Russia ‘shaken’ the Arctic with training combat firing of its missile systems

MOSCOW, (BM) – For the first time, air defense units of the Russian Arctic grouping of forces performed test firing from the Pantsir-SA anti-aircraft missile and cannon system on Alexandra Land Island, learned

Read more: Russia has built compatible batteries of Turkish S-400 with NATO hardware

The press service of the Northern Fleet on Saturday reported that the launches were carried out by missiles without a warhead. And their purpose was to test the performance of the complex in high latitudes.

The tests were provided by a tactical group stationed at the Arctic Trefoil military base on the island of Alexandra Land – it is part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

Let us explain that there are three types of air defense techniques. There are so-called electronic missile launches. Instead of ammunition, an electronic pulse “hits” the target, and special equipment fixes the accuracy of its hitting the target of the conventional attack.

This type of shooting, as a rule, is used to control the readiness of calculations for the real destruction of air targets. Missile launches without a warhead, as already mentioned, are carried out to test the performance of the air defense complex. Finally, combat missile firing in peacetime is carried out at major exercises and maneuvers, or during control checks at special ranges.

In these cases, missiles are used with a warhead, and various types of real targets are used as targets for them. For example, the product “Boar”, which simulates a high-speed ballistic object in the sky.

Read more: Russia creates Arctic defense dome using S-400 defense missile systems

Let us recall that the Pantsir-SA anti-aircraft missile-gun system was developed specifically for use in the Arctic. It is installed on the base of the Vityaz two-link tracked snow and swamp vehicle and is capable of operating on the polar off-road in a wide temperature range. “Pantsir-SA” can protect the defended object from ground and surface threats.

The State Department saw in Russia’s actions in the Arctic a threat to NATO

The growing Russian military presence in the Arctic threatens NATO’s anti-submarine defense line in the North Atlantic, said on May 17 the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Michael Murphy.

“China and Russia are increasingly striving to challenge the interests of the United States, the West and the Allies. <…> And the Arctic is no exception,” the American diplomat said.

According to Murphy, Russia has created a developed infrastructure in the Arctic, announced the dispatch of S-400 missile defense systems to the Kola Peninsula, and formed new Arctic units. In his opinion, these actions go beyond the protection of territories, jeopardizing the Faroe-Icelandic border.

In September 2019, Russia began to equip units based in the region with S-400 complexes. The first new system received a regiment on the island of South archipelago of Novaya Zemlya.

In December, the commander of the Northern Fleet, Alexander Moiseev, said that all Arctic divisions of the Northern Fleet would receive S-400 complexes, which would allow the creation of an air defense dome over the Russian part of the Arctic.

Read more: Washington is concerned by the Russian military facilities in the Arctic

Russia creates Arctic defense dome using S-400 defense missile systems

As we reported last year the Northern Fleet will arm all its Arctic battalions with S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in coming years to create an air defense dome over the Russian Arctic, according Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Alexander Moiseyev statement in December.

“Next year, S-400 systems will enter service with the air defense missile regiment stationed on Novaya Zemlya. There are plans to arm all our Arctic battalions with these systems in coming years and thus create an air defense dome over the Russian Arctic,” the Fleet commander said.

Also, units of a new air defense formation have gone on experimental combat duty in Tiksi to provide security of the airspace over the Northern Sea Route, he added.

“In the future, we are planning to build up the air defense capabilities of Russia’s northern frontiers,” the vice-admiral stressed.

Thus, the Russian polar regions will be protected against enemy air attacks, “be it aviation, cruise or ballistic missiles,” the Northern Fleet commander explained.

Russia also continues building ramified military infrastructure on the Arctic islands, in particular, hi-tech lighting systems to monitor the situation in the air, on the ground and under the water, he said.

Read more: Russia is sending Marines to the Arctic as part of the Northern Sea Route expedition


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