Russia to upgrade 5 Military Air Bases to counter NATO

Russia to upgrade 5 Military Air Bases to counter NATO

MOSCOW, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia will upgrade five military airports in the country's southwest and the Far East in the coming three years, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Viktor Bondarev said Saturday.

The infrastructure overhaul comes amid increased military presence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization near Russian borders and renewed Pacific islands disputes with Japan.

"We plan to conduct research this year and start to renovate the Ukrainka airfield in the Amur region next year," Bondarev was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Overhaul is already underway at the Step airfield in Zabaikalsky, at Mozdok in Northern Ossetia and at Baltimor in Voronezh, said the commander, adding that the reconstruction of the Engels airbase near Saratov is already in its second phase.

All the upgrade work will be completed by the end of 2019, he added.

The airfields modernization is part of a large-scale rearmament program between 2010 to 2020, which is expected to cost Russia enormous funds.

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