Thursday, May 18, 2017

Maskirovka - Russia's Military Masquerade

I recently posted an article on Russia's new, relatively low-tech stealth weapon, the cleverly designed rail-based missile system, Barguzin, that uses rail cars with the same dimensions as normal rail cars to transport its RS-24 Yars ICBMs, a plan which makes tracking the missiles a near impossibility.  In another twist, Russia has developed an even more clever diversion as shown on this video (please pardon the accompanying music!):

A similar system of deception was used by Allied forces in the United Kingdom during the Second World War to fool the Germans into believing that the D-Day beach landings would take place at Calais rather than Normandy and that there was a massive buildup of Allied forces in Germany as shown on this video:

The company manufacturing the Russian decoys, Rusbal RPC states that their simulated military equipment "increases troop survivability" and that their decoys can fool both reconnaissance and weapon guidance systems using visible, infrared, thermal and radio technology.  

Rusbal RPC makes three types of decoys:

1.) pneumatic dummies - three dimensional, inflatable decoys that can be used to simulate a concentrated land force.  These decoys weigh no more than 100 kilograms, fit in up to two duffel bags and can be erected in 3 to 4 minutes.  Here are three examples their pneumatic product line:

The company even manufactures decoys of camouflaged aircraft as shown here:

2.) flat element dummies - two dimensional dummies - a cheaper alternative to the pneumatic dummies, both horizontal and vertical placement.  Here are two examples of their flat element product line with the second example showing a simulation of an air defense combat unit:

3.) radar simulators - intended for reproducing radar portraits similar to real radar equipment.

The company even supplies equipment that make false tank track patterns.

Russia has long used the concept of maskirovka (i.e. to mask/masquerade) during wartime, a program of deception, including camouflage, designed to confuse Western intelligence networks.  With the use of this tactic of ruses, Russia attempts to manipulate an adversary's picture of the real world situation, causing confusion and affecting the decision-making process which can easily be compromised during battlefield conditions.

While the United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars annually on its massive defense budget, it is interesting to see that Russia has taken a completely different approach to defending the Motherland with its limited defense budget allocations.  It is interesting to see what a little imagination and a lot of hot air can create. 

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