political and economic position in the Arctic for some time. In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the establishment of a new state body for the realization of Russian policies in the region. The president also commissioned the government to prepare plans for the full financial support of the Arctic's development program.