Airships to link Arctic with Siberia
© RIA Novosti. Ruslan Krivobok

Airships to link Arctic with Siberia

The Russian Government is offered to consider the project to create a system of transport/logistics corridors that would link the Trans-Siberian Railway with BAM (Baikal-Amur Mainline) and the Northern Sea Route, Kommersant newspaper reports.

Alexander Nekipelov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and head of the School of Economics at Moscow State University, and Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of the Security Council, have asked Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich to examine the United Eurasia project.

The project aims to elevate the country to new socio-economic levels through all-out development of Siberia, the Russian Far East and the Arctic. Its authors estimate the project at $220-240 billion. There are plans to complete the creation of transport/logistics corridors by 2035.

Currently, the project only makes detailed mention of ATLANT airships. (The Russian acronym ATLANT stands for new-type aerostatic transport aircraft.) These airships are to deliver freight between the Northern Sea Route and the Trans-Siberian Railway. Each airship will cost an estimated $30 million to build and can replace five Mil Mi-8 Hip helicopters. The Avgur Aerostat Center will help develop these airships.

Letters addressed to Dvorkovich note that the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Presidential Aide Igor Levitin have already supported the United Eurasia project. Levitin's letter attached to the project notes that it is necessary to find private investors for United Eurasia because the federal budget lacks the funds to implement this venture.