The Russian Navy will have another base, and on the Kuriles. At least, this is stated in the upper house of parliament. The island of Matua still keeps the secrets and infrastructure of the Japanese garrison once upon a time. However, the Pacific Fleet has much more pressing needs than building a base on this island.
In the near future, work will begin on the creation of a naval base in the Kuril Islands, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Franz Klintsevich, said on Thursday. "Everything goes strictly according to plan, without an emergency jerk," said the senator. "From the point of view of the bay, the base, if it is created, will allow putting any ships, including the first rank," promised Klintsevich, adding that the airfield network would also be restored.
For the first time, the possibility of basing the Pacific Fleet (PFU) ships on the Kuriles, declared in the spring of last year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. After that the ships of the Pacific Fleet made an expeditionary expedition to the Kuriles to study such possibilities, and a joint expedition of the Ministry of Defense and the Russian Geographical Society was sent to Matua Island. The fact is that Matua was used by the Japanese as a military naval and air base, and while it remains the most likely place to create a base.
"Three runways have been preserved since the Second World War. Their successful location in view of the wind rose and the local climate in those years ensured the landing and take-off of aircraft at any time, "reported the island before the Ministry of Defense. It also noted that "on some assumptions, a chemical weapons laboratory could be located on the island's territory."
Shoigu himself said that "there are a lot of fortifications on the island, mines, grottoes, runways that are heated by thermal springs, the road that leads to the volcano ... There are many different riddles on the military side. To date, no one can answer, where a huge amount of equipment and ammunition that were prepared for the repulse of Soviet troops happened, and where two-thirds of the garrison that was on this island were gone. "
"Matua is a small island in the middle part of the Kurils (which is not claimed in Tokyo), it arose around an active and restless volcano," wrote TASS correspondent in Tokyo Vasily Golovnin in his Facebook commentary on Thursday, commenting on Klintsevich's promise. - On the Matua, the Japanese Imperial Army created its main base in the Kuriles - a phenomenal, mysterious object that has not been studied so far. In the rocky and volcanic ground, the underground city is cut there, with narrow-gauge railway lines and lines of trolleys leaving for unknown places. " In 1945 year before surrendering to the Red Army, the garrison blew up most of the underground passages - during the Soviet times no one really explored them, Golovnin reminds.
According to Golovnin, the expedition that had worked on Matua last year found that the Japanese concrete airfield of the first half of the last century, despite decades of typhoons and snowfalls, can take modern aircraft with some equipment. "We found a secret nest for the submarine cut in the rocks, but could not go further into the depths," he clarifies. "There were also mysterious power cables."
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Today, the machine gun and artillery division is deployed on the Kuril ridge. In addition, a year ago on the island of Iturup was deployed coastal missile system "Bastion", and on the island of Kunashir - complex "Ball".
"The new base is needed to protect the Kuriles - first, for the anti-landing defense of the islands. Secondly, to ensure the military presence of Russia in this area, especially given the fact that the Kuriles are claiming the Japanese. Including this is a political signal for Tokyo, "the first vice-president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Captain I rank Konstantin Sivkov, told the newspaper VIEW.
Now the Pacific Fleet bases are located in Vladivostok and Vilyuchinsk (Kamchatka). "The new base is needed, if only because the Pacific Fleet is divided into two parts: Kamchatka and Primorye, which in the event of war will not be connected in any way. Intermediate base is absolutely necessary, "Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, told the newspaper.
The only problem is that the PIF itself is experiencing far more serious problems than the lack of bases. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the most efficient ships disappeared from its structure - they were sold abroad or generally let in for scrap. Only flagships can go to distant hikes: the Varyag rocket cruiser, the destroyer Fast and three large anti-submarine ships: Admiral Tributs, Admiral Panteleev and Admiral Vinogradov. The remaining ships are intended for operations in the coastal zone. The renewal of the Pacific Fleet is a task for decades, and the construction of the base does not bring its solution nearer.
"Security is determined not only by the availability of the base, but by the fleet itself, which is based on this base. And we have just the biggest problems with the Pacific Fleet. It is the only one that has not been updated since Soviet times. There, catastrophically there are not enough ships, "Khramchikhin complained.
Within two squadrons
It should be noted that Shoigu spoke only about the possibility of "basing" the ships of the Pacific Fleet. Klintsevich says exactly about the "base". What will actually happen? Khramchikhin noted that financial resources will determine the answer to this question. In any case, it is a question of large sums.
Sivkov is already confident that only a temporary base will be built. "Sevastopol, Novorossiysk, Severomorsk - these are real bases, and here is the point of basing," he said. Something more, in his opinion, would be unreasonably expensive. According to Sivkov, there is no infrastructure for large ships on Matua. "Boats will only go there - within 1,5 thousand tons," he pointed out. Ships of the same "first rank", mentioned by Klintsevich, have a displacement of about 10 thousand tons.
"There will be an airfield to ensure the basing of the air force grouping within the two squadrons - this is 24-30 vehicles - and the point of reception of the surface forces of the fleet," Sivkov believes. Most likely, the base will be designed to ensure the actions of missile boats, and with the appropriate stockpiles of weapons, he suggested.
Stories about bad weather in the Kuriles - a myth
"There are conditions for the creation of housing, for the construction of berths, the creation of warehouses and arsenals, for the repair work of ships and ground equipment," military expert, retired colonel Viktor Litovkin, told about the Matua RIA Novosti news agency.
At the same time, the president of the Far Eastern Association of Marine Captains, captain Petr Osichansky, told the newspaper VZGLYAD that there are many other bays on the Kuril Islands, in which ships with tonnage 3-5 thousand tons can safely pass. But about the ships of greater tonnage he expressed doubt.
"The weather on the Kuril Islands is a favorable, mild winter. There are no strong frosts, "Osichansky said. "The winds are blowing, but we can not say that there are the same powerful storms as those to which the Primorsky Territory and Japan fall," he said.
But all this does not apply specifically to Matua, Golovnin objected. The Japanese called the island of Matsuva ("The Ring of Pines"), but from the Ainu language its name translates as "The mouth of hell," he adds and adds: "Matua does not have a serious port, the Japanese did not consider it as such. So it is necessary to build. And there absolutely disgusting climate - fog, showers and snow. "