The Russian Ministry of Defense showed video footage from a new base on one of the islands of the Kuril ridge Matua. Calculations of the coastal missile system “Bastion” have been deployed for the first time and have taken up duty on this remote island in the central part of the Kuril Ridge. АиФ.ги I was figuring out what kind of Russian infrastructure would appear on this island in the Pacific Ocean and why new weapons were transferred here.
What kind of island?
Matua is a small island, its area is 52 square kilometers. The length is only 11 kilometers, and the width is 6.4 kilometers. A significant part of its area is occupied by hills, rocks and the active Sarycheva volcano with a height of 1446 meters, which has long covered 96% of the Matua area with volcanic rocks and ash. Tourists who visited it celebrate the beauty of the local nature.
At the same time, the island, which has become the new base of the Russian Navy, is located almost in the middle of the Kuril Ridge. The convenient location of the island allows you to control and cover the key ocean area for Russia in the Far East. It is here that the main areas of deployment and combat duty of Russian nuclear-powered strategic missile cruisers with intercontinental ballistic missiles are located.
What was placed on the island?
Coastal missile systems «Bastion» have been deployed to Matua. Each launcher carries two supersonic anti-ship missiles “Onyx” with a range of up to 300 km. The missiles are capable of launching a large first-rank warship to the bottom. The complexes can find targets both independently, with the help of radars, and act on external targeting. Together with the missiles already deployed in Kamchatka and the southern Kuriles, they provide a wide control zone.
According to the Ministry of Defense, a modular autonomous military camp has been deployed on the territory of the island, in which premises have been created designed for year-round service, accommodation, recreation and nutrition of personnel. Technical posts are also equipped, equipment and material storage facilities are deployed, entrances to the starting positions are equipped. The crews will be able to carry out combat duty and conduct combat training.
What other infrastructure is there?
Military builders have already restored an old Japanese military airfield with a runway almost one and a half kilometers long, capable of receiving light transport aircraft, multi-purpose fighters such as Su-35 and Su-30SM, as well as front-line bombers such as Su-34.
There is no mooring infrastructure on the island, so equipment, personnel and material resources will be delivered to the island either by air or by large landing ships.
What other weapons can appear on the island?
In the near future, it is planned to deploy air defense systems, as well as various electronic warfare systems. Most likely, we are talking about the S-400 and S-300V4 long-range systems. Because it was the S-400s of the 1724th anti-aircraft missile Regiment that were transferred from the Jewish Autonomous Region at the beginning of this year to cover Sakhalin. And since December 2020, the S-300V4 air defense systems have started combat duty on another Kuril island – Iturup. To provide additional cover for such a group, the ZRAK “Pantsir-1C” and with electronic warfare means are usually sent.
History of Matua
Numerous fortifications and trenches left after the Second World War are still visible on the island. Japan, which controlled it at that time, created a powerful military base on the island for aircraft and ships. At its peak, its garrison reached 7 thousand soldiers. About a hundred machine-gun and artillery long-term firing points, underground passages were built on Matua. Three runways allowed aviation to operate in any wind direction.
At the end of August 1945, Matua was captured by a Soviet amphibious assault, almost 4 thousand Japanese soldiers were captured. After the war, a part of the USSR was located on the island for several decades, air defense radars were placed that controlled the airspace along the Kuril Ridge. In 2000, the Ministry of Defense left there, and the island became uninhabited.
The return took place in 2016. A joint expedition of 200 military and representatives of the Russian Geographical Society examined Matua, checked its chemical and radiation safety, and found fresh water sources. Even then, it was not hidden that preparations were underway to create a permanent military base on it.
This year, satellite images of the construction of the Russian base on Matua appeared in the Japanese media. Work on the island began in October.