Monday, March 21, 2011

Russia's Secret New Weapon: The Inflatable Tank

I suppose the idea is to make any potential enemy die of laughter.
THEY may look like real tanks and missiles, but some of the weapons in Russia's arsenal may not all be what they seem.

The army is making increasing use of inflatable replicas — decoys deployed in a cunning attempt to deceive potential enemies.

In a workshop in Moscow's suburb Khotkovo, employees of inflatable equipment company Rusbal sew the fabric used to create fake weapons for their main customer — the Russian army.

Established in 1993, Rusbal replicates military equipment, such as T-80 tanks, S-300 missiles or fighter jets, for an undisclosed price, but also manufactures inflatable castles and other toys for children.

"These machines are effective in deceiving the enemy, and they protect the real equipment," the Rusbal plant director, Victor Talanov, said.

"This kind of technology has existed in the army for a long time, since World War II."
Can't wait to see Putie driving one of these things.

Not that it'll happen, but someone in Russia might want to do an inventory of their real equipment. I suspect a whole lot of money isn't going where the public might think it is.
The Kremlin has vowed repeatedly to modernise its dilapidated military, equipped with aging and obsolete equipment.

In February Russia launched a $650 billion rearmament plan to counter the West's military dominance by adding eight nuclear submarines and hundreds of warplanes to its creaking armed forces.

Last year Russia announced plans to triple its defence spending to 19 trillion rubles ($669 billion) over the next decade.
Speaking of Putie, the man buying fake tanks is calling action in Libya medieval. An interesting retort from Dmitry Medvedev.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed as “unacceptable” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s description of Western-led attacks on Libya as a “crusade,” marking their first public foreign-policy dispute.

Putin, who spoke amid a visit to Russia by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said the UN resolution and resulting allied offensive amounts to a “medieval call for a crusade.”

“It’s unacceptable to use terms that effectively lead to a clash of civilizations like the crusades,” Medvedev said at his residence outside Moscow. “Otherwise things could end far worse than what’s happening now.”


rich b said...

And as soon as they invent the BB gun in Russia those tanks are gonna be in a world of hurt.

Aaron Worthing said...

I think I saw a similar story a bit back.<span>  </span>sad.

It reminds me of two things.<span>  </span>First, we used inflatable tanks in WWII, but for the more honorable reason of faking out hitler on where Patton was going to invade.

Second, also before WWII, the polish army got it in its head that the german tanks weren’t real.<span>  </span>That they were just made of wood and cloth, and literally a guy with a large lance could pierce the cloth on the outside and kill the driver and disable the tank.<span>  </span>So they had entire units dedicated to doing exactly that—running up to the tank with a large, sharp pole.

My WWII teacher said it must have been an interesting moment when one of them managed to get up to the tank and shove the pole toward the armor, only to hear a “clank” as it hit metal.

<span>My very non-PC joke: “and thus the Pollock joke was born.”</span>

Jew-nami said...

It worked when the Serbs did it to Clinton.

Andy Collins said...

Not to bash the snarkiness but I distinctly remember the US Army experimenting with something similar during the late 80s/early 90s when I was in. Can't remember the deatils (probably an article I read in Soldiers magazine) but I remember seeing inflateable helicopters! Spoofing satellite imagery can be such fun!

RRRoark said...

<span>I thought Patton trademarked this stunt with "Operation Fortitude". Call Righthaven to send a cease and desist letter.  
Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.</span>