Russia builds-up

Russia will continue increasing its forces deployed to Kaliningrad, it was announced in the Moscow press in January. This will include a new unit that will be based at Chkalovsk Air Base, the 689th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment named for wartime fighter ace and tactician Aleksandr Pokryshkin. The unit will initially be equipped with 24 Sukhoi Su-27M3 Flankers, taken from other units, but will re-equip with Sukhoi Su- 35s (68 currently delivered, planned to expand to 200 or more by 2027). The new regiment, first announced in 2014, was originally intended to be based at Bobriusk in Belarus.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced, on February 2, that it is deploying military aircraft to a civil airport on the island of Etorofo/Iturup in the Kuriles in the Pacific Ocean, in addition to those operating from the former Soviet-era air base at Burevestnik. The announcement did not specify whether the deployment will be temporary or permanent. On the Barents Sea, Severomorsk-1 on the Kola Peninsula, is receiving a new runway, taxiways and command and control facilities. David C Isby