Russia has moved some advanced air defence systems to the Arctic in order to increase the capabilities of the country’s Northern Fleet, according to Russia’s Sputnik News.
“A division of air defence of the Northern Fleet has adopted into service new S-400 Triumph air defence missile systems,” Vadim Serga, the fleet’s spokesperson, said on Friday.
The S-400 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system that can engage a variety of targets, including aircraft, drones, and other missiles. Triumph air defence missile systems can engage targets up to 250 miles away and at a maximum altitude of 18.6 miles.
A total of nine S-400 regiments are expected to be deployed by Russia across the Arctic in the coming months.
The inclusion of heavy aerial defenses in the Arctic coincides with Russia’s push to further militarize three crucial geopolitical frontlines — the Arctic, Crimea, and the exclave of Kaliningrad — as part of a new and ambitious military doctrine.
Military expansion in the Arctic has been a major Russian objective for the better part of the last decade. This special focus on the region is aimed at ensuring access to potential energy resources on the Arctic sea bed while countering anticipated Danish, Norwegian, Canadian, and US claims.
The US estimates that upwards of 15% of the earth’s remaining oil, 30% of its natural gas, and 20% of its liquefied natural gas are stored in the Arctic sea bed.
Moscow has undertaken a construction blitz across the Arctic in order to maintain Russian military superiority in the region. Russia is constructing ten Arctic search-and-rescue stations, 16 deepwater ports, 13 airfields, and ten air-defence radar stations across its vast Arctic coast.
As part of this policy, Russia began moving troops towards a new military installation 31 miles from the Finnish border. As of Jan. 13, 800 out of the proposed 3,000 servicemen had been moved to this new base.
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