Russian Helicopters Land On Painted Decoy Fighter Silhouettes Undermining Deception Attempt

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Decoy
A Russian assault helicopter parked on prime of a decoy Su-30 at a Russian base in Crimea. (UK MOD)

Russian helicopters are disrupting Moscow’s efforts to deceive Ukraine utilizing decoys, by touchdown on the dummy fighter jets painted on the concrete.

In September 2023, satellite imagery of Engels-2 airbase, situated in Saratov Oblast, some 400 km southeast of Moscow and roughly 700 km from the border with Ukraine, uncovered a sure variety of Russian Aerospace Forces Tu-95 Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack bombers with their wings and a part of the fuselage covered with car tires. One other picture, taken from the bottom at an unknown airfield and circulated on-line roughly one week after the photographs from Engels first appeared on-line, confirmed a Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback bomber with tires on the fuselage, wings and horizontal stabilizers.

The rationale for the presence of automobile tires on the highest of the plane has lengthy been debated and lots of theories had been formulated: based on Ukrainian sources, the tires had been getting used as a form of makeshift safety from assaults carried out with kamikaze drones. Others recommended the bombers had been retired airframes getting used as decoys to get attainable strikes away from operations plane, or to make radar concentrating on by Ukraine’s long-range missiles more durable (a idea backed by the truth that the tire cowl on the Tu-95 was noticed altering the artificial aperture radar signature of the bomber).

On Sept. 10, 2023, the favored FighterBomber Telegram channel, with shut ties with the Russian Aerospace Forces’ aircrews, posted some new pictures, displaying what was described as an anti-drone structure being fielded for take a look at functions at an unspecified Russian airfield.

These talked about above had been simply two “artistic” methods apparently put in place by Russia to mislead the lethal Ukrainian assault drones.

However they weren’t the one ones.

In addition to inflatable tanks and wooden rocket launchers, in January 2024, a picture captured by Planet Labs PBC and obtained by Business Insider confirmed the silhouette of a fight plane painted on the tarmac of Mozdok Air Base in southeast Russia. Related decoys, painted a while between the summer time and fall 2023, have been uncovered by satellite tv for pc imagery of Belbek, Gvardeyskoye and Krymsk Air Base.

The rationale for utilizing such decoys is all the time the identical: deceive the Ukrainian drones that depend on primary cameras for picture recognition of plane shapes.

Whereas this tactic, that’s nothing new, has probably helped forestall a number of the Ukrainian assaults, it could seem like undermined, on some bases, by an inner “risk”.

Based on the UK MOD Defence Intelligence replace dated Apr. 2, 2024, Russian helicopters “nonetheless often land on the painted decoy fighter silhouettes, utterly undermining the deception try”

The satellite tv for pc picture of the Kirovskoe base exhibits this: a Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopter sitting straight on the silhouette of a Su-30 jet. “This additionally reveals the true order of battle or plane power at these airbases, which Russia is probably going making an attempt to masks from Ukraine’s intelligence image,” the British MOD says.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim navy aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, masking aviation, protection, battle, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Drive, a personal pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.



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