Russia has positioned air defense missile and artillery weapon systems Pantsir (SA-22 Greyhound) and is planning to place MiG-31 (Foxhound) interceptor aircraft in the Arctic region, the deputy head of Russian Aerospace Defence Forces said on Saturday, Russia’s Sputnik News reports.
“We have already placed there gun systems Pantsir. Deployment of MiG-31 on the Russian Arctic airfield is planned,” Maj. Gen. Kirill Makarov said, adding that the aerospace defense equipment provided nearly 100 percent protection of Moscow from a possible air strike.
Makarov said that the MiG-31 jets would protect Russian warships that could sail along the Northern Sea Route in case of any escalation or armed conflict scenario.
Russia has been bolstering its presence in the Arctic region is part of the country’s military strategy through 2020.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in late 2014 that Russia isn’t planning to militarize the Arctic, however it is taking the necessary measures to ensure its security in the region.
The following chart from The Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Military Strength shows the massive scope of Russian construction throughout the Arctic.