Russian boost to its Northern Fleet
February 26, 2019 -- Russia is expanding its Northern Fleet in the Kola Peninsula, building new bases, upgrading Soviet-era ones, and constructing storage facilities for its submarine-launched cruise and ballistic missiles.
As Russia bolsters its efforts to secure and tap the Arctic, both the UK and the U.S. have vowed to meet its “challenge” and stop Russia dominating the High North.
“It’s nobody's lake,” said Adm. James Foggo, the commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa and Joint Forces Command Naples. “It should have free and fair access to, certainly, all the Arctic Council nations — of which we are a member,” the Washington Examiner reported.
British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also joined the chorus of warnings, saying Britain would “stay vigilant” by “sharpening our skills in sub-zero conditions, learning from longstanding allies like Norway or monitoring submarine threats with our Poseidon aircraft.”
The comments come as it Norway’s Intelligence Service revealed on February 11 that Russia mounted a dramatic simulated attack on a Norwegian Arctic radar installation at Vardo last year. The Director, Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde, said the mock attack happened in February 2018.
The service also severely criticised Russian jamming of GPS signals during NATO’s Trident Juncture military exercise in October and November.
The Kremlin has denied the accusation and said it had nothing to do with the jamming.
- Stoltenberg condemns GPS jamming from Kola (The Barents Observer)
- Russian tactical bombers simulated attack on Norwegian radar (Defence Blog.com)
- Moscow to resume fast jet patrols of Arctic Ocean airspace, (Jane's Defence Weekly)
- ‘Challenging’ Russia in the Arctic: Political posturing or a war in the making? (RT)