Military Review

NATO is tearing into the Arctic, but it is too tough for the alliance


The Arctic remains in the center of attention of many countries of the world, attracting with colossal natural resources that hide the Arctic ice, and its strategic position. Global warming can fundamentally change the climatic conditions of the Arctic and make it much more attractive economically.

France changes Africa to the Arctic?

In addition to the traditionally interested in the northern territories of the USA and Great Britain, as well as the ubiquitous China, even France is ready to join the competition for the Arctic space. Interestingly, before Paris did not show much interest in the Arctic territories, preferring to assert its political and economic influence on the African continent, and to conduct military tests in the Pacific Ocean, closer to the Antarctic than to the Arctic. But now the situation has changed.

As a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, France expects as part of NATO to gain access to the northern seas and begin to fully operate in the Arctic. The obvious arctic ambitions of France are confirmed by the military-technical decisions of Paris. And these decisions followed shortly after the autumn Arctic Trident Juncture 2018 exercise in 2018. The US was the organizer of the exercises, but the American command very quickly revealed numerous shortcomings in the logistics of its armed forces, which made American soldiers extremely vulnerable to operations in the Far North.

So, the catapults of American aircraft did not function in the cold, grease was frozen in the trunks. But most importantly, American soldiers in the Arctic felt, probably, as the Napoleonic army near Moscow in the 1812 year. And if the American army, despite the fact that the USA is one of the Arctic countries that has its own territories in the Far North, was not ready for military operations in the Arctic, then what can we say about the French armed forces!

Naturally, the unsuccessful experience of military exercises was learned and digested by the American military command, and along with the military leadership of other NATO countries. It was France that became one of those member states of the North Atlantic Alliance that embarked on the path of improving their military equipment and armaments to give them the ability to operate in the Far North.

It is worth noting that warming is indeed observed in the Arctic. So, the length of the Arctic sea ice in October 2019 of the year decreased to 5,66 million square kilometers, which is the lowest figure in stories Arctic over the last 40 years. The previous record level was still higher by 230 thousand sq. Km. In the Chukchi Sea, for example, the lowest extent of sea ice is observed in comparison with all previously recorded.

That is, the environment of the Arctic is changing rapidly. Such transformations are occurring as a decrease in ice cover in the northern seas, a decrease in the level of snow cover. Ice sheets are melting, and the air temperature in the Arctic rises almost two times faster than in other regions of the planet.

Such changes in the Arctic space no longer surprise anyone. Global warming is growing rapidly, and with it new opportunities are opening up for the use of Arctic spaces. First of all, the Arctic is a real storehouse of the most valuable natural resources, the exploitation of which has not yet begun. And Russia will have more than enough competitors for the right to extract and use oil, gas and other natural resources of the Far North, and not only among its closest neighbors in the northern latitudes.

In addition, the Arctic is a unique territory through which the shortest route from Europe to Asia lies. The Suez Canal, for which both the British and the French were so worried at one time, is a long and uncomfortable way compared to the shortest arctic highway. It is enough to go along the Northern Sea Route - and you are already in China, Korea or Japan. For European business, such an artery is a wonderful marine alternative to the new “Great Silk Road”, which has been carefully revived by China.

France plays, together with Germany, a key role in the European Union, so the advantages of the Eurasian trade provided by the Northern Sea Route in Paris can be fully appreciated. And it is precisely to ensure the protection of their political and economic interests in the Arctic that the French leadership is beginning to “Arctic” modernize the arsenal of the country's armed forces, primarily ships of the Navy, aircraft and helicopters of the Air Force.

New arctic class helicopter

Clear evidence of France’s open Arctic ambitions is the development of the latest Arctic-class helicopter Х6. This helicopter was laid back in the 2015 year. It is a multi-purpose vehicle designed to transport 19 passengers and 5 tons of cargo.

Advantages of the helicopter - electro-remote control system, anti-icing system. The machine runs on Tech 2 3000 gas turbine engines. The new helicopter will be able to move away from the base at 700-800 kilometers, which will give it much greater independence compared to its predecessor, the Super Puma helicopter, which is able to fly away from the base at 300-350 km.

