MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The Russian military started getting special engine fuel developed for use in rigorous low-temperature conditions of the Arctic, Deputy Defense Minister, General of the Army Dmitry Bulgakov said on Tuesday.
The new fuel underwent testing in the Arctic late last year.
"They can be used at temperatures as low as 65 degrees [Celcius] below zero. The newly-developed diesel fuel causes no problems with starting engines even when the air temperature drops to below 60 degrees. It is meant especially for the Arctic force," he added.
The formation of the Arctic military command is part of Russia’s ongoing extensive program to build up its presence in the Arctic. Last March, President Vladimir Putin said that the armed forces’ training and development efforts should incorporate measures to increase the combat component of the Arctic group. The Defense Ministry has since made several steps along these lines. Russia’s Defense Ministry is going to build 13 airdromes and 10 radars in the Arctic.
Russia announced it was recreating its military base on the Novosibirsk Islands in the Laptev Sea. An airfield was opened on Kotelny, the largest island of the archipelago. Another military airport, Rogachyovo, commissioned on the southern island of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago, is capable of accommodating fighter jets.
The construction of the Tiksi airdrome in Yakutia’s northernmost locality, inside the Arctic circle, will be completed in 2015. Three airdromes - in the Alykel community (the Krasnoyarsk Territory), in Vorkuta (the Komi Republic), and in Anadyr, the administrative center of Chukotka, will be expanded.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said in late October that Russia will have full radar coverage of the Arctic region this year, while next year it will be ready “to meet unwanted guests” both from the north and from the east.