Home Defense Russia Practices Rapid Runway Repairs While NATO Flexes Military Muscle In Europe

Russia Practices Rapid Runway Repairs While NATO Flexes Military Muscle In Europe

The Russian military reportedly conducted special drills to see if their airfields were ready to defend themselves against possible attacks from Ukraine and NATO forces. The goal was to improve their defences against these threats.

The drills across multiple Western and Southern Military District regions centred around diverse facets of airfield restoration.

This entailed honing crater repair techniques, runway restoration, and revetment security, all of which are critical elements for the functioning and protection of airfields. The Russian Army’s engineering and sappers assisted in the restoration of military airfields after fictitious large-scale assaults.

On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defence refrained from divulging comprehensive information regarding the exercises’ precise locations or magnitudes.

The decision to prioritise airfield restoration training was made in response to continuous threats, particularly from Ukrainian armed forces that use drones and missiles to strike Russian military targets.

Since the commencement of Russia’s special military campaign in Ukraine, Kyiv has constantly used drones.

Su-35's lined up in a Russian Air Base
Su-35’s lined up in a Russian Air Base

The drills occur against the backdrop of increased geopolitical tensions and military activity in the region. The ongoing war in Ukraine, combined with NATO’s growing presence in Eastern Europe, has raised concerns about a possible escalation of hostilities.

NATO’s military activity should also be considered. There are clear indications that Russia’s capabilities are being tested: reconnaissance is being done, forces are being redeployed, and Poland is increasing its Army to 300,000 personnel.

The largest NATO exercise in decades, “Steadfast Defender 2024,” kicked off on January 24. These exercises are taking place in the Atlantic and Europe and will last several months.

These drills involve over 90,000 military men and dozens of ships and aircraft. The drills are intended to replicate and consider a scenario in which an adversary, likely Russia, assaults one of NATO’s members.

When asked about NATO’s large-scale military exercises, the Kremlin indicated in January 2024 that Russia considers NATO a “threat” and is taking steps to confront it.

In recent years, the Russian Ministry of Defence has prioritised developing and improving airfields. Notably, it has started a massive restoration of northern airfields on both the mainland and the Arctic islands.

One of the most significant projects is to turn the Nagurskoye base on Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Archipelago into a year-round station.

Given the harsh weather conditions, heated hangars at this northernmost airstrip are being constructed to assist aircraft storage and technical maintenance.

In Tiksi, a new settlement is being built to house a new air defence division equipped with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, the Navy’s Commander-in-Chief, revealed in December 2023 that multiple attempts to renew airfield infrastructure are being launched in the Arctic region. Efforts are also being made to rebuild airfields so that military and civilian aviation can operate year-round.



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