Sunday, September 30, 2018

"U.K. to Step Up Arctic Patrols to Counter Russian Polar Threat"

It's getting crowded up there. I hope at this point it's just marking the territory.
From Bloomberg via gCaptain:
The U.K. will send Royal Marines to Norway’s Arctic training program because of the growing threat of Russian aggression in the area as the polar cap melts.

Some 800 marines will be deployed to Norway and four Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter planes will patrol Icelandic Skies, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told his ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference on Sunday. He also said he’ll boost training to tackle the threat of Kremlin-sanctioned cyber attacks.

The defense secretary is responding to British analysis which shows Russian submarine activity in the north Atlantic Ocean has almost reached Cold War levels. From 2020 the new P-8 Poseidon submarine-hunting aircraft will also be deployed....MORE
If it's more than just flying the flag north of  66°33′47.3″ north or if the new Australian icebreaker currently being built in Romania heads west rather than south through the Suex canal when it is completed next year we'll know something's up.
Okay, scratch all that. The plan is for the new Aussie ship to come down into the Mediterranean and hang a right after passing Gibraltar to head north of the Arctic Circle to find some ice to beat up.

Although the Bloomberg story mentions global warming a couple times, and it was HOT in northern Finland this summer, the ice pack is about the same extent and actually a little thicker than it was a decade ago (that good green ice):

More to come.