Russia Prepares to Fight a War in the Arctic against the US and NATO
Russia is preparing to fight a war against NATO and the United States for control of the mineral rich Arctic and is hardening its tanks; missile systems; vehicles, guns and other weapons against the biting cold in preparation for such a conflict.
Russian media has revealed that plans laid down by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (VSRF) call for establishing permanent military airfields on Russian territory within the Arctic Circle; deploying anti-ship missile and surface-to-air (SAM) systems at the bases and improving communications with submarines of the Russian Navy.
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When these strategic steps and others are achieved, VSRF believes the Russian Far North will be protected by a reliable land, in the air and underwater shield. These forces can also be called upon to launch offensive actions to seize control of certain areas of the mineral rich Arctic, whose total wealth is estimated at over $35 trillion.
The United States, however, is contesting Russia's militarization of the Arctic. And its military bases in nearby Alaska give it the means to thwart Russian designs.
"The U.S. must ensure that Russia doesn't expand those efforts to dominate the region," said U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Russia remains undeterred by American opposition, however. In preparation for offensive and defensive actions, VSRF has refurbished old Soviet military bases in the Russian Far North, replacing its dated equipment with the latest technologies.
The largest bases VSRF bases are Northern Clover located on the Novosibirsk Islands or the New Siberian Islands and Arctic Trefoil located at the Franz Josef Land Archipelago.
The New Siberian Islands are an archipelago in the extreme north of Russia, to the North of the East Siberian coast between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea north of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic.
Franz Josef Land is inhabited only by Russian military base personnel. It's located in the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea and Kara Sea, and is the northernmost part of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia.
Several hundred Russian soldiers are based at these two bases and have everything they need to survive for up to 18 months of deployment. These military bases are jumping-off points for military expeditions conducted by the VSRF.
Russia has developed special military hardware that can fight effectively in the Far North's harsh climate where temperatures can fall to as low as -60 degrees Celsius.
Among the hardened weapons systems are 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.