Russia will begin upgrading naval maintenance facility by next couple of months in Syria's port of Tartus and would need about five years to complete.
An agreement between Russia and Syria on the expansion and upgrades of the Russian naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartus was signed on January 18, Sputnik news reported Friday.
"Expansion and modernization works are beginning this spring and will take about five years. There is no talk of a full-fledged base, it is very expensive," the official said.
The works would focus on dredging operations to allow cruisers and even possibly aircraft carriers to use the facility's infrastructure.
Russia also needs to develop the facility's ground infrastructure, through construction of canalization, electricity generation facilities and barracks for the servicemen.
Russia will carry out the seaborne and airborne protection of the base, while Syria will be responsible for the land security. Russia will be able to deploy temporary mobile outposts beyond the base, if coordinated with the Syrian side.