Russian paratroopers (VDV) along Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) troops will hold drills in the Arctic region in April.
According to Sputnik News, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement today saying that: “Within the framework of the humanitarian search and rescue training expedition Airborne Forces’ units and the troops of CSTO’s Collective Rapid Reaction Force are planning to conduct parachute landings in one of the Arctic regions in April 2016.”
The statement also reads that landing drills will be conducted in extreme conditions. Last January, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that paratroopers, along its CSTO allies, will once again jump on an Arctic ice floe.
Another jump on Arctic ice floe for VDV
Last year, Russian paratroopers conducted an airborne jump and landed on an Arctic ice floe using the Arbalet-2 special parachute system: “The system is designed for landing the parachutist-specialists of special-purpose teams and pararescue men with the sets of necessary equipment and weapons, as well as for training jumps from the Аn-2, Аn-26, Аn-12, IL-76 aircraft and the Mi-8 helicopters equipped for parachute landing force.
The system makes it possible to perform safe parachute jumps with the equipped parachutist’s flight weight up to 150 kg within the range of air temperatures at zero altitudes from -35oC to +35oC at the aircraft’s flight speeds during parachute descending up to 350 km/h.”
For the first time in history, the paratroopers successfully landed on the ice floe despite poor visibility and adverse weather.
The CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance formed in 1992. Currently, six countries are members and two have observer status:
- Afghanistan (observer)
- Serbia (observer)
The Arctic remains a key priority for the Russian military. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the main focus is Arctic military infrastructure including a vast modernization of Cold War-era airfields and the introduction of advanced technologies to facilitate further troops deployment. The creation of a Russian Arctic command, Joint Strategic Command North (JSCN), in December 2014 is a proof of Russia’s willingness to rule the Arctic.