For the first time in the history of the Navy, three Russian nuclear-powered missile carriers simultaneously surfaced from under the ice in the Arctic. As part of the complex expedition Umka-2021, taking place in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, motorized rifle units were also trained, and a pair of MiG-31 fighters flew over the North Pole with air refueling. According to the commander-in-chief of the Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, during the maneuvers, the samples of weapons, military and special equipment confirmed their characteristics in low temperatures (in the exercise area of about -30 ° C). Vladimir Putin called this Arctic expedition unparalleled in either Soviet or modern Russian history, and instructed to continue the development of the Far North in order to ensure the country’s military security.
According to him, for the first time according to a unified plan in the circumpolar regions, a complex of combat training, research and practical measures of various directions is being carried out. Evmenov said that the work is taking place in the area of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, and specifically on the island of Alexandra Land and in the adjacent ice-covered water area.
“Now in the area of the expedition, the average temperature is -25 …- 30 ° C, the thickness of the ice cover is up to one and a half meters, the wind in gusts is up to 32 m / s,” the commander-in-chief of the Navy said.
As specified in the press service of the Ministry of Defense, the expedition takes place with the participation of the Russian Geographical Society.
Evmenov said that more than 600 military and civilian participants, as well as about 200 types of weapons, military and special equipment, were involved in the northern campaign. In total, the expedition plan provides for 43 activities, of which 35 have already been completed.
The admiral said that during the exercise, for the first time in the history of the Navy, two MiG-31 fighters flew in the circumpolar region with mid-air refueling, and they passed twice over the geographic point of the North Pole.
Flight of the MiG-31 with refueling in the air
In addition, one of the atomic missile carriers conducted practical torpedo firing from under the ice “followed by icing a practical torpedo, detecting it by technical means and lifting it to the surface.”
“Also, a tactical exercise was conducted for a subdivision of the Arctic motorized rifle brigade in adverse weather conditions with separation from the main bases in unfamiliar terrain,” Evmenov reported.
According to the commander-in-chief of the Navy, following the results of the maneuvers, the samples of weapons, military and special equipment confirmed their technical characteristics “in conditions of high latitudes and low temperatures.”
The admiral added that the Navy will continue to conduct integrated Arctic expeditions, and the main criterion for their organization will be the development of new, unexplored areas.
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Arctic motorized rifle brigade unit exercise
In turn, Vladimir Putin said that this Arctic expedition has no analogues in either Soviet or modern Russian history. According to him, the complex of combat training activities and scientific research “demonstrated the ability and readiness of the Russian Navy to operate in the harsh northern latitudes.”
“The crews of submarines, military transport aircraft, fighter aircraft, as well as Arctic motorized rifle units have shown increased combat training in the difficult environment of the Arctic. The high combat capabilities of domestic weapons have been confirmed, as well as their reliability in operation in extreme conditions, ”the President emphasized.
He thanked the personnel participating in the expedition and exercises for their courage, dedication and professionalism, and also instructed to continue the study and development of the Far North in order to ensure the military security of the Russian Federation.
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In recent years, Russia has been actively strengthening its positions in the Arctic. As Vladimir Putin said in December 2020, everything that happens in the “north” is of particular interest and value for the country, since more than 70% of the territory of the Russian Federation is located in the northern latitudes.
“Once Lomonosov said that Russia would grow with Siberia. In the next decade, Russia will grow, of course, in the Arctic and northern territories, this is an absolutely obvious thing, ”the president emphasized.
On March 10, 2021, he instructed the government to prepare a unified plan for the development of the Arctic within a month.
Commenting on the current situation in the region, Russian Foreign Ministry Special Envoy and Senior Arctic Council official Nikolai Korchunov told TASS that Moscow had taken the necessary steps to ensure security in this area.
“The increasing attention of NATO and its member countries to the Arctic region was indicated earlier, in connection with which appropriate measures of a proactive defensive nature were taken, including with the aim of ensuring the safety of navigation in the water area of the NSR (Northern Sea Route. – RT) ”, The diplomat noted.
According to him, the current development of the situation has confirmed the correctness of the decisions taken, which are aimed at preserving the Arctic as a “zone of peace, low tension, sustainable development and cooperation.”
Source site russian.rt.com