Russia shows off arctic weapons posture
Russia showcased a new fighting snowmobile equipped with a machine gun in its annual Victory Day parade on Red Square on Wednesday, as it seeks a military push into the warming Arctic.A mechanized snow machine does not strike me as a fearsome weapon. The chances of a military assault in that area are pretty remote.
The snowmobiles were part of an array of fearsome new war machines demonstrated at the parade, including the Su-57 stealth fighter jet, the Dagger hypersonic missile, unmanned aerial vehicles and a robotic tank.
White camouflage trucks emblazoned with the polar bear emblem of Russia's Arctic forces carried the TTM 190-40 snowmobiles, which can operate in temperatures as low as -50С, past president Vladimir Putin and other attendees standing on top of Lenin's tomb.
Guests of honour included Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Serbian president Alexander Vucic and American B-movie actor and martial artist Steven Seagal.
With a speed of 40 miles per hour and a range of 300 miles, the snowmobile keeps its two-man crew warm in an enclosed cabin and can defend itself with a 7.62mm PKP machine gun mounted on the back.
While countries like the United States and Sweden have conducted military exercises with snowmobiles, Canada is the only other country known to have developed military sledges, specifically an electric “stealth snowmobile”.
As climate change rapidly reduces sea ice, Russia has been developing Arctic oil and gas reserves, which could be worth up to $35 trillion, and building Atomic icebreakers for an expected uptick in shipping through the northeast passage.