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Russia’s Defense Ministry has prepared proposals on the change of the country’s Defense Plan in connection with the creation and improvement of new airbases in Central Asia, Belarus and in the Arctic, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily writes. They are to serve as sited for the deployment of strategic aviation and as staging airfields for the Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers that will be performing tasks at various theatres of operations outside the country.
A decision has been made to double the number of aircraft equipment at the Kant base in Kyrgyzstan. Aircraft will arrive there before the end of the year. The Tu-95 planes’ crews have performed several proving flights over Kyrgyzstan.
Military infrastructure on the western borders of Russia-Belarus Union State is also being improved. Practical matters of deployment in Belarus of a duty squad of Russian Air Force fighters have already been worked out in order to enhance the combat potential of the unified regional air Defense system. Later it is planned to deploy Russia’s airbase in Belarus at the military aerodrome in Lida. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the corresponding intergovernmental agreement is currently being finalised. Under the agreement, the Russian side will not have to engage in the improvement of the Air Force base infrastructure in Lida. Moreover, Russia’s aircraft will be deployed there on a free-of-charge basis. In return, Russia will give to the Belarusian side four S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems. That is, the Belarusian strategic air Defense grouping will be doubled with Russia’s help.
A new Air Force base, which can be used as a staging airfield for strategic missile carriers, is currently being formed in the Arctic. The Defense Ministry is upgrading, in particular, the Temp airfield on the Kotelny Island of the New Siberian Islands archipelago. According to official information, it is being reconstructed for the resumption of air service in the North Sea Route area and adjacent areas of the Arctic zone.
Corresponding member of the Academy of Military Sciences Colonel Eduard Rodyukov told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper that a recent flight of Russia’s two strategic bombers Tu-160 to Venezuela and Nicaragua “is only the beginning of Russia’s long-term military presence in Latin America and other regions of the world where Russia has important geopolitical goals. And, of course, the new airbases that Russia is creating in the Arctic and outside its territory, will provide an important support for this.”