Russia Deploys S-400 to Arctic Only to Ensure National Security
By Staff, Agencies
The deployment of S-400 missile systems on Russia's Arctic islands is a logical step, needed exclusively for national defense, and it should not raise concerns, Foreign Ministry's Ambassador-at-Large Nikolai Korchunov stated in an interview.
"As for the emergence of the S-400 systems on Russia's Arctic islands, this is a consistent move after the creation of a seamless radar field above the territory of our country. The S-400 system is intended solely for defense. Its deployment anywhere should not raise concerns – if those who express concerns do not develop aggressive intentions against an area or an object that the S-400 is meant to protect", Korchunov said.
US Naval Forces Europe/Africa Commander Adm. James Foggo has recently made a point of Russia's increasing activity in the Arctic, including the opening of new military bases and the deployment of the S-400 surface-to-air systems there.
Russia's Ivan Papanin is not a classic icebreaker but a military ship, therefore the mounting of weapons on it should not trigger any questions, Korchunov stressed. This came as a comment to another statement by Adm. James Foggo, who noted that Ivan Papanin was designed to carry Kalibr cruise missiles and qualified this as a sign of "aggressive approach in the Arctic."
"The fact that weapons are mounted on a military ship should hardly generate questions, especially given that the weapons do not contradict international agreements that our country participates in, like in the case with the sea-based Kalibr missiles", Korchunov said. "The possibility to install containers with Kalibr or Uran cruise missiles on our icebreakers – which is, by the way, mentioned in Russian media as well -m is envisioned only during a special period. For this period, it is planned that the vessels can be involved to strengthen the Northern Fleet's seaborne command, whose area of responsibility covers the entire Northern Sea Route and Russia's Arctic coast".
Ivan Papanin, the first Project 23550 multipurpose Arctic-class patrol vessel, was floated in October 2019 and is set to be commissioned on November 25, 2023.
The ship, designed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau, is capable of performing functions of a tug, a patrol vessel and an icebreaker. It is one of the latest developments in the interests of equipping the surface division of the Russian Navy. Ivan Papanin is designated to protect and monitor water resources, to escort and tow detained vessels, to support supply vessels, to take part in rescue operations and to transport special cargo.
Ivan Papanin, expected to be 328 feet long and 65 feet wide, will be able to break 5-feet-thick ice. Its full speed will reach around 18 knots. The vessel will be equipped with a portable anti-aircraft missile system, a ship-borne helicopter, a radar station and a hydro-meteorological station.