Matua is an uninhabited volcanic island located in the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk. It is in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Also, the Matua island is 16 km from Golovnin Strait. These islands are located on the Ring of Fire.
Why is Matua in News?
Recently the Russian Military deployed its defence missile systems called the Bastion systems to the Matua Island.
What is the issue around the island?
The chain of islands, Kuril Islands, is claimed by Japan as well. Japan claims four of the islands in the chain and call them Northern Territories. These Islands were taken by the Soviet Union in the final days of World War II. During World War II, Japan had installed a military base in the island. After the disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991, the soviet military base established earlier was closed due to funding shortages.
What are Bastion Systems?
It is a coastal defence missile system. The Bastion Systems are capable of hitting sea targets up to a range of 500 kilometres. The main role of the system is to engage convoys, ships and carrier battle groups. It uses P – 800 Oniks. The Oniks is a supersonic anti – ship missile. These missiles carry 250 kg of warhead.
Sea of Okhotsk
The Sea of Okhotsk is a marginal sea in the Pacific Ocean. Marginal seas are large shallow seas. They are surrounded by land on one side. The marginal seas in the world are Arabian sea, Bering Sea, Baltic Sea, Black sea, Mediterranean sea, Red Sea and the Gulf of California. On the other hand, Inland seas are surrounded by water on all sides. All Inland seas are Marginal seas.
About Matua Island
The island is oval in shape. Its length is 11 km and width is 6.5 km. It has a strato volcano. The strato volcano is also called composite volcano. It is built up by many layers of hard lava. They are characterised by a summit crater and periodic intervals of explosive eruptions.