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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia increases combat capabilities in Arctic

RIA Novosti

21:45 02/10/2010

MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is currently increasing its combat potential in the Arctic with new ships and additional station sites, Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said on Saturday.

Russian naval ships and submarines have already conducted over ten military patrols of the Arctic in 2010, Vysotsky said.

"In accordance with the Russian Armed Forces' plan of strategic deterrence we take measures aimed to demonstrate military presence in the Arctic," the navy commander said.

The Russian Navy is currently taking measures to integrate the Glonass satellite system with the RSDN-20 radio-technical navigation system, he added.

The RSDN-20 is a navaid used to determine positions of aircraft, vessels and submarines; however its effectiveness is low. Integration with Glonass will allow the system to determine positions of objects with the accuracy of 1-5 kilometers.

Glonass - the Global Navigation Satellite System - is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

Russia and other countries with an Arctic coastline all lay claims to the region's seabed, said to contain one quarter of the world's mineral resources. The untapped riches are becoming more accessible due to melting ice.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a recent international conference in Moscow that the Arctic would not become a battleground as potential territory disputes could be resolved through negotiation.

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