Aspidnoye (air base)

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Airport type Military
Operator Russian Air Force
Location Ambarchik
Elevation AMSL 272[1] ft / 83[1] m
Coordinates 69°21′48″N 161°33′42″E / 69.36333°N 161.56167°E / 69.36333; 161.56167Coordinates: 69°21′48″N 161°33′42″E / 69.36333°N 161.56167°E / 69.36333; 161.56167
Aspidnoye is located in Russia
Location within Russia
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35[1] 11,483[1] 3,500[1] Concrete[1]

Aspidnoye, also referred to as Dresba and Krumaya, is an abandoned Russian military airfield[2] near Ambarchik in Bilibinsky District, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, on the border with the Sakha Republic, located 41 km north of Petushki and near the now also abandoned settlement of Mikhalkino.[1]


The airfield was constructed around 1960 and was initially classified by the CIA as a long range bomber base,[3] though it was never completed.[1] US KH-4 reconnaissance satellite passes in 1963 showed no aircraft activity at the base[2] but indicated an exceptionally long 15,000 ft (4600 m) runway. However this runway was made of graded earth and analysts determined the airfield was probably not usable during the summertime due to mud and drainage across the surfaces.[2]

The airfield was intended for staging and dispersal for the Soviet Union's Tupolev Tu-95 and Tupolev Tu-22 bomber force.[citation needed] The position of Aspidnoye on the shore of the Arctic Ocean would have given it access to northern resupply ship routes for fuel supplies. A defense radar facility, probably a P-14 Tall King unit, exists on satellite imagery 14 km northwest of the airfield.[1]

The last reference in declassified CIA documents to Aspidnoye was in 1973 when it appeared in a target list.[4] It was listed as non-operational and covered by snow.

See also[edit]

Other abandoned arctic staging bases:


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Vasquez, Tim (2009). "Dresba". Tim Vasquez. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c OAK MISSION 8003 31 JULY - 1 AUGUST, Central Intelligence Agency, August 1963.
  3. ^ COMOR TARGETS LOCATED ON KH-4 PHOTOGRAPHY, Central Intelligence Agency, January 5, 1965.
  4. ^ OAK SUPPLEMENT PART 4, KH-9 MISSION 1205, 10 MARCH - 4 APRIL 1973, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA-RDP78T04752A000400010010-2, May 1973.