NATO is tearing into the Arctic, but it is too tough for the alliance

The helicopter will go into operation in the 2020 year if everything goes according to the calculations of Airbus specialists. His crew will be 2 person. Thus, the new machine is designed for flights in difficult weather conditions and, as French experts expect, will be able to work even in the Arctic space.

But why France needs the Arctic, if the country does not even come close to the Arctic seas? To begin with, France is not just a member of NATO, but a state claiming a militarily dominant role in continental Europe. It was the French president Emmanuel Macron who voiced, and more than once, the idea of ​​creating a pan-European armed forces, in which France would play a key role. But if France becomes the military leader of Europe, then it will have to worry about the security of the northern states of the European Union, which are already in relative proximity to the Arctic latitudes.

French submarines are now navigating in the Arctic seas, which also means that in certain situations, France may require aircraft capable of operating in the Far North. The development of a new helicopter just indicates that Paris takes this need very seriously.

France also does not hide the desire to take part in the struggle for Arctic natural resources, which will also require certain military efforts, at least of a demonstration nature. At least, staying away from the “ice cake” section would be very short-sighted for Paris. As a last resort, France will join the Arctic project of NATO and will use the capabilities of its allies in the North Atlantic Alliance, which includes such northern states as Norway, Denmark (with Greenland), Canada and Iceland.

Why is the Far North too tough for NATO?

The Arctic ambitions of European states raise a logical question for us: how realistic are the chances of the countries participating in the North Atlantic Alliance to somehow establish themselves in the Arctic? To begin with, such countries as Denmark or Norway, being the Arctic states, have all the opportunities for the unhindered operation of their own Arctic territories.

But its Far North European states are few. It is no accident that in Norway, for example, they are increasingly saying that Russia's activities in the Arctic pose serious environmental risks. The Scandinavian countries, exploiting their image of environmentalists, are trying, with the help of such demagogy, to prevent Russian military exercises in the Arctic and the development of the natural resources of the Far North.

It is clear that neither Norway nor Denmark in themselves are Russia’s opponents or competitors in the Arctic or in any other space. Talking about competition in the Arctic with Denmark or Norway is simply ridiculous. But these small states follow in the wake of the general Arctic policy of the West.

If we talk about the military-political aspects of the development of the Arctic, then European states simply do not have real opportunities to confront Russia in the Arctic space. Neither the UK nor France, not to mention Norway or Denmark, possess the military potential that would allow them to be independent military players in the Arctic. Numerous military exercises conducted by countries participating in the North Atlantic Alliance only demonstrate an inability to cope with the elementary tasks that the Russian armed forces have long solved for themselves.

Russia, unlike the European states, has very extensive experience in military exercises and military construction in the Arctic. Indeed, almost the entire Arctic coast of Eurasia is controlled by our country, therefore, the Northern Sea Route cannot but pass through the territorial waters of the Russian Federation. The Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy, Aerospace Forces, Ground Forces - all types of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation annually hone their skills in the Arctic.

Against this background, France’s creation of a new Arctic helicopter, although it makes one somewhat wary, is nothing more. Russia has enough strength and capabilities to protect its interests in the Arctic. But there is one very big “but” - our country has maximum advantages in the northern seas now, while the Arctic spaces are ice-bound and operate in the North Ocean without a powerful icebreaker fleetwhich only one Russia possesses is impossible. The personnel of the majority of the armies participating in the North Atlantic Alliance do not have the proper level of combat training for operations in the Arctic conditions, and this is not only about the ground forces, but also about paratroopers, marines, special forces, which in the event of a conflict will have to take on the main the load of military operations in the Arctic latitudes.

With further climate change due to global warming, the situation may change. The ices have long been the defenders of the northern borders of Russia, but their melting may lead to the possibility of ice-free shipping in the Arctic seas. Moreover, warships of foreign countries will be able to freely operate in the Arctic seas. It is the distant prospect associated with warming that carries increased risks for our country.

