MOSCOW – The Russian Armed Forces will soon have technology that will allow them to deploy an aerodrome network beyond the Arctic Circle in a matter of hours.
Any type of helicopter in service in Russia will be able to replenish its ammunition, refuel or make minor repairs to these mobile airfields. These structures will provide quick access to any part of the Arctic coast and islands, which is especially important in conducting search and rescue operations, says the Russian newspaper Izvestia.
The technology has recently been tested in the Arctic and from 2020 it will be applied regularly.
What is the technology?
With the help of Mi-26 helicopters capable of carrying up to 20 tons of cargo, everything needed to create an aerodrome from scratch will be taken to the designated location. One of these Mi-26s will be used to refuel not only airplanes but also machines on the ground. A second helicopter of this type will be used as a munitions refueling point.
The Baltic Sea Fleet was the first to test the technology in mid-August. On this occasion, engineering troops built within hours on Gogland Island in the Gulf of Finland, a complete infrastructure for five combat and transport helicopters.
These air centers will be built in the Arctic according to a simpler scheme than that used in the Baltic. At that time, the track was covered with metal plates, something that cannot be done in the snow. In the Arctic, mobile aerodromes will be limited to only the most needed equipment and resources, the source said.
Meanwhile, all Arctic divisions of the Russian Navy Northern Fleet will receive S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, which will create an anti-aircraft “umbrella” over the Russian part of the Arctic, said Deputy Admiral Aleksandr Moiseev, Northern Fleet commander.
In this way, the Arctic will be protected from any kind of enemy air attack, be it aviation or cruise or ballistic missiles.