The Northern Sea Route - the shortest sea route between the European part of Russia and the Far East, historically rooted unified national route for transportation cargos in the Arctic. The importance of this route for Russia is permanently increasing. From behind the considerable melting of ice on the Northern sea the stream of transported cargos has increased considerably. And by 2020 it should reach fifty million tons and become the main route of cargos delivery in the Asian region.
Aviation of the Northern fleet has started to patrol the Northern sea route. Flight missions in polar latitudes fulfilled the crew of the Il-38 and Tu-142. The main tasks for the pilots is it ensure the safety of navigation and implementation of aerial reconnaissance in the Arctic waters.
The Northern fleet already was here in the autumn of 2011 year. Then for the first time along the Northern sea have passed grouping of military ships. Headed this mission the nuclear missile cruiser "Peter the Great". Now and naval aviation on the IL-38 starts regular patrols of strategic importance to the country's shipping route. "Planes fly over long distances in the air up to 10 hours, - says Sergey Checherov, Acting Chief of the Northern Fleet naval aviation - they can perform various tasks, from searching submarines to assist vessels in distress."
The Ilyushin Il-38 is a maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare and anti-shipping aircraft. In spite of the fact that the aircraft was developed in 1967 and is gradually becoming obsolete, he is still able to perform their tasks. Production comprised up to 65 aircraft.