Video: Russia Establishes Arctic Shamrock Base on Franz Josef Land

State-of-the-art technologies were used in building the Arctic Trefoil complex on the Franz Josef Land, the Zvezda tele-radio company reports. The air bridge to the Franz Josef Land starts in Arkhangelsk. The vastness of the Arctic Ocean has to be negotiated on the way. The Russian military transport aviation pilots, carrying cargo and passengers, have mastered this route.

Video Russia Establishes Arctic Shamrock Base on Alexandra Land Russian MoD defence base known as the Arctic Shamrock

The landing at the Nagurskoye airdrome on the Franz Josef Land is one the most challenging missions even for an experienced pilot. The crews have to fly exclusively by instruments. Nonetheless, the pilots have learned how to land here even the Il-76 aircraft. The first to land on the Franz Josef Land was lieutenant-general Vladimir Benediktov, the current commander of the Russian Aerospace Forcers’ military transport aviation. According to him, such flights have become regular. It should be noted that work is progress on building a full equipped airdrome there. Some sources say, its characteristics will enable the landing of various types of aircraft, including those that can help in protecting Russia’s aerial borders in the Arctic.

A radar station ensuring the monitoring of a sizable portion of the Arctic airspace is deployed to the Franz Josef Land. The experts say about foreign services’ unflagging interest in Russian borders. Recently, for instance, an overflight of the Norwegian patrol aviation’s reconnaissance aircraft was registered. The points of interest are usually whereabouts of the Russian Northern Fleet’s surface ships and submarines at the Barents Sea and other areas of the Arctic Ocean. The information about detection of such reconnaissance aircraft is passed on to the superior command post after which, depending on the situation, a relevant decision is taken.

Russian TVZveda report on the defence base known as the Arctic Shamrock

At one point, air defense radio troops had been stationed in these parts on a permanent basis. However, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, many facilities on the Archipelago fell into decay. However, thanks to the recent program of restoration of the military presence in the Arctic, much has been done towards the rebirth. For instance, instead of the formers vans, the residential and service area now is constituted by stationary buildings erected pursuant to technologies that meet rigorous natural and weather conditions.

The Arctic Trefoil project is worthy of mention. This administrative and residential complex is considered to be the world’s northernmost permanent building. Four units of the main five-storey structure resting on piles and three separately placed ellipsis-shaped structures are linked by sheltered heated galleries. The complex with a total area of 14 thousand square meters is designed for self-sufficient living and discharge of duties by a garrison of 150 people for 18 months.

Location of Franz Josef / Alexandra Land Island

The project is by right believed to be the pride of construction workers. In building the facility each element of self-sufficient life had been thought out, often sufficient redundancy had been provided. For example, the power supply unit consisting of four power generators, one megawatt each, capable of supplying two urban quarters with electric power, is employed only to a quarter of its designed capacity. Thus three diesels are at all times in reserve. The fully automatic boiler house ensures emergency heat supply in a contingency. In the event of a temperature drop extra boilers automatically start up.

The Arctic Trefoil is not the Russian Defense Ministry’s sole base that sprang up over recent years in the Arctic. There is also the Northern Clover base deployed to the Kotelny Island at the East-Siberian Sea. The building principle of the Kotelny military base is the same, i.e. minimization of the personnel’s outdoor exposure and creation of the "closed cycle" complex," the Zvezda tele-radio station remind.

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