Russia is set to form an air force and an air defense force within the Northern Fleet, its commander said on Saturday.
The decision to establish these forces in the Northern Fleet was announced by the head of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov in late 2014.
“We have started the development of air force and air defense force armies within the ranks of the Northern Fleet,” Admiral Vladimir Korolev said.
He added that an air defense division as well as a composite air force regiment had already joined the Northern Fleet.
The admiral described the building up of infrastructure in the Arctic as a priority. The fleet is beefing up the capabilities of its coastal defense troops and is improving their command, he said.
Korolev added that the Northern Fleet is developing “the most advanced tracking system” which is already partially in operation, building up a picture of air and water surface movement.
At the end of 2014, Russia organized a joint strategic command using the Northern Fleet. It is tasked with protecting Russia’s national interests in the Arctic.