3 Nov 2017 17:54

Russian Arctic military bases can exist autonomously for up to 18 months - Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. Nov 3 (Interfax-AVN) - Military infrastructure created in the Arctic enables garrisons to autonomously achieve their tasks over the course of 12 to 18 months, Russian Northern Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov said.

"Every Arctic base of the Northern Fleet, like an orbital station, can exist autonomously, without replenishing its resources, for 1 to 1.5 years," Yevmenov told reporters on Friday.

"The logistics system is such that any materials, equipment or supplies can be delivered to the bases within the shortest period of time possible, despite weather and environmental conditions," he said.

In December it will be three years since the creation in the Northern fleet of an inter-service strategic unit to protect Russia's national interests in the Arctic, the commander said. "Today we are the only unit of its kind and the most powerful unit of the Russian Navy, having military district status," he said.

The fleet's area of responsibility includes four Russian regions, air space, the Arctic Ocean and the northern coast of Russia from the Norwegian border to the Laptev Sea inclusively.

"The deployment of the most important components of a great state's defense capability, the naval strategic nuclear forces and modern long-range oceanic zone ships, makes the Northern fleet a guarantor of strategic stability and makes protection of the economic and political interests of Russia possible anywhere in the World Ocean," the commander said.

The Northern fleet "has unique units," he said. "It includes an Arctic motorized infantry brigade, a tactical group of coastal troops, air defense units, which are on combat watch on the islands of the Arctic Ocean, on the archipelagos of Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya and the New Siberian Islands," Yevmenov said.

"The military infrastructure system has largely been constituted and continues being improved on the Arctic islands and in some continental areas of the Far North," he said. "Unique closed-cycle administrative and housing facilities, where our troops live and work, have been built on Kotelny Island and on Alexandra Land," he said.