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Russia creates Arctic military Internet

The creation of a wireless closed segment of data transmission (ZSPD or military Internet) has been completed in the Arctic. It connected autonomous Arctic island and continental bases between themselves and with the mainland. Data transmission and traffic no longer depend on the geographical latitude and weather. Experts believe the new system will streamline combat control of remote military units, the Izvestia daily writes.

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Today, Russian troops are controlled by automatic control systems that need sustainable and protected communication channels (Picture source: H.I. Sutton)

The network provides high-speed data exchange at distances of hundreds and thousands kilometers, Defense Ministry sources said. Satellites and radio stations transmit information in the Arctic. Each of them maintains good quality communications, including conference calls. ZSPD is separated from the global Internet to prevent unsanctioned access.

Today, Russian troops are controlled by automatic control systems that need sustainable and protected communication channels, expert Viktor Murakhovsky said. "A single system to cover sea surface, underwater and air situation is created in the Arctic. All the bases are located in the northern important strategic direction, possess radio and reconnaissance capabilities and have to transmit information to superior command in real-time. The new network will link the bases and other facilities with the National Defense Command Center," he said.

In peacetime, the automatic control will simplify everyday activities for the remote bases. In particular, the software makes inventory and helps order stocks from central warehouses.

The armed forces have strengthened the group of Russian satellites to service the Extreme North and resolve the problem of Internet communications. The number of satellites provides good-quality data transmission in Polar regions.

The second major communication channel is offered by radio with multiple signal retransmission. A line of towers is built for chain transmission of the signal. Oil and gasmen often use such networks.

The network fully covers military bases and major territories. Warships and ice reconnaissance aircraft in distant Arctic areas can use it. Standby channels in the harsh climate offer a clear advantage.

It is difficult to create such a network with accompanying infrastructure in the Arctic, expert Denis Kuskov said. "The designers had to deal with several complicated tasks. For example, all ground receivers and transmitters have to be of a higher class than civilian equipment. They have to faultlessly operate in extremely low temperatures, sustain major temperature changes and strong wind. Problems of network monitoring and testing were resolved to guarantee reliability," he said.

Several major military bases have been deployed in the Arctic and need reliable communications. The mostly known one is the Arctic Trilistnik on Alexandra Land of Franz-Joseph Land Archipelago. It has to ensure national air defense. The base has a closed life-support system. All major buildings are linked by passes for the personnel to move inside without going into the open.

Severny Klever base was deployed in Kotelny Island in Novosibirsk Islands Archipelago. The strategically important Temp airfield is located nearby. The Polar Star township was built in Wrangel island. A similar base has recently opened in Schmidt Cape in Chukotka.

The facilities usually have radars, aviation guidance centers and airfields to protect the Northern Sea Route and Russian northern borders. Arctic garrisons are powerful strongholds defending important industrial Central, Ural and Siberian regions.

The Defense Ministry has to build a fiber-optic TransArctic communication line in the near future. The scheme of the underwater line has been designed and preparations to build it have begun. It is mostly created for the Navy, the Aerospace Forces and coastal troops of the Northern and Pacific fleets, the Izvestia said.

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