12 October 2010

Russian Army Full of Hot Air

No really, they have a corps of inflatable vehicles.

Easy to transport and even easier to deploy, the Russian military is sure looking good. But get too close and you'll see its little secret: it's inflatable.

The Russian military has been investing in inflatable decoys vastly cheaper than actual military equipment, blow-up plastics that offer the illusion of anything ranging from pretend tanks to complete radio stations.

The weapons deceptively start as large plastic sheets, shipped in a black duffel bag. With the assistance of little other than an air pump, a tank can take form in a matter of seconds, ready to roll out -- with a push from a few soldiers, of course.

These decoys lack any actual fire-power defense, of course, though they are made of special material that tricks enemy radar and thermal imaging into thinking they are real. According to an article in the Russian Times, Rusbal, a private Russian company, makes inflatable S-300 missiles, T-80 and T-72 tanks, and Su-27 and MiG-31 fighter jets -- all life-size and, the company says, extremely difficult to distinguish from the real thing when viewed by radar or satellite.

By: Brant

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