"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, December 29, 2014

Russia Builds a New Air Force to Dominate Arctic Skies

The Russian Su-35

Follow The Money Trail
The Russian Arctic military buildup is to assert ownership of oil and gas deposits under the ice cap. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin last year announced an ambitious plan to dominate a wider Arctic Ocean. Calling the Arctic a "top defense priority," Putin said he will add 40 warships to the Russian navy, including:
  • a Borey-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine
  • a Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarine
  • the advanced search-and-rescue ship Igor Belousov
  • the refurbished Kirov-class nuclear-powered missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov, and three refurbished nuclear-powered attack submarines
Russia even floated plans to build a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier for Arctic duty -- all in the interests of asserting ownership of oil and gas deposits under the ice cap. But, as it turns out, that's not all reports the Motley Fool.

Russia is building an Arctic air force as well.

Look! Up in the sky! That's not Superman -- it's a Su-35!

As reported on DefenseNews.com, Col. Igor Klimov of the Russian Air Force announced plans earlier this month for the service to invest billions of dollars to buy 150 new aircraft for Russia's Arctic forces. According to Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, these will include:
  • Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers
  • Su-30SM and Su-35S fighter jets
  • Kamov and Mil combat helicopters
  • Yak-130 advanced jet trainers
  • Ilyushin Il-76MD-90 transports
Already, NORAD has noted increased activity by Russian warplanes in the Arctic. In September, the Canadian press reported that Canadian and U.S. fighter jets scrambled twice to intercept Russian patrols near Canadian and American airspace.

Four NATO nations -- the U.S., Canada, Norway, and Denmark (via Greenland) have interests in the Arctic that could collide with Russia's. All four are also current or potential buyers of Lockheed's F-35 stealth fighter jet (Canada is evaluating a plan to buy 65 F-35s at a total cost of up to $30 billion, Denmark 30 F-35s, and Norway 52 more). The F-35's high price tag has spurred Canada and Denmark to consider cheaper aircraft such as Boeing's F/A-18 -- but at the cost of stealth.

Su-35 'UFO' fighter rocks Paris Air Show

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