Izvestia, August 26, 2016, p. 1
The division that it is planned to station on Chukotka in 2018 will include several mechanized infantry Arctic battalions on four-wheeled and six-wheeled quads. The task of the new unique units is patrolling of the coast and prevention of landing of enemy saboteur.
THE COAST DEFENSE DIVISION ON CHUKOTKA WILL INCLUDE MECHANIZED INFANTRY BATTALIONS ON QUADS
The division that it is planned to station on Chukotka in 2018 will include several mechanized infantry Arctic battalions on four-wheeled and six-wheeled quads. The task of the new unique units is patrolling of the coast and prevention of landing of enemy saboteur. In case of a big-scale storming of the coast by enemy marines the Arctic infantry will react quickly and will start fighting immediately.
Several informed sources in the Defense Ministry explained that principal decision on creation of battalions on quads was already made. Meanwhile, military command is deciding how many new military units are necessary to defend the coastline of Chukotka for sure and on which quads the Arctic infantrymen will fulfill their tasks.
Representative of operational command North familiar with the situation reported:
– Tests of quads of several types were successfully conducted by servicemen of the 80th Arctic brigade. The hardware earned only positive comments. Of course, at first glance it is more logical to put the mechanized infantrymen on snowmobiles. But, first, they will operate in the coastal zone where snow is not so deep but there are many snows. Second, there is summer on Chukotka, although a short one, when snow melts. In such conditions snowmobiles are useless.
In armies of developed countries quads are actively used in mountain rifle units and in the Airborne Forces.
Independent military expert Alexei Khlopotov reported:
– Of course, special forces have such vehicles. At present, companies that manufacture quads offer not only classic double-seat and single-seat models of motorcycle type but also motor all-terrain vehicles that remind buggy externally and can transport four people and up to 500-600 kilograms of cargo. Such buggy-like quads are already purchased by defense ministries of other countries in hundreds.
According to the expert, in Russia the market of quads is fairly well developed and the Defense Ministry has a possibility to choose the most suitable models.
– The most widespread and reliable quads on the market are traditionally supplied by Yamaha and BRP. But now foreigners are being actively pressed by Russian manufacturers, for example, Russian Mechanics. An average price of a double-seat quad starts from 350,000 rubles whereas a price of a four-seat quad costs more than 700,000 rubles.
At present, Russian mechanized infantry moves and fights at combat infantry vehicles BMP-2 and BMP-3, as well as armored personnel carriers BTR-80 and BMP-3 and armored personnel carriers BTR-80 and BTR-82. Along with this, Arctic infantrymen of the only Russian Arctic mechanized infantry vehicle move at prime movers MTLB and articulated prime movers DT-30 Vityaz that have a unique cross-country capacity.
Military historian Dmitry Boltenkov says:
– A standard mechanized infantry company has approximately 90-100 servicemen and 12-13 combat vehicles. But Arctic brigades on quads will have fewer vehicles and servicemen. That is why it is impossible to rule out that the newly formed coast defense brigade will also have heavily armed Arctic battalions on MTLB. The task of the units on quads will consist of liquidation of enemy saboteurs and patrolling of the coastline. In case of marine landing the riflemen will have to incur the maximal losses on the enemy keeping it on the place and prevention of it breaking through into depth of our territory until arrival of other units with more serious armament.
According to the expert, although an idea of a full-scale sea landing operation on Chukotka looks slightly fantastic, in reality such scenario is quite possible.
– Even a brief look at the map is sufficient to understand that in case of hypothetical sea and air landing operations from the side of Alaska through the Bering and Chukotka seas the enemy does not even need landing ships and aircraft-carriers because distances between the two coasts are so insignificant there.
The 99th mechanized infantry division was stationed on Chukotka in the 1980s. Its task was exactly defense from a possible enemy sea landing operation. Some time later, the division was reduced to brigade and afterwards it was reduced to a storage base and it was finally disbanded. Several military aviation commandant’s offices and a squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles Orlan-10 operate on Chukotka now.