WASHINGTON, (BM) – The U.S. Air Force plans to significantly increase its presence in the Arctic, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the Discover24 report. “Two F-35A planes have appeared in Alaska. They joined the F-22s and F-16s already there,” the article says.
The aircraft were airlifted back in April 2020. The planes that were there before the transfer are used “only for exercises in which they portray Russian fighters.”
By 2022, the US Air Force plans to transfer 54 more F-35A aircraft to Alaska. Strengthening the aviation group is part of the strategy to strengthen the US military presence in the Arctic.
“According to the Arctic Strategy, which was developed by the US Air Force, this region is gaining in importance,” the article says.
It also argues that an increase in the range of flights due to air refueling will allow the United States “to create a serious danger for Russian facilities located not only in the Arctic, but also in the Far East.”
All this will allow the United States to use the Arctic as an observation post to monitor what is happening in the world, the article says.
Increasingly, US attention is focused on the Arctic
According Russian sources the US Air Force flights near and over the Arctic were not a demonstrative retaliatory step. Experts believe that the North is becoming an increasingly important region and the videoconferencing has something to counter the activation of NATO.
As we reported on June 18, the American B-2A bombers launched from an air base in Missouri. After refueling from air tankers taking off from England, they met with Norwegian F-35 fighters and patrolled the Arctic. Then, with one more refueling, they returned to the base.
To make a visit to the Sea of Okhotsk then, the strategic B-52H had to go through the chain of the Russian Kuril Islands through a narrow neutral air corridor between them.
Same day, the combat aircraft did not approach close to the borders of our country, but described a circle over the water area from Kamchatka to Sakhalin. According to the Ministry of Defense, there they were met and escorted by duty fighters Su-30, Su-35 and MiG-31.
A BulgarianMilitary’s experted said that Washington has been practicing air strikes through the North Pole for over 70 years.
The shortest distance from the USA to the strategic, political and economic regions of Central Russia, the Urals and Siberia runs through it.
Given the density of the USSR air defense and the Warsaw Pact camp, American bombers could not break through from Europe to the same Urals. When the USSR reliably blocked the Arctic direction with air defense systems, the United States switched to cruise missiles.
Until now, the main task of all types of US strategic bombers is to launch them before entering the Russian air defense zone. This element is being worked out now.
The fact that the US Air Force bombers began to appear more often in this direction suggests that they are increasing their level of combat training.
But Russian strategic aviation has something to adequately answer. During flights in the northern latitudes, our pilots practice such actions, the specialist noted.
In early June, US President Donald Trump signed the Memorandum on the Protection of US National Interests in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions. One of the measures in it is the creation by the end of this decade of a fleet of its own nuclear icebreakers. Now the United States does not have a single ship of this class.
In March, the United States sent a nuclear submarine to a Russian Arctic base
As we reported on March 11 this year, the U.S. Navy submarine USS Toledo (SSN-769) surfaced in the Arctic in close proximity to the zone of interest of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation.
As part of the IceX-2020 military exercises in the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort Sea, the submarine arrived from the east coast of the United States.
American submarines can operate in the area adjacent to the Franz Josef Land archipelago. On one of its islands is the Russian military base Arctic Shamrock.
The Pentagon organized a three-week exercise to assess operational readiness for action in the Arctic.
As BulgarianMilitary.com reported, the ascent of an American submarine through the ice was filmed. The crew also got into the frame, who freed the hull from ice with a chainsaw.
Washington sees 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 March 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.
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