Tachyon drone
A Russian Tachyon drone, like those launched in the Arctic, after it landed somewhere in the Ukraine Twitter

Russia's Northern Fleet has launched drones over the Arctic to monitor its own forces in the desolate region apparently as a test for future possible missions.

The mini aircraft are equipped to take extensive video and photographs both day and night in pinpointing troops and equipment on the ground, reports Tass. The Tachyon and Aileron--3 drones have a range of 150 kilometres and fly as high as 4,000 meters. They've been lifting off in the last few days in the Murmansk region, according to military officials.

The Tachyons can operate in -30 Celsius temperatures and have already been tested in the Arctic.

Russia has spent months building up its Arctic military presence and has announced plans to add hundreds of drones to its armed forces over the next several years. It aims to have an "independent" Arctic force by 2018, according to authorities.

"The Tachion and Eleron-3 unmanned aerial reconnaissance and surveillance complexes got off the ground into the Arctic sky," Northern Fleet spokesman Captain Vadim Serga told Tass.

Earlier this year, nearly 40,000 Russian soldiers held war games in the region. In May Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "combat readiness exercises" in the area at the same time Nato was carrying military manoeuvres in the region.