Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 429

Arctic Yearbook 2014 429 2018. However, with their limited range and lack of tanker aircraft support, F-16 and F-35 aircraft are not much use in the Arctic area outside Norway. The bulk of what can be seen as a real Arctic capability lies with the six P-3 long-range maritime patrol aircraft. However, these are now over 20 years old and, while they are to be modernized, no plans have yet been announced for a replacement Russia - Russia’s air assets in the Arctic region consist mainly of the aircraft supporting the Northern Fleet or stationed in northern Russia, along with some of the aircraft based with the Pacific Fleet. Many of these do not have the range for operations in the Arctic area outside Russia, but 100 navy-operated long-range Tu-22 bomber and Tu-142 and Il-38 maritime reconnaissance aircraft also form part of the fleets. - after a 15-years hiatus, in 2007 Russia recommenced regular deployment of these reconnaissance and bomber aircraft on missions near or over the Arctic The US18 - military-strategic component of the US Armed Forces is the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), based in Alaska, which controls the North Warning System, which operates air surveillance radars in Alaska, Canada and Greenland. NORAD is crucial for the US strategic security. Even though it is located in the Arctic, it focuses on global dimension of security rather than regional or strictly Arctic-rooted security challenges. - the US maintains 2 large air bases in Alaska: Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) near Fairbanks and Elmendorf-Richardson AFB near Anchorage - both bases house combat and support aircraft, including F-22 interceptors and airborne early-warning (AEW) aircraft and are able to accommodate substantially larger forces - while the US has over 200 long-range maritime patrol aircraft, only a few US Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft based on Kodiak Island operate over the Bering Sea and the Arctic - the US forces also have the use of Thule AFB in the north-west of Greenland, which has a long runway. It is the most northerly US air base but it currently houses only a large intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) detection radar and no aircraft Sources: (Wezeman, 2012; Lasserre-Le Roy-Garon, 2012) Land capabilities Canada - the Canadian Rangers, a lightly armed paramilitary force with a patrol and reconnaissance role in northern Canada, is trained and equipped for year-round Arctic operations. Its size is being increased from 4100 personnel in 2008 to 5000 by 2012, and it will receive new equipment and weapons - a special small battalion-sized (500 troops) regular army unit for Arctic operations is to be set up. Since 2008, Canadian reserve forces have included an Arctic company, based in Yellowknife, NWT, which under the Northern Strategy is planned to have a strength of 100 by 2019 - Since the 1950s a small military base has been located at Alert on Ellesmere Island, Russian Military Build-Up in the Arctic