US Navy will block the ‘Russian Arctic’ to prevent an attack

WASHINGTON, (BM) – The US Navy will block the ‘Russian Arctic’ to prevent an attack by the Kremlin in the far north. Kenneth Braithwaite, Secretary-General of the US Navy, expressed such an opinion. The United States plans to begin regular patrol maneuvers near the Russian Arctic coast, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Kenneth Braithwaite added that Washington needs to be much more assertive in its actions affecting free shipping in the Arctic. Braithwaite also says the US must stop Chinese and Russian ambitions in the region. That’s why the United States will soon have 80 new submarines to replenish the arsenal and increase Americans’ naval power.

“Our strongest advantage in that region is our submarine force,” Braithwaite told reporters. “That’s why you saw in the Future Naval Force Structure [report] such an emphasis put on building” up to 70 to 80 submarines in the coming years, almost doubling the 48 currently in the fleet.

The Navy Secretary reminded reporters that Moscow has its icebreakers, while the United States does not. However, according to Braithwaite, this fact is not an obstacle, as the United States has the right to lease such seagoing vessels. Kenneth Braithwaite said the Pentagon and the presidential administration are well aware that Russia is significantly strengthening its base in the Arctic. He also accused the Kremlin of carrying out “aggravating naval maneuvers” in the area and supporting “illegal transport” on the northern sea route.

How is Russia strengthening its base in the Arctic?

Over the past 24 months, Moscow has decided to invest heavily in resources and human resources in strengthening its Arctic base.

In February last year, Moscow deployed two powerful Resonance-N radars, known among the Russian military as “hypersonic missile hunters.” Although only Russia has advanced in developing hypersonic missiles, the United States has overtaken the gap. It is also in the process of the first tests. The deployment of the two radars in the Russian Arctic base is a timely preventive measure.

Later that year, the Kremlin decided to build an iron dome over their Arctic skies. To that end, Moscow has approved the possibility of deploying S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems. At a later stage, Russia is expecting to replace them with the S-500.

Kalashnikov has developed a special drone ZAL, which is adapted to work in the Arctic latitudes. According to a company spokesman, the drone is adapting to provide security for maritime transport, organize observations and participate in research missions in the Arctic.

In the middle of last year, Russia decided to send “sky hunters” – Ka-52 helicopters. These helicopters have been refurbished and upgraded to operate in the Arctic. Ka-52 will begin its Arctic missions this year [2021-ed.], according to the Russian MoD statement.

In addition to its weapons technology, Russia is building new buildings at its base. Washington warned about this last year, showing the Kremlin that it was aware of Moscow’s intentions. Even then, Washington said Russia’s actions in the region posed a threat to the world.

At the same time, in 2020, Russia conducted at least two tactical exercises in the Arctic, for the first time by Russian airborne troops and Russian special forces.

Finland has begun monitoring Russian exercises

Logically, against the background of this large-scale Russian movement of people and equipment to the Arctic, Finland decided to begin monitoring Russian exercises in the region.

Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen said in late 2019 and early 2020 that his country was closely monitoring what was happening in the Arctic. The Defense Minister also stressed that the United States and European governments must unite behind ​​more severe monitoring of Russian activities in the region.

“Activity in the Arctic has increased recently. “We are closely following everything that is happening in this region, including Russia’s recent major military maneuvers in the Arctic,” Kaikkonen said at the time.

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