Russian paratroopers took part in a drill in the Arctic on Saturday using a brand new parachute system for extreme Arctic conditions like oxygen masks, navigation, parachute systems and white camouflage uniforms to descend from an altitude of 10,000 meters. The Russian Defence Ministry made a statement saying that the “high-altitude jump was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Airborne Troops.” In comparison, most skydiving jumps by civilians are made from an altitude of around 3,000 to 4,000 meters (10,000 to 13,500 feet).
“Today, for the first time in world history, we conducted a group landing of personnel with special parachute systems in Arctic conditions from a height of 10,000 meters using oxygen equipment followed by combat training missions. Nobody has done such a thing before” said Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant General Yunus-bek Yevkurov.
The paratroopers, who jumped from an Il-76 aircraft over the remote archipelago of Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic. Here, at 80 degrees north, Russia’s Arctic forces have built its northernmost military complex with a new 2,500-meter-long runway and huge building infrastructure. The Nagurskoye base is equipped with the latest gear for Arctic warfare. That includes snowmobiles, military trucks, helicopters, radar systems and anti-aircraft missile systems, like the S-300, which are aimed at strengthening control over Arctic airspace.
After landing on the snow, the paratroopers began the main stage of the tactical and special exercise. Several dozen of them conducted search-and-reconaissance operations aimed at destroying the conditional enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group. The exercise continued for three days along the northern shores of Alexandra Land, around Cape Nimrod, close the eastern edge of the largest glacier on the island. In the end, the soldiers advanced to the collection point and returned to the Nagurskoye base.