Russia is building up military equipment in the Arctic and testing new weapons there.
Russia is building upon military bases, hardware and underground storage facilities on its Arctic coastline, with bombers, MiG31BM jets and new radar systems close to the Alaskan coast, satellite images procured by CNN showed.
Included in the build-up is the Poseidon 2M39 unmanned stealth torpedo, a so-called super-weapon powered by a nuclear reactor. Russia quickly developing the armament and tested it in February, with further tests planned this year, according to Russian state media.
Moscow intends for the torpedo to be able to elude U.S. and NATO coastal defences and is “part of the new type of nuclear deterrent weapons,” the head of Norwegian intelligence, Vice Admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes said.
To counter the buildup, NATO and the U.S. have also moved equipment into the area in the past year, including the U.S. military’s stealth Seawolf submarine as well as its B-1 Lancer bombers, which recently flew over the eastern Barents Sea.
While the increase of Russian military assets has taken place inside Russian territory, U.S. officials are worried Moscow may move use its forces to take over areas of the Arctic outside its borders.
The build up has been all the more apparent in recent days, with Russia holding military flights near Alaskan airspace and submarine activity in the Arctic.
In late March, three Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarines simultaneously broke through several feet of ice in the Arctic in a military drill. And last week, Russia flew jets and bombers near Alaskan airspace, including 10 times on Monday alone.
In addition, Moscow is regularly testing high-tech weapons, including the Poseidon 2M39 and the Tsirkon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile.
Russia also is attempting to influence a shipping lane that runs from between Norway and Alaska known as the Northern Sea Route. The route cuts in half shipping times to move containers from Europe to Asia.