Located in the Russian Far East, the Bastion coastal missile system allows Moscow to control access to the Arctic through the Bering Strait and to engage targets in Alaska, write in Defense News Bradley Bowman and Scott Adamson of the Center for Military and Political Power of the Defense for Democracies Foundation (USA).
Military analysts noted the relevant exercises with the use of similar weapons that took place in 2019, and also revealed the modernization of the Russian Arctic infrastructure. “Moscow has invested heavily in the region, creating a joint strategic command (Northern Military District – approx.” Lenta.ru “), focused on the Arctic, refurbishing 50 regional facilities, including airfields, radars and rescue stations, and opening 16 deep-water ports, – note the authors.
According to experts, the use of Bastion allows Russia to block access to the Northern Sea Route. “In an effort to secure its own access to the Arctic, Russia seems to be increasingly inclined to deny this access to others, introducing illegal restrictions on the passage along the Northern Sea Route,” experts say.
According to Bowman and Adamson, China, like Russia, is “no less determined in its Arctic ambitions.” The publication also notes the need to improve the American Arctic infrastructure, in particular, the icebreaker fleet and ports. “The US cannot effectively compete with Russia and China by continuing to ignore the Arctic,” the authors conclude.
Earlier in September, Defense News wrote, citing a statement by former United States Coast Guard commandant, retired Admiral Paul Tsukunft, that joint activities between Moscow and Beijing, which were not known to the Washington intelligence community, were learned thanks to a “stunning discovery” made by boats such as Legend of the United States Coast Guard.
In the same month, Shane Praisewater, a military analyst at the Defense for Democracy’s Center for Military and Political Power, said the US Air Force needed more strategic bombers to win future wars that could involve Russia and China.
In August, US Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Brown Jr. said that the war of the future with the participation of the United States will not be like the conflicts of the past two decades. “The war of the future will not stay far from our shores,” he suggested.