The current assault on Ukraine, which occurred on February 7, has unveiled the tactical technique that the Air Power [VKS or RuAF] of the Russian Federation is using. They’ve determined to deploy fight plane from an Arctic base, particularly the Russian airbase named Olenya. This base is strategically positioned on the Kola Peninsula and falls inside the Russian Arctic Circle. Notably, it stands as considered one of Russia’s premier intelligence bases and homes the long-range aviation arm of the Russian navy.
Satellite tv for pc imagery from February 6 has additional revealed intriguing techniques. It seems that 9 Tu-95 bombers launched from Olenya, charting an assault route in opposition to Ukraine that took them over the Caspian Sea and the Saratov area. Apparently, further satellite tv for pc photographs from the next day, February 7, unveiled that six of the 9 Tu-95s had returned to Olenya. The opposite three, nevertheless, had been relocated, with the probability being that they had been moved to different bases.
The latest satellite tv for pc photographs, acquired on February 7, are additionally shedding gentle on the state of affairs. Alongside the Tu-95s, the Air Power has deployed at least eight Tu-22M3 strategic bombers. Moreover, the Tu-134UBL, a coaching and fight air laboratory, has additionally been despatched out.
“From the North”
The participation of fight aviation from Olenya is a tactic utilized to impede a potential Ukrainian counterstrike. Ukraine lacks the sources required for Kyiv to hit the bottom, positioned 92 km south of Murmansk.
It seems just like the Russian Federation is gearing as much as allocate a bigger half to the Northern Army District within the battle with Ukraine. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that the Russian Ministry of Protection revealed its plans in 2024 to make use of the aviation sources of the Northern Fleet to “monitor” actions over the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
Although NATO’s presence within the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans will not be immediately linked to the battle in Ukraine, Moscow is set to safeguard the bottom, using weekly reconnaissance missions through Tu-142 anti-submarine plane. This too has been formally declared by the Russian Ministry of Protection. As per Russian methods, one Tu-142 is slated to spend at the least eight hours airborne, traversing a distance of roughly 8,000 km.
Why will Olenya be used in opposition to Ukraine?
It might be argued that the Ukrainians have inadvertently contributed to the Russian Aerospace Forces’ determination to make use of the Olenya base for cruise missile assaults in opposition to Ukraine. BulgarianMilitary.com has adopted satellite tv for pc photographs regarding this growth for the final 12 months.
In the winter of 2022 and spring of 2023, Olenya emerged as a main hub, repeatedly receiving reinforcements within the type of bombers. 10 Tu-95s discovered their new properties within the hangars and on the runways of this base. Apparently, this strategic relocation befell shortly after a profitable assault by Ukrainian drones on the Russian Engels-2 base, an occasion we beforehand reported on. In response, Russia made the calculated transfer to deploy a few of its most respected fight aviation property a appreciable distance away, at the least 1,800 km from Ukraine.
What does Olenya supply?
Firstly, the deployment of tactical bombers at this airbase ensures Ruia’s safety from Ukrainian assaults. Moreover, Olenya has efficiently established substantial infrastructure.
As an illustration, satellite tv for pc imagery reveals a number of in depth weapons storage amenities positioned on and within the neighborhood of the Air Power base. A facility of explicit curiosity is the one located a stone’s throw from the southern finish of the three,500-meter runway. Latest Sentinel-2 photographs have proven exercise, whereas Google Earth photographs from the earlier summer time have introduced detailed views of the infrastructure.
This facility lies on a sideline from the primary railway line of October, working from Petrozavodsk to Murmansk. Enclosed by excessive triple-tiered barbed wire, navy freight vehicles might be seen lining up on the platform. Right here, cruise missiles and warheads are unloaded after which transported to the airport warehouses. These weapons are ready for the Tu-95 plane, every of which is believed to be able to carrying 4 to 6 cruise missiles.
Nonetheless, Ukraine “sees” Olenya
Solely the space between Ukraine and the airbase close to Murmansk constitutes Moscow’s benefit. In actuality, nevertheless, Ukraine observes the bottom’s exercise, together with the kinds and timings of airplane departures.
As an illustration, within the current Russian assault on the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Pavlovgrad, Poltava, and Kharkiv, the Ukrainian armed forces had been alerted to the upcoming assault, courtesy of intelligence and radar info from exterior sources.
In keeping with Ukrainian sources, airstrike alerts had been activated at 6:00 a.m. on February 6. Concurrently, the identical Ukrainian sources assert that for 3 hours the Armed Forces of Ukraine tracked the flight and route of the group of Tu-95MS bombers that departed from Olenya.
“The bombers originated from the Olenya Air Base south of Murmansk and launched their assault from a protected distance away from Ukrainian airspace. After they had been hovering over the Saratov area and the Caspian Sea, the group of Tu-95MS initiated their deadly weapons payloads,” revealed the Ukrainian supply.
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