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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Russia to Reveal Missiles and Weapons that can Fight in the Arctic at May 9 Victory Day Parade

To the Arctic

(Photo : Russian Ground Forces) Tor M-2 missile launch.

The Russian Ground Forces will display to the Russian public for the first time its modified air defense systems capable of fighting in the freezing environment of the Arctic Circle once Russia begins attacks against Finland, Norway and Sweden to seize terrain in this strategically vital region.

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Among the surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to be trundled out for public view during the forthcoming Victory Day Parade in Moscow on May 9 will be versions of the Tor all-weather low to medium altitude, short-range SAM system, and the Pantsir-S1 combined short to medium range SAM and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system specially configured to operate and fight in the bitter cold of the Arctic.

The winterized versions of these systems are designated Tor-M2DT and Pantsir-SA. 

"Arctic military equipment will participate in the parade for the first time," said Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces.

"The general public will for the first time be able to see such air defense weapons as Tor-M2DT and missile, artillery system Pantsir-SA and support vehicles. Also, we may present upgraded configurations of the well-known models of tanks, possibly, T-72B3M."

He said these cold-proofed pieces of military equipment are capable of maintaining Russia's security in the lethal Arctic climate, and in rugged roadless terrain far away from logistic facilities.

Russia is militarizing the Arctic Circle with an ongoing heavy build-up of its ground, naval, air and rocket forces deployed to the region. Since 2015, Russia has opened a giant military base on the large Arctic island of Alexandra Land, which is part of Russia.

Russia has also opened 10 new airbases in the region in addition to four already operational. In December 2014, Russia organized a new Arctic strategic command and began rebuilding Cold War-era military installations across its vast northern region.

These military preparations along with many others are part of a massive land grab of polar territory Russia plans to undertake as global warming melts more ice and allows easier sea access to the Arctic Circle and its land masses.

Russia is also building more icebreakers, among them nuclear powered icebreakers, which are the largest icebreakers in the world. Russia currently operates over 40 icebreakers.

The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.

Tor-M2 provides division level protection against aircraft and missile attacks. It protects ground forces from strikes by anti-radar and cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, glide bombs, planes and helicopters. Work on the Tor-M2DT for Arctic conditions is currently being carried out.

Pantsir is a dual SAM, anti-aircraft gun system mounted on a single chassis. The missiles belong to the 95Ya6 series while the gun armament consists of two 2A38M 30 mm autocannon. This system can operate at temperatures below -50° Celsius. 

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