01:49 GMT +323 June 2018
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    Flight tests of the Mil Mi-8AMTSH-VA Arctic helicopter at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant

    Russia Boosts Arctic Military Presence, Builds Ten Airfields

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    Russia is building and reconstructing 10 military airfields in the Arctic, according to the country's Ministry of Defense.

    By making this move, the country aims to ensure its military security in the region. Russia's Federal Agency for Special Construction (Spetsstroy) is currently developing infrastructure facilities on military bases and garrisons in the Far North, Far East and Siberia for 20,000 service members, their families and civilians working for the Ministry of Defense.

    The Ministry's representative told reporters that more than 100,000 metric tons of physical resources will be transported to remote military reservations in 2016. They will be used for over 150 items, including lighthouses, islands and military bases.  

    Additionally, northern military reservations will be provided with over 190,000 metric tons of construction and inert materials, such as airfield slabs, cement, metal, pipes and electrical components.

    The representative noted that the summer months are most convenient for the transportation of all kinds of supplies to remote territories, and that the plan is to take advantage of these favorable weather conditions.

    Specifically, Russia is constructing and restoring Severomorsk-1 Airfield on Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, Rogachevo in Arkhangelsk region, Tiksi in Yakutia, and Temp Airbases on Kotelny Island.

    Design and survey work has also started for reconstruction of Severomorsk-3 Airfield in Murmansk region, Naryan-Mar Airfield in Nenets Autonomous District, Vorkuta Airfield in the Komi Republic, Alykel Airfield in Krasnoyarsk Region and Anadyr Airfield in Chukotka.

    As a major Arctic country, Russia is keen on strengthening its military presence in the region. Its 'North' multiservice strategic command was founded in 2014 for coordinating the Defense Ministry's actions in the northern territories.

    Four Russian airfields in the Arctic are already operational. Apart from building new airfields, the country has started to reconstruct a number of objects that were abandoned in the 90s after the breakup of the Soviet Union.  

    The program to improve Russia's military defense network in the Arctic will continue through 2020.

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    Tags:
    presence, military, Arctic, Russia
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