Tiksi West Airfield

Last updated
Tiksi West
Airport typeMilitary
Operator Russian Air Force
Elevation  AMSL 195 ft / 59 m
Coordinates 71°41′36″N128°41′0″E / 71.69333°N 128.68333°E / 71.69333; 128.68333 Coordinates: 71°41′36″N128°41′0″E / 71.69333°N 128.68333°E / 71.69333; 128.68333
Yakutia notext.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Tiksi West
Shown within Sakha Republic
Russia administrative location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Tiksi West
Tiksi West (Russia)
Direction LengthSurface
The Tiksi West complex, captured by a KH-9 HEXAGON satellite in 1974. Declassified US government photo, 1975, from KH-9 HEXAGON satellite of Tiksi West complex.jpg
The Tiksi West complex, captured by a KH-9 HEXAGON satellite in 1974.

Tiksi West (Tiksi-Zapadny) was a large air base in Sakha Republic, Russia, located about 7 km west of Tiksi. It appeared on Department of Defense navigation charts during the Cold War, and was listed as having a 13,500 ft (4100 metre) runway with jet capabilities. [1]



The airfield was a large unimproved airstrip operated in the 1960s and 1970s. It was intended for arctic staging by Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers based at southerly locations such as Belaya. It also served as a diversion airfield for Tiksi. The airfield was only operational during the wintertime, when the packed snow provided a much larger runway and tarmac area than that available at nearby Tiksi Airport, allowing the airfield to receive many more airplanes. This was critical as the Soviet Union only had a small number of staging bases to reach North America. It was monitored by US intelligence as a possible Tupolev Tu-22M (Backfire) staging base as late as 1980. [2]

Tiksi West was abandoned at the end of the Cold War. However several POL (petroleum, oil, and lubrication) farms fed by pipelines from the port facilities remain plainly visible on satellite imagery.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiksi Airport</span> Airport in Sakha Republic, Russia

Tiksi Aerodrome is located 1 km (0.6 mi) northeast of Tiksi, Russia, and was built in the 1950s as a staging base for Soviet Long Range Aviation bombers to reach the United States. It is used regularly by Tupolev Tu-95 aircraft in military exercises, including one in 1999, in which bombers practice travelling to the Canadian arctic. Two other nearby airfields known as Tiksi North and Tiksi West have been abandoned for decades, and are probably unusable, according to satellite imagery.

Umbozero is a Soviet Naval Aviation and Russian Navy reserve airfield in Murmansk Oblast, Russia located in the southwest Kola Peninsula 3 km north of Umbozero. It is located 165 km southeast of Murmansk. This airfield provides 20 revetments for combat aircraft.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Olenya (air base)</span>

Olenya has been a major Russian Navy reconnaissance base, located on the Kola Peninsula 92 km south of Murmansk. As of 2020 units at the base are subordinate to the Long-Range Aviation branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces. The base and its staff settlement, across Lake Permusozero from the city of Olenegorsk, are served by the Olenegorsk rail station. Olenya has served as the headquarters for 5 MRAD, and has hosted to two reconnaissance regiments. Its 3500-meter runway is the longest on the Kola Peninsula, making it a key facility for intercontinental flights across the North Atlantic basin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ugolny Airport</span> Airport in Russia

Ugolny Airport is a mixed-use military and civil airfield in the Russian Far East located 11 km east of Anadyr, separated from the town by the waters of Anadyrsky Liman. The airfield was originally constructed in the 1950s as a staging base for Long Range Aviation bombers such as the Tupolev Tu-95 and Tupolev Tu-22M. During the Cold War years it became the primary hub for civilian flights in the Chukotka region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alykel Airport</span> Airport in Norilsk, Russia

Alykel Airport is a large airport in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of Norilsk. Alykel is the only functional airfield near Norilsk. It handles medium-sized aircraft and is serviced by 24-hour operations. Since it is capable of handling wide-body jets, it is a diversion airport on Polar route 1. Since Norilsk does not have road or railroad connections to the rest of the country, the airport is the main gateway to the city.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aspidnoye (air base)</span> Former military airfield in Chukotka, Russia

Aspidnoye, also referred to as Dresba and Krumaya, is an abandoned Russian military airfield 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sharomy (air base)</span> Airport in Sharomy

Sharomy is a Naval air base in Kamchatka Krai, Russia located about 143 km north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Sharomy contains hardstands for 12 bombers and 3 fighters. It is believed to serve as a dispersal airfield for Soviet Naval Aviation, and may also be a staging airfield for Long Range Aviation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vorkuta Sovetsky (air base)</span> Military airfield in Komi Republic, Russia

Vorkuta Sovetskiy is a military airfield in the Komi Republic, Russia, located 11 km east of Vorkuta. It was one of nine Air Army staging bases in the Arctic for Russian bomber units. It contains one of the largest runways in Russia's Arctic region.

Greem Bell is an airfield of the Russian Air Force in Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It is located on Graham Bell Island in the Franz Josef Archipelago, 1372 km north of Khatanga, and is the northernmost airfield in Russia, at latitude 81°N. It is an ice airfield operational only during the winter months, roughly from the end of November to the beginning of March, and uses the internal callsign XLDG. Greem Bell Airfield was shut down in 1994, but re-opened in 2012.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nagurskoye (air base)</span> Russian arctic military airfield

Nagurskoye is an airfield in Alexandra Land in Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia located 1,350 kilometres (840 mi) north of Murmansk. It is an extremely remote Arctic base and Russia's northernmost military base. The base is named after Polish-Russian pilot Jan Nagórski.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ostrov Bolshevik (air base)</span> Military airfield in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia

Ostrov Bolshevik is an airfield on Bolshevik Island in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. and is the fourth most northernmost airfield in Russia. It was probably constructed around 1960, and is among several very large trans-polar airfields for Russia's strategic bomber force that were either abandoned during construction or served limited use.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chekurovka (air base)</span> Military airfield in Sakha Republic, Russia

Chekurovka was a Arctic military airfield in Sakha Republic, Russia located 89 km southwest of Tiksi. It is a remote, large bomber staging base that was either abandoned during construction or commissioned for emergency use. It was probably built around 1960 as a forward deployment base for the Soviet Union's strategic bomber force and abandoned shortly afterward. Its status and condition are unknown.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Koshka Yavr (air base)</span> Airport in Zapolyarnyj

Koshka Yavr is a Soviet Naval Aviation and Russian Naval Aviation reserve airfield in Murmansk Oblast, Russia located 25 km southeast of Zapolyarny and 83 km west of Murmansk. It was one of nine primary Arctic staging bases for the Tupolev Tu-22M (Backfire) bomber that was in service in the 1980s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mys Shmidta Airport</span> Airport in Chukotka, Russia

Mys Shmidta Airport, also known as Cape Shmidt Airport, is a former military airbase in the Iultinsky District of Chukotka, Russia. It is located 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) southeast of Mys Shmidta. It is a major airfield with a 2,450 by 60 metres concrete tarmac. It was built in 1954 as an Arctic staging base for intercontinental bomber flights, with caretaker services provided by OGA. The gravel overrun suggests that the runway was to eventually be extended to 3000 m. Unlike airports such as the Provideniya Bay Airport, which has always been a civilian airport, or the Iultin Airport, which was constructed specifically to serve the needs of the remote mine nearby, the Mys Shmidta airport was initially part of the ring of forward staging bases used by the Arctic Control Group (OGA) prior to intercontinental ballistic missiles gaining favour as the primary means of long-range defense.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Long-Range Aviation</span> Department of the Russian Aerospace Forces dedicated to intercontinental flight

Long-Range Aviation is a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces responsible for delivering long-range nuclear or conventional strikes by aircraft rather than missiles. The branch was previously part of the Soviet Air Forces and Russian Air Force tasked with long-range bombardment of strategic targets with nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, it was the counterpart to the Strategic Air Command of the United States Air Force.

Kaliningrad Chkalovsk is a naval air base in Chkalovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia located 9 kilometers northwest of Kaliningrad. Most instances in Russian aviation literature of Chkalovsk or Chkalovskoye refer specifically to this large airfield. A significant Baltic naval base, it is Kaliningrad's largest airfield with four separate complexes for bomber and fighter parking.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Engels-2 (air base)</span> Military airbase in Russia

Engels Air Force Base is a strategic bomber military airbase in Russia located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) east of Saratov. Engels is a major bomber operations base, and is Russia's sole operating location for the Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber. The base has a 3,500-metre (11,500 ft) runway and about 10 large revetments. It is named after the nearby city of Engels, which is named after the Communist philosopher, Friedrich Engels.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Markovo Airport</span> Airport in Russia

Markovo Airport is an airport located in Markovo, in the Chukotka autonomous district of Russia. Starting in the 1940s, Markovo was one of eight stops on the backbone Aeroflot passenger route from Moscow to Anadyr.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Baranovichi (air base)</span> Air base in Belarus

Baranovichi is an air base of the Air Force and Air Defence Forces of the Republic of Belarus and formerly of the Soviet Air Force. It has the ICAO airport code UMMA.

Korsakov was a Soviet Naval Aviation reserve airfield on Sakhalin, Russia located 11 km (7 mi) northeast of Korsakov. It was first listed by US intelligence in 1964, when significant construction of the runway was underway. Due to the long runway length it was likely intended for dispersal of Tupolev Tu-16R medium reconnaissance jets, and may have been built to meet Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky's directive that every American aircraft carrier between Midway Island and the Kuril Ridge be photographed by Soviet Tupolev Tu-16R reconnaissance aircraft.


  1. Operational Navigation Chart C-6, Defense Mapping Agency, 1974.
  2. STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATIONS RELATED ACTIVITIES SUMMARY REPORT (SANITIZED), June 1, 1980, CREST: CIA-RDP80T01355A000100140001-2, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC.