Nagurskoye (air base)

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RIAN archive 642075 Frontier station "Nagurskoye".jpg
Airport type Military
Operator Russian Air Force
Location Franz Josef Land
Elevation AMSL 59 ft / 18 m
Coordinates 80°48′0″N 047°44′0″E / 80.80000°N 47.73333°E / 80.80000; 47.73333Coordinates: 80°48′0″N 047°44′0″E / 80.80000°N 47.73333°E / 80.80000; 47.73333
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4,921 1,500

Nagurskoye (Russian: Нагу́рское; also written as Nagurskoye, or Nagurskaja) (ICAO: UODN) is an airfield in Franz Josef Land in Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia located 1,350 kilometres (840 mi) north of Murmansk. It is an extremely remote Arctic base. The base is named after Polish-Russian pilot Jan Nagorski.

Nagurskoye was built in 1950s as a staging base for Soviet Long Range Aviation bombers to reach the US, and was maintained by the Russian Air Force agency OGA (Arctic Control Group), which maintained all Arctic bomber staging facilities. An An-72 (Coaler) cargo plane crashed here on December 23, 1996 while attempting to land, one of the northernmost plane crashes ever.[citation needed] The airfield is believed to be operational, maintained by Frontier Guards (FSB) and capable of servicing An-26 and An-72 aircraft.

Satellite photographs of September 2015 show a new base without armored vehicles or air defenses. Instead, the base consists of a central structure, several supporting structures such as fuel depots and heating installations, old and new runways, as well as anchorages that allow for the delivery of construction materials and supplies.[1]

The air base is undergoing expansion, expected to be complete by 2017. This includes a new 2,500-metre (8,200 ft) landing strip, living quarters for 150 soldiers, and a fleet of Mikoyan MiG-31 or Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jets.[2]