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Russian attack and recon aircraft ready to operate from new Arctic bases


In the course of 2018, pilots and crews of anti-submarine aircrafts Tu-142 and Il-38, as well as reconnaissance and attack aircraft Su-24MR, conducted more than 100 patrols over the Arctic Ocean, Atle Staalsen reports in The Barents Observer.


Russian attack and recon aircraft ready to operate from new Arctic bases 2 The seventh Il-38N MPA of the Russian Navy during flight tests in Zhukovsky (Picture source: Alexander Mishin / russianplanes.net)


The Tupolev Tu-142 is a long-range surveillance aircraft derived from the strategic bomber Tu-95, while the Ilyuchin Il-38/Il-38N is a maritime patrol aircraft and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The Sukhoi Su-24MR is a tactical reconnaissance variant of all-weather attack aircraft Su-24.

The flights will continue in 2019, and this year, the new and upgraded bases on remote Arctic archipelagos will be taken use of, the Russian Armed Forces warn. The Arctic air patrols include mapping of ice conditions in the area. This kind of data is of key importance for the vessels shipping on the Northern Sea Route, the military press service underlines.

The Russian Northern Fleet has over the last years significantly strengthened its presence in the country’s far northern archipelagos. New and upgraded bases are now operational in Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, New Siberian Islands, Wrangle Island and Cape Shmidt. In addition, several bases are built on the mainland, including near Tiksi.

Airstrips are operational both in the Nagurskoye base in Alexandra Land in Franz Josef Land and in Kotelny, New Siberian Islands. Representatives of the Russian Northern Fleet have early said that the new Nagurskoye base will be equipped with a 2,500 meter long landing strip and a fleet of MiG-31 or Su-34. There are also upgrades in the making at the airfields of Vorkuta, Anadyr and Alykel.