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Russian Defense Ministry goes public with Arctic Shamrock base on Alexandra Land

Naval Forces News - Russia
Russian Defense Ministry goes public with Arctic Shamrock base on Alexandra Land
The Russian Defense Ministry has published pictures of the inside of the military compound on Alexandra Land Island of the Franz Josef Land Archipelago, which has become part of the world’s northernmost military base designated as Arctic Shamrock and intended for 150 troops, including some from the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet air defense units, according to the news portal.
Russian Defense Ministry goes public with Arctic Shamrock base on Alexandra LandRussian MoD provides exclusive sneak peek into its state-of-the-art defence base known as the Arctic Shamrock
A source close to the Defense Ministry’s Arctic programs has told that the fire safety problems encountered by the Soviet Army when building bases in the Far North have been factored in when the Arctic Shamrock was being built.

The Defense Ministry’s website has published "a virtual tour" of the world’s northernmost military base constructed in 2016 to accommodate air defense troops of the Northern Fleet.

The base’s military infrastructure consists of numerous special buildings as well as control centers, vehicle parks, a self-contained power plant unit and specialist depots and warehouses, all being restricted-access facilities, according to the ministry’s press office.

The pictures show, first and foremost, the creature comforts for the base’s troops in a four-storey housing facility in the form of a clover painted in the colors of the Russian flag. There is a sky-lit atrium with stained-glass windows in the walls and a vista point in the middle of the structure.

The compound includes a power plant unit comprising a boiler house, a power plant proper and a fuel farm; a motor pool with several service, repair and parking bays; a water purification plant; a wastewater treatment facility; a trash disposal facility; a petroleum, oil, lubricant (POL) depot; and a fuel supply point.
NEWSY video showing the interior of the "Arctic Shamrock" base and explaining its strategic importance
The virtual tour familiarizes one with the barracks, officer mess hall, gym, cinema/concert hall, atrium, library, conservatory and medical unit. There is an on- shore pumping station on Alexandra Land, allowing the intake of fuel from tankers and its transfer to the POL depot. The military promised breezeways to link all buildings so that the troops can move about without having to go outdoors in winter.

The Defense Ministry’s news release adds that the Arctic Shamrock is designed for self-contained operation and comfortable accommodation of 150 troops for a year and a half.

Ambient temperature at the Franz Josef Land Archipelago drops to -40°C, with the temperature of the warmest month, August, averaging 2.5°C.

According to the military, the Arctic Shamrock is the only permanent facility at 80°N. The installation’s pictures show well enough that it rests on piles because the foundation excavation in permafrost is impossible. The compound’s area exceeds 14,000 sq.m. Elements of an air defense division of the Northern Fleet set up shop and went on alert duty on Alexandra Land in November 2014. The troops have been accommodated in a temporary compound for the duration of the Arctic Shamrock’s construction.
Map Alexandra LandLocation of Alexandra Land Island
For now, the only military hardware caught by the lens at the island’s military installation is P-18 Terek mobile radars. The P-18 Terek is a two-dimensional VHF airspace surveillance radar.

A source of, who is close to the Russian Defense Ministry’s activities in the Arctic says special attention has been paid to fire safety in the course of the construction on Alexandra Land, because the ministry’s Soviet antecedent learnt a number of painful lessons with the Arktika special modules in this respect.

"They were discarded, because several had burnt down. It was wrong to have all infrastructure, including the electric substation, generating set and diesel drums, under the same roof. When short-circuits happened, the whole structure would go up in flames inside 15 minutes," the source said.

According to the source of the online news agency, the buildings making up the Arctic Shamrock have been erected with the use of up-to-date non-flammable materials, and the POL depot, boiler house and other technical facilities have been set up in different buildings.

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