The militarization of the Arctic is actively continuing. Apparently, the Russian Defense Ministry is preparing not only for the strategic nuclear deterrence of the United States, but also for very real combat operations in the conditions of the Far North.
This icy region became the scene of confrontation between the two superpowers immediately after the end of World War II. The Pentagon, which was the first to acquire an atomic bomb, developed a diabolical plan for the atomic bombing of the USSR called “Dropshot.” There were no intercontinental ballistic missiles at that time, so heavy bombers were used as carriers.
However, our countries were in unequal conditions: the Americans could take off from Europe or Japan, and the Soviet pilots have left only Chukotka, from where it was possible to bomb mainly in Alaska. Therefore, the Ministry of Defense of the USSR drew attention to the Arctic, which runs the shortest way to the main territory of the United States.
It was necessary to hastily develop new types of airfields and aircraft capable of operating effectively in the extreme conditions of the Far North. As early as 1948, four-engine Tu-4 and Tu-16 bombers began to take off and land at Arctic airfields. According to the participants’ memories, it was very difficult, because because of the loose surface of the surface from the high salt content. In 1958 there was an emergency with the bomber Colonel Alekhnovich. During landing, the plane was seriously damaged and remained on the drifting ice. When it was carried to the American coast, there was a big diplomatic scandal. The damaged Tu-16 had to be destroyed and drowned.
In 1957, Soviet scientists successfully tested the first R-7 ICBM capable of reaching the United States with a thermonuclear charge. After that, the need to deploy strategic bombers at floating airfields in the Arctic Ocean was no longer necessary. But now everything is back to normal.
First, Sergei Shoigu’s office hastily completed the modernization of the military airfield located on the island of Alexandra Land of the Franz Josef Land. The length of its runway has been radically increased from 1.7 kilometers to 3.5 kilometers. Experts of the American edition of The Drive on this occasion write the following:
On the island of Alexandra Land is the base of the Ministry of Defense “Arctic shamrock.” Moscow wants the airfield to work all year round and be able to receive heavy military transport aircraft and bombers-rocket carriers.
Secondly, as the guests of the Army 2020 Forum note, Russian scientists are developing the technology of accelerated construction of military airfields in the Arctic using ice called “The Square”. It will quickly create ice airfields with the help of special reagents. Since we do not have many “strategists”, it is suggested that conventional Su-34 front-line bombers will be transferred to new Arctic airfields if necessary, and MiG-31 interceptors will be transferred to their defense. To refuel them in the air will be heavy Il-78, under which the airbase has already been built.
If you put all this together, it turns out that the Russian Defense Ministry is preparing a backlog for combat operations in the conditions of the Far North, which are showing an increased interest in the United States and NATO countries.