MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. The Kola antiaircraft defense formation has put on combat duty to protect the Russian state border a new air defense missile regiment of the Northern Fleet, spokesman for the Northern Fleet Captain 1st Rank Vadim Serga said on Wednesday.
"The regiment has been formed and is permanently deployed on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. It is equipped with the S-300 modernised air defense missile systems, capable of repulsing enemy’s airborne threat, hitting its targets within the range of several hundred kilometres," he said.
The anti-aircraft missile regiment stationed in Novaya Zemlya has become the first full-fledged military unit of the Northern Fleet formed on the islands of the Arctic Ocean. Until now, only a few units and groups have been formed on the archipelagos of the Arctic islands.
On Tuesday, a source in the General Staff of the Russian army told TASS that Russia has formed and deployed to the Arctic this year two S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) separate air defense (AD) missile regiments. "Two S-400 regiments have been activated and deployed to the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago and the settlement of Tiksi in Yakutia this year," the officer told TASS at an international forum that focused on discussing the Arctic’s present and future.
According to the source, Pantsir-S AD (SA-22 Greyhound) missile/gun system batteries have been deployed along with the S-400 regiments to provide close-in defense for the S-400s. In addition, a Bastion (SSC-5 Stooge) coastal defense missile battalion has been deployed to Novaya Zemlya. "The units are on alert round the clock," the source stressed.
In addition, the source said, coastal defense missile, AD missile and AD missile/gun units have been deployed and placed on alert duty on all other Arctic islands and in some areas on Russia’s Arctic mainland, too. "Aircraft control posts and radio-technical, radar and space surveillance unit positions have been established in all of their stations along the Northern Sea Route from the Kola Peninsula and Novaya Zemlya to Anadyr and Cape Schmidt in the east. All of them are on alert duty," the source summed up.
The General Staff source told TASS previously that six Russian military bases had been set up in the Arctic, specifically on Kotelny Island (New Siberian Islands), Sredny Island (Severnaya Zemlya), Alexandra Land (Franz Josef Land Archipelago), the Rogachyovo settlement on Novaya Zemlya, Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt in the Chukotka Peninsula. The Russian Federation is reported to plan the construction of a total of 13 airfields and 10 technical radar posts in the Arctic.
In recent years, Russia has been building military infrastructure in the Arctic proactively. The Unified Strategic Command comprising, inter alia, a number of units from the Western, Central and Eastern military districts was formed on the basis of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet in late 2014. In addition, new large units are being activated for the new command, two motor-rifle brigades in particular.
The S-400 Triumph is a Russian-made long/medium-range surface-to-air missile system designed for dealing with all current and in-development aircraft and aerospace-launched weapons. The Triumph destroys aerodynamic targets (e.g. cruise missiles and tactical and strategic warplanes) at a range of 400 km and ballistic threats (battlefield ballistic missile warheads travelling at a speed of 4.8 km/s) at 60 km. The S-400’s radars have a 600-km target acquisition range and its 48N6E3 missiles engage aerodynamic targets at an altitude of 10-27,000 m and ballistic ones within the 2-25,000-m altitude bracket.