Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Russian Army Upgrades Its Inflatable Weapons

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the blowing-up dept.

The Military 197

jamax writes "According to the BBC: 'The Russian military has come up with an inventive way to deceive the enemy and save money at the same time: inflatable weapons. They look just like real ones: they are easy to transport and quick to deploy. You name it, the Russian army is blowing it up: from pretend tanks to entire radar stations.' But the interesting thing is these decoys are not dumb - actually they appear to be highly advanced for what I thought was a WWII-grade aerial photography countermeasures. Apparently they have heat signatures comparable with the military tech they represent, as well as the same radar signature."

cancel ×

197 comments

So... (3, Interesting)

the_one_wesp (1785252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859556)

This is kinda like when I used to create decals of myself and spray them all around the Counter Strike maps.

Special Points (-1, Offtopic)

lioc (832312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859562)

Do you get special points if your first post is a first post?

Re:Special Points (2, Funny)

the_one_wesp (1785252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859598)

Normally, yes, but YOU don't.

Re:Special Points (0, Offtopic)

lioc (832312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859632)

oh well. laggy map

Thanksgiving (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33859576)

I want something like this I can send in my stead to my mother-in law's for Thanksgiving.

Better still (2, Interesting)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859618)

Inflate them with poison gas. Then, it really is a weapon. Without, isnt really just an inflatable replica and not a weapon?

Re:Better still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33859660)

Deception is one of the biggest weapons one can use.

Re:Better still (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860364)

Anyone who doubts this should spend a few months with my ex-girlfriend from a few years back.

Hmmmm (2, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859780)

So one bullet to one of these 'death balloons' and all those scary Russians would die from their own Super EVIL WEAPON. Sounds brilliant!

Re:Better still (4, Insightful)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859794)

Yeah, except they, you know, agreed not to.

Re:Better still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33859846)

>Inflate them with poison gas. Then, it really is a weapon.

Operation Dutch Oven? Shit reminds me of my ex-wife...

Re:Better still (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859868)

The proper word is "decoy".

    It's a very valid strategy too. If there are 2 or 3 real targets, they may be easy to neutralize. What if those targets became 3000? You'll have an awful lot of your resources spread out to blow up non-targets. After a while, morale can stop dropping when the troops are sent out on yet another mission to blow up a balloon. And that can be dangerous. Thinking that they're "neutralizing" another balloon, and running into a real armed battalion would be a disaster.

    The same applies to all kinds of other scenarios.

    Decoys are useful for lots more than just defensive purposes. If intelligence says an area is occupied, and you're trying to pull a group out quietly, they may be diverted around such decoys, and right into a bigger trap.

    But, if the decoys can be identified, that may not prove anything. 2000 decoy units and 3 real units, you could assume that the real units are protecting the places of value, right? Not necessarily. They only need to be close enough to react. So you have a real unit in front of Bunker A, and decoys in front of Bunkers B and C, you wouldn't necessarily want to attach Bunker A.

Re:Better still (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859964)

Both USA and USSR used to have unmarked or falsely marked trains with Minuteman (USA) and Topol (Russia). That is a target hidden amidts the mother of all decoys - the entire country's train network.

Re:Better still (3, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860156)

Except Minuteman were never railroad deployed.

They were always road delivered to silos.

And since railhubs were always 2nd and 3rd tier targets right after C3, nuclear bases and air fields, having them hidden in the rolling stock of the US wasn't that much of a decoy.

Russia on the other hand was better suited to hiding things out in the boondocks on rail sidings.

Re:Better still (2, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860566)

    That's only one up to the better hiding spots, the highways.

    There was an article not long ago about the DoD was transporting something secret. They opted to use plain white trailers on regular tractor trailer rigs. They'd load one up, and send a dozen or so trucks out at the same time from what was already a busy location.

    The problem with doing something like SAMs (or worse, the Minuteman's) would be that they would be a huge problem if there were an accident. But as far as targets go, how many tractor trailers are on or off the road?

    But, isn't masquerading military forces as civilians against some pesky rule of war?

Re:Better still (1)

Skjellifetti (561341) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860688)

This was one of the reason that the Soviets and Americans signed the ABM Treaty. Both sides realized that the cost of building launchable decoy ballistic missiles or filling your MIRV with a combination of real and fake warheads was way cheaper than the cost of building anti-ballistic missiles.

RTFA (1)

memorycardfull (1187485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859938)

They are already inflated with deadly corbomite.

Re:Better still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860022)

Easy Joker, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF8yxerAtZM

Re:Better still (2, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860142)

Inflate them with poison gas. Then, it really is a weapon. Without, isnt really just an inflatable replica and not a weapon?

And why would it need to be a weapon when its purpose is to make it hard for the enemy to know real information about your asset's numbers and positions?
Put down the comic books and pick up the Art of War.

But there is that whole chemical weapons treaty (1)

Marrow (195242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860538)

And they worked so hard on it too.

Re:Better still (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860690)

I don't know. It seems that in the US, the legal definition of a weapon is something intended to believed to be a weapon. That is, if you take a plastic toy gun to rob a bank, you get the same (or similar) weapons charges that you would have gotten had you just used the real thing.

Similarly, non-functioning replica weapons are not allowed on airplanes (per the TSA).

Re:Better still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860828)

In Russia, Inflatable inflates you.

Inflatable Russian Brides (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33859628)

As long as they have the same heat signature, what could go wrong?

In Soviet Russia, (5, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859636)

In Soviet Russia, tank.. erm .. you blow up .. er... never mind.

Re:In Soviet Russia, (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33859714)

common that is an easy one.

In soviet Russia, you blow tanks up

Re:In Soviet Russia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860226)

I imagine a soldier that accidentally shot a few of these would get in trouble from his sergant:

"You've let yourself down. You've let me down. And worst of all, you've let your entire unit down!"

Re:In Soviet Russia, (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860630)

...you think decoys will shoot at you!(?)

Hm, yeah...

beware (5, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859666)

Spies beware: the facilities which house the inflatable weapons will be guarded around-the-clock by vicious balloon dogs.

Gen Turgidson (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860194)

Gentlemen, we must not allow a balloon gap!

"Quaker guns" (5, Interesting)

tibbetts (7769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859678)

The Confederates did something like this in the early days of the US Civil War--they painted logs to look like cannons, and they often succeeded in fooling Union surveillance. Why "Quaker" guns? Because the Quakers were (and are) avowed pacifists (except for the one who was elected President of the US). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaker_Gun [wikipedia.org]

Re:"Quaker guns" (4, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859940)

Inflatable and cardboard tanks were used along with fake radio broadcasts and intentional disinformation by double agents to help trick the Germans to believing that the Allies, led by Patton, were going to invade France via Calais(where the Channel is most narrow) instead of at Normandy. This actually caused the Germans to locate a significant number of men and tanks in the Calais region. I believe some units were actually pulled from Normandy to bolster the defenses at Calais.

Re:"Quaker guns" (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860486)

IIRC, despite urging of Rommel, many of those units in Calais region were also being held back while the invasion was in progress. Too many top figures of the Reich set their minds on the invasion happening in Calais; and indeed thought for some time that Normandy is the decoy.

Serbia (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860090)

The Serbian military did it more recently. The success rate differs depending on who reports it (reference [leeds.ac.uk] ):

* DoD estimated 120 Serb tanks, 220 APCs destroyed; Clark stated that reports about NATO warplanes striking decoys and failing to destroy tanks and personnel carriers was a concerted disinformation campaign
* Reporters on the ground estimated 13 Serb tanks and < 100 armored personnel carriers destroyed, but noted the ruins of many different types of decoys hit by NATO forces (e.g., rusted tanks with broken parts, wood or canvas mock-ups). Other reports talk about microwave ovens being used inside decoys to generate cheap electronic signatures.

Re:"Quaker guns" (1)

Otto95 (1099755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860098)

. . . and the Allies did it again in WWII. General Patton commanded a fake army designed to fool the Germans into believing the invasion of France would take place at Pa de Calais instead of at Nomandy. The fake army included inflatable tanks, trucks, etc.

The only thing that is newsworthy about this latest Russian incarnation is that it also includes fake thermal and radar signatures. Allowing a very old trick to be used again.

Re:"Quaker guns" (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860542)

Even less newsworthy - AFAIK Soviet-era decoys certainly did have false heat signatures (starting with a primitive stove of sorts, essentially); I don't know about faking radar, but trying to do that would be obvious.

So..."military refining its methods"...yawn.

Re:"Quaker guns" (0, Offtopic)

ultramarweeni (662813) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860126)

Quaker guns?

The only such guns I know of are shotgun, double-barrelled shotgun, chaingun, grenade and rocket launchers and of course the shaft.

Scarecrows are as old as agriculture (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860204)

The Confederates did something like this in the early days of the US Civil War--they painted logs to look like cannons, and they often succeeded in fooling Union surveillance. Why "Quaker" guns? Because the Quakers were (and are) avowed pacifists (except for the one who was elected President of the US).

The first emperor of china had a whole damn army of realistic clay figures [wikipedia.org] (each with different facial features and painted to look alive). Put a couple units of real people alternating between atanding at attention and moving around in the mix, and any invader looking over the wall would shit his pants at the sight of the vast number of armed soldiers ready to fight.

Quakers around here certainly fight. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860946)

Because the Quakers were (and are) avowed pacifists

Well, except for the famous fighting Quakers of Philadephia, who have fought in all of the USA's wars, including the revolution.

And of course, General Smedley Butler, the most decorated marine evar.

And Nixon, as you mentioned.

So? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859686)

In other words: They've improved the realism of decoy tech that has been in use for decades.

Re:So? (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859830)

Hence, the use of the word "upgrade"...

Re:So? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860036)

"Upgrade" could just as well only refer to the exterior, which has become more complex and doesn't look like WW2 surplus anymore.

Essentially WW2 tech (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33859702)

With the addition of aluminised foil and a couple of appropriately applied electric blankets.

Given the nature of modern surveillance techniques, I would have thought a thicket of missile launchers "popping up" in a new location, without any movement provenance would raise suspicions, even given US military ham-handedness [bbc.co.uk] .

I hope the units tasked with deploying these assets have plenty of puncture kits.....

Re:Essentially WW2 tech (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860242)

I assume than even baloon stations will be delivered on (real) trucks and during their inflation will be surrounded by a lot of balloon construction vehicles.

Re:Essentially WW2 tech (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860414)

Shouldn't be a problem as long as they remember not to dress the balloon inflation corps in big, colorful wigs, floppy shoes, and facepaint.

Re:Essentially WW2 tech (1)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860562)

Actually if you read the source, these decoys are meant primarily for military exercises - so that your troops can be trained to seek and destroy targets that look as real as possible both in natural light and in infrared and on the radar.

You can do all kinds of things with that, for example - make 10 rocket launchers and heat up only a few of them when the attackers approach: the attacking pilots must observe the heat signature of the targets and deduce which targets are battle ready and which have already fired their payload and then destroy first the rocket launchers that have not launched their missile and might do it soon.

Re:Essentially WW2 tech (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861042)

Yea, that would be the "official" use.

Yes they are. (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859706)

But the interesting thing is these decoys are not dumb

Correction: They are dumb.

Re:Yes they are. (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860540)

Correction: They are dumb.

Let's be PC here. I believe the proper term will be 'militarily challenged'.

Re:Yes they are. (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860978)

That's a little too redundant for me, even for me.

WTSDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33859758)

Welcome to Six Decades Ago...

The Allied forces used this "Technology" to deceive the Nazis prior to the Normandy landing. How this is news, I have no idea.

still might not be cost effective (1)

lioc (832312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859774)

if they cost 1% of the price of the real thing, they are in the same price range as the weapons aimed at them, plus they still need soldiers and support. So not ideal in a war of attition. When do they roll out the inflatable MIRV?

Re:still might not be cost effective (2, Funny)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859860)

When do they roll out the inflatable MIRV?

Pffft. Where's the inflatable Death's Head? Go big or go home.

Re:still might not be cost effective (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860200)

"if they cost 1% of the price of the real thing, they are in the same price range as the weapons aimed at them, plus they still need soldiers and support."
They are much less expensive than an (accurate) enemy airstrike. A sortie that hits a tanker, perhaps two or three times, delivers ordnance on the dummy target, then returns to base eats up fuel, resources and MANY man-hours that could be used elsewhere.

Re:still might not be cost effective (1)

lioc (832312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860684)

I don't disagree with your point directly, and I see the post by JWSmythe about decoys being a valid tactic, but I am still left wondering how this can make sense from the perspective of the Russian army. Maybe this would have been great in WW2, but now? Russia could conceivably be threatened by China, but pretty everyone else in the region is not a threat. Everything else is small skirmishes, usually with Russia as the agressor. So when in reality would these be rolled out? Maybe Russia really does think it needs to tool up for a major land based offensive (or they think someone is going to invade), but somehow I don't think so. So I go back to the thought that it isn't very useful for them. An insurgent with a $800 RPG-7 would probably count this as a win, taking out a $23,000 decoy, plus some support staff. Since to the eye these actually look fairly easy to spot (even if they fool radar and satelite) I would be more worried that they would be counter-productive. An insurgent force could target decoys only. Would be pretty demorilising to be stationed with one if you knew.

decoys have been arond for awhile (1)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859784)

Decoys have been used through martial history. Inflatable decoys (with heaters to fake infrared signatures) have been around for a long time as well. Fooling radar is more difficult.

Re:decoys have been arond for awhile (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859854)

You are correct. Martian history is full of successful reports using this tech. Up to now, humans have been fooled by it. Even those radars were no problem.

Based on a true story (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859800)

I wonder if this was part of the inspiration for Ruse [ubi.com] ? Or maybe vice versa?

In other news.... (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859842)

Russia breaks new ground in the inflatable doll industry.

Kinda like Quaker Guns from the US Civil War (3, Informative)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859852)

Run out of ammo, paint logs black, prop them on a wall pointed at the enemy, retreat, profit!

Re:Kinda like Quaker Guns from the US Civil War (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit 16 (1916820) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859870)

and a nigger is still a nigger if you paint him white.

No Tracks (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859882)

Tanks, S-300s, and other large military equipment tend to leave tire and, well, track tracks. Especially when in large numbers, these tracks can easily be identified through daylight reconnaissance photos. If a whole company or division of tanks pops up out of nowhere, with no evidence of them being moved to that position, it's going to raise some big flags. Hawkeyes and other aerial radar systems can easily track ground vehicles. They will have no record of these formations being moved into position.

I see this more like something China, North Korea, or Iran would use to inflate(no pun intended for once) force estimations. Park them alongside a couple real tanks or launchers, and all of a sudden a tank company turns into a battalion.

Already thought of (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859996)

Gosh, the Russian army better give up. Some slashdot geek has thought of the ultimate hole in their camouflage. Tracks! Who would have thought!

Except that they already knows this, and use weedwhackers and torches to create the various effects of a tank on the landscape. Very clever those military people. Almost like they know what they are doing.

That is why they also forbid the local kids from using them as bouncy castles. Would ruin the effect.

Re:Already thought of (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860030)

Look at the other part of my post. The radar signatures of the vehicles making the tracks won't be the same as the number of tanks they are trying to simulate. Aerial radar platforms keep records of what they track and can easily tell that the tracks have been fabricated.

Re:Already thought of (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860458)

You're right. It's totally inconceivable that the human operators of that equipment would slip up. An error in communication could never happen when reporting to superiors. Especially not when they've gotten very little sleep in combat conditions.

Humans are the weak link, and our weaknesses will be exploited by the enemy. People have made bigger mistakes than this

Re:Already thought of (1)

lioc (832312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860950)

more important question is "which war are these going to be used in?". I doubt Putin would have invaded South Ossetia with plastic tanks, or fought any of Russia's recent skirmishes with them. This is just Russia fighting the last war but three.

Re:Already thought of (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860876)

Do not worry, I have for sale inflatable satellite to see inflatable battalions!

Theen we keel Moose, keel Squirrel!

Re:No Tracks (1)

I7D (682601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860994)

and all of a sudden a tank company turns into a battalion.

Batalioon?

Inflatible Russian Spies (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859902)

Blonds with huge missile silos, known to be the favorites of Slashdotters, who blog at them incessantly.

Re:Inflatible Russian Spies (1)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860078)

Blonds with huge missile silos, known to be the favorites of Slashdotters, who blog at them incessantly.

Obligatory... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIeT22Zs7w8 [youtube.com]

Bleach (1)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859922)

Urahara Kisuke is working for the Russian millitary now? what happened to the candy store?

Re:Bleach (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860138)

I am ashamed that I know what you are talking about.

Not new (4, Informative)

KDN (3283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859924)

This is not new. Back when I was in ROTC (the 1980's), I recall an article where photorecon people found out that they were duped. They assumed that a set of nuclear subs were berthed for a long period of time for repairs. A storm came through and bent one of the "submarines". So the presumption was that the Soviets knew when our sats went overhead and between the times they set sail on one sub and inflated another in its place. So the Soviets had a sub patroling somewhere unknown because we thought it was in for repairs.

Re:Not new (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860092)

This is not new.
Back when I was in ROTC (the 1980's), I recall an article

There was an article in the Time in the 90s about Saddam's inflatable arsenal and how the U.S. was wasting expensive missiles shooting at inexpensive bouncy houses.

Re:Not new (1)

KDN (3283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860304)

Hm, I can see a new weapon under development. A submunition weapon that will unleash hundreds of steel darts and blanket the area. Everything still intact after an hour gets a visit from a JDAM.

Explosive gases (2, Funny)

British (51765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859930)

Better yet, inflate them with explosive gases. Something shoots at them, they blow 'up real good.

Probably the response to that would be to drop flachettes everywhere. Anything that doesn't pop when is real.

Re:Explosive gases (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860212)

Chances are that an inflatable tank or radar station is only going to get hit by an air strike or artillery fire.

Filling them with explosive gasses will only cost more and make the impact of the attack more devastating to the earth that the inflatable sits on. Although, if there are any personnel nearby the inflatable, they might become even more dead.

New???? (3, Informative)

grandpa-geek (981017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859944)

In World War II there was an entire army of inflatable weapons in England right across from Calais, France. Its purpose was to convince the Germans that the invasion would come at that point. It really came at Normandy.

During the invasion they even dropped chaff over the Channel near the fake army to make the Germans think the invasion was happening there. Both sides had radar, but the secret was that the Allies had microwave radar and not just VHF radar. The chaff looked like an invasion fleet to the radar.

As part of the ruse, they had General Patton running around inspecting the "troops" and getting them ready for the invasion.

Re:New???? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860234)

The chaff looked like an invasion fleet to the radar.

The chaff looked like "they're using that chaff to block our radar again", which means there's something they want to hide. It doesn't look like a fleet, it looks like an attempt at covering up a fleet.

huge market (3, Funny)

greywire (78262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859948)

I bet there'd be a huge market for these! What boy wouldn't want an inflatable rocket launcher? I know I do!

Re:huge market (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860592)

I bet there'd be a huge market for these! What boy wouldn't want an inflatable rocket launcher? I know I do!

Not to be saying this. Is plan for new Russian export industry. (Don't tell the Iranians).

Re:huge market (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861008)

I suspect the biggest seller will be for the inflatable female soldiers. What boy wouldn't want one of these GI Janes?

Realdoll (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33859950)

I can think of situations when something realistic down to heat signature would come handy.

only has to look realistic to radar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860084)

cuz that's the closest you'll come to getting in her pants anyway.

Re:Realdoll (1)

Geeky (90998) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860134)

I can think of situations when something realistic down to heat signature would come handy.

And until then you can just come in hand.

(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Riiiiight (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860038)

Inflatable ... Weapons.

Didn't even need these during the cold war (0, Offtopic)

hex0D (1890