Thus, Russia should prepare for competition for the Arctic, which will be more and more fierce and large-scale, including more and more new players: from France to Japan, from China to Canada.
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  1. Far B
    Far B 20 November 2019 06: 54 New
    Russia would, in a good way, regain the Arctic sea borders of the USSR. But after all, for this it will be necessary to recognize some “fundamental” and “determining” documents and decisions of the late 80s – mid 90s as unlawful, legally insignificant and invalid. And this is already fraught with a redistribution of property within the country. Who will do it)))
    1. mark1
      mark1 20 November 2019 07: 18 New
      Quote: Far In
      Russia would, in a good way, regain the Arctic sea borders of the USSR.

      The United States disputed these borders and Soviet times, but now this will not pass at all.
      1. bessmertniy
        bessmertniy 20 November 2019 07: 59 New
        Borders are borders, and all traffic from Europe to Asia through the Arctic will be in full view. In addition, if he does not rely on our port points and other elements, then he will be much more expensive and more vulnerable. Perhaps, as an acceptable option, it will be possible to consider the transfer of a part of foreign vessels operating on the Arctic lines to the flag of Russia, which should be beneficial for shipowners. hi
    2. Ros 56
      Ros 56 20 November 2019 07: 51 New
      Sooner or later, but this will have to be done and everything is going towards this, but for now, Russia is concentrating.
      1. Boris55
        Boris55 20 November 2019 08: 46 New
        Quote: Ros 56
        In the meantime, Russia is focusing.

        And we concentrate quite well. I would say: We do it perfectly!

  2. rocket757
    rocket757 20 November 2019 07: 41 New
    NATO is tearing into the Arctic, but it is too tough for the alliance

    They may try ..... expenses, expenses, without obvious result. Although, from our point of view, FIG them all over, throughout and the bolt on top.
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 20 November 2019 07: 55 New
      Good morning Victor! Speaking about the experience of Russia in the Arctic, it is always necessary to add about the contribution of the USSR, in my opinion. good
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 20 November 2019 08: 19 New
        Hi Dmitry soldier
        ANYONE contribution cannot be forgotten !!! I am a Russian person, my country is GREAT POWER, with a long and glorious history .... no matter how it is called now.
    2. bessmertniy
      bessmertniy 20 November 2019 08: 02 New
      Let them remember the war of 1812, when frost and hunger forced the French to flee Russia. They can arrange as many trips to the Arctic as possible, but the result will be the same - flight. lol
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 20 November 2019 08: 17 New
        EVERYONE "preoccupied" behind the hillock has something to remember, if you recall SPECIFICALLY ... Fifns, Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Germans ... ecstasy striped cousins ​​!!! Better not run up, otherwise they will have to finish writing the pages of their unpleasant, shameful story!
        1. Reptiloid
          Reptiloid 20 November 2019 09: 19 New
          Quote: rocket757
          .... "concerned" over the hill there is something to remember .... SPECIFICALLY ...!
          These memories lead to anger at Russia, there is a desire to rewrite history
          1. rocket757
            rocket757 20 November 2019 09: 36 New
            Quote: Reptiloid
            These memories lead to anger at Russia, there is a desire to rewrite history

            This is straightforward at foreign countries. To bury the memory of his meanness and copy everything to someone, i.e. those who are many PURE and HONEST themselves.
            You have to fight this and poke them all with your nose into their own guano! The task is ahead for a long time, there is no simple “but we don't care”!
            1. Reptiloid
              Reptiloid 20 November 2019 09: 41 New
              Quote: rocket757
              ..... you have to ..... poke them all with your nose into their own guano! The task is ahead for a long time, there is no simple “but we don't care”!
              Of course you need, Victor. Just do not recall that this would happen at a high level.
              1. rocket757
                rocket757 20 November 2019 11: 38 New
                Quote: Reptiloid
                Of course you need, Victor. Just do not recall that this would happen at a high level.

                Volfych can! And the rest were completely “tolerant”. Slightly "scratch" "partners" on the sides, nothing more. Polytes however.
                1. Reptiloid
                  Reptiloid 20 November 2019 13: 12 New
                  Quote: rocket757
                  .... Slightly "scratch" the "partners" on the sides, nothing more. Polytes however.
                  ..... expressed concern ... ---- such a phrase does not even scratch.
                  1. rocket757
                    rocket757 20 November 2019 13: 19 New
                    Quote: Reptiloid
                    .... expressed concern ... ---- such a phrase does not even scratch.

                    They know how, they know how, today from the morning we listened to ours, who is with an iPhone! I’ve already gotten the hang of the mess on the walls! A monologue, let’s go past eleven, while not expressing, not explaining ANYTHING! Maladtsa.
                    1. Reptiloid
                      Reptiloid 20 November 2019 13: 32 New
                      Quote: rocket757
                      ...... They know how, they know how, today from the morning we listened to ours, who is with an iPhone! I’ve already gotten the hang of the mess on the walls! A monologue, let’s go past eleven, but did not express, did not explain ANYTHING! Maladtsa.

                      Porridge, speak? .... Vague doubts ......
                      1. rocket757
                        rocket757 20 November 2019 14: 07 New
                        Quote: Reptiloid
                        Porridge, speak? .... Vague doubts ......

                        It can be assumed that he did not cook the porridge himself, but he smeared it, for sure.
  3. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 20 November 2019 08: 22 New
    I feel sorry for the Arctic ...
    1. rocket757
      rocket757 20 November 2019 09: 37 New
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      I feel sorry for the Arctic ...

      It’s a pity, because you have to guard and turn your noses off the most zealous.
  4. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 20 November 2019 09: 38 New
    Fights for resources can not be avoided, and therefore "si vis pacem, para bellum!" want peace get ready for war. Nobody canceled this old truth as the world, and now it is more relevant for Russia than ever.
  5. arkadiyssk
    arkadiyssk 20 November 2019 10: 52 New
    evidence of the presence of open arctic ambitions in France is the development of the latest Arctic helicopter class X6 ...
    ... anti-icing system ...

    What kind of fierce nonsense and collective farm incompetence? Arctic = icing? Icing is closer to zero temperatures and heights of hundreds of meters. In general, the entire Arctic belongs to low-ice areas of the 2nd category, but the Krasnodar Caucasus and mountainous Europe as a whole - these are highly ice-covered areas of the 5th category. So the French are creating a helicopter not for the Arctic, but for flying in the mountains at home.
    Here you have the maps from the construction snaps on ice under the USSR still counted.
    1. nks
      nks 24 November 2019 16: 19 New
      This is primarily a civilian helicopter for the world market, one of the largest sectors of which is the maintenance of drilling, including marine, which of course involves icing in high latitudes. Well, a photo of the astrolabe, a small icebreaker for maintenance Antarctic scientific station, just a cherry on the cake - eat gentlemen concerned patriots.
  6. Operator
    Operator 20 November 2019 11: 02 New
    When the Arctic ice melts, then in place of France there will already be Northern Algeria with the mosque of Notre Damelaughing
    1. andrewkor
      andrewkor 20 November 2019 13: 06 New
      Elena Chudinova "Notre Dame Mosque"!
      I recommend!
      1. Operator
        Operator 20 November 2019 14: 04 New
        Holy-holy-holy - he himself saw Algeria in Paris.
  7. paul3390
    paul3390 20 November 2019 13: 57 New
    I definitely do not understand how the oaths of the bourgeoisie are going to exploit the Northern Sea Route without having a single coastal base over the entire vast extent. And with an unfriendly attitude towards this Russia ..
  8. Ru_Na
    Ru_Na 20 November 2019 13: 59 New
    The NATO Wishlist for the Arctic is simply ambitious, it’s another matter that this Wishlist does not at all correspond to the real capabilities of the alliance with respect to the Arctic. They have practically no icebreakers (especially atomic ones), scientific research, they have no data on the Arctic shelf, currents, weather conditions, they do not have all that powerful scientific and material base that the USSR / Russia gained over the years working in the Arctic!
  9. Maks1995
    Maks1995 20 November 2019 14: 53 New
    Is torn? How many icebreakers have they laid down?
    If you do not lay at least 3, then not really ....
  10. NF68
    NF68 20 November 2019 16: 48 New
    NATO has more than enough resources. If NATO properly takes up the development of the Arctic, then they will.
  11. eklmn
    eklmn 21 November 2019 02: 02 New
    Article - complete nonsense with a picture of KuKryNiksov.
    It looks like a reprint from the original 1951.