MOSCOW, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Northern Fleet will prioritize the improvement of infrastructure in the Arctic in 2018 to maintain high combat readiness, the Defense Ministry said in a news release Saturday.
The Northern Fleet will continue voyages to the Arctic, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean this year and develop new types of weapons and equipment, it said.
The fleet will be testing their fourth submarine in 2018. The Prince Vladimir is the first upgraded Borei-class nuclear-sub, capable of carrying up to 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Another Borei-class submarine, the Yuri Dolgoruky, is already serving the Northern Fleet.
Earlier this week, the Defense Ministry said Russian troops in the country's far north and the Arctic will be equipped with the Tor-M2DT autonomous short-range anti-aircraft missile system in 2018.
Russia is strengthening its defense forces in the Arctic while stepping up efforts to exploit resources in the region. They will also explore a new polar shipping route off its northern coast.