Model Bastion coastal missile system with Yakhont anti-ship missile. Creative Commons

In its latest move to enhance the combat readiness of its Northern Fleet, Russia will deploy new Bastion anti-ship missile complexes in the Arctic in 2015, a senior military official announced Monday. The coastal defense missile system is reportedly designed to destroy various enemy ships, including landing squadrons, convoys, carrier strike groups and single vessels.

“There will be a considerable renewing of equipment and armament for the coastal forces and this year Bastion coastal missile defenses will be received from production,” Admiral Vladimir Korolev, commander of the Northern Fleet, told Sputnik News.

Korolev also said that the Northern Fleet’s anti-air defense recently received S-400 missile complexes, while some Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile systems were deployed in other parts of the Arctic. In addition to the Bastion anti-ship missile complexes, Russia’s Northern Fleet is also expected to get new ships equipped for Arctic operations, the Kremlin-owned TASS news agency reported, citing Admiral Viktor Chirkov, commander-in-chief of the Russian navy.

“In 2015 the Navy received more than 50 ships of different class part of which will be assigned to the Northern Fleet. Principally new ships, equipped for operations in the difficult Arctic conditions will be designed and built in the medium term for the Northern Fleet,” TASS quoted Chirkov as saying.

Russia has been actively working on building a “self-sufficient” standing military force based in the territory it owns in the Arctic.

“The Russian military group in the Arctic will be built up on the mainland and on the islands. This buildup is already in progress. By 2018 there will emerge a self-sufficient group incorporating radio reconnaissance companies, the way it was in the past,” a senior member of Russia’s defense ministry had told TASS in April.

Russia, which is one of eight countries with claims to parts of the Arctic, last year submitted a claim to the United Nations for another 460,000 square miles of territory.

On Monday, Chirkov also said that Kremlin would continue to give special attention for further development of the Northern Fleet.

“The Northern Fleet development plans envisage the work to maintain at a qualitatively high level the grouping of nuclear submarines, which form the basis of the strategic nuclear forces, as well as rearmament and re-equipment of the Northern Fleet formations,” TASS quoted Chirkov as saying.