Tuesday, 5 April 2011
THEY may look like real tanks and missiles, but some of the weapons in Russia's arsenal may not all be what they seem.
For the army is making increasing use of inflatable replicas - decoys deployed in a cunning attempt to deceive potential enemies.
"These machines are effective in deceiving the enemy, and they protect the real equipment," the Rusbal plant director, Victor Talanov, said.
In another recent example, the Serbian army used similar decoys during the country's bombardment by NATO forces in 1999 and the Alliance actually destroyed fewer genuine targets than it thought.
It's very difficult to distinguish a real tank from a fake one. For example,..
the equipment they produce has the same thermal footprint as the weapons it imitates.
"From the height of a 10-storey building, if a real tank and a false one stand side by side, they make almost no difference. Our machines emit the same heat and reflect radio waves in the same way as real ones," said Lyudmila Stepanova, Rusbal's chief technology expert.
Another bonus is that they are easy to deploy - a tank inflates in minutes.
According to Rusbal, Russian technology of manufacturing fake weapons is far more innovative and developed than in other countries, such as China or Canada, which also use similar equipment.
Last year Russia announced plans to triple its defence spending to 19 trillion rubles (613 billion dollars, 454 billion euros) over the next decade.