Success for pioneering operation to test cold weather capability in Laptev Sea.
Arctic military convoy moves 1,140 km over the frozen sea to Kotelny Island. Picture: TV Zvezda
The expedition of military vehicles travelled from mainland port Tiksi in northern Yakutia to the New Siberian Islands, a distance of 1,140 kilometres or 708 miles.
Now the convoy will return over the ice for the last stage of an operation to test new equipment designed for the intense cold.
Around 100 tests have been carried out on the equipment to assess effectiveness, including containers, inflatable tents, devices to measure thickness of ice, new water desalination equipment, military snowmobiles, and special transportation vehicles.
The equipment is designed to function in temperatures as low as minus 60C.
The vehicles are designed for use in snow and swamps.
'Personnel are dressed in modern Arctic uniform, and provided with Arctic fuel and necessary food supplies,' said deputy Defence Minister Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov.
In 2013, Russia announced a strategy to increase its presence in the Arctic and to boost the region's development by 2020.
A revised military doctrine later prioritised the protection of national interests in the Arctic.
Economic Development Minister Alexander Tsybulsky said last month: 'Unlike for many of our foreign partners, who believe that the Arctic is an exotic land populated only by small indigenous peoples leading a traditional way of life, for us it is a normal place to live.
'Over 2 million people live in the Russian segment of the Arctic, more than half of the entire Arctic population.'
The equipment is designed to function in temperatures as low as minus 60C. Picture: TV Zvezda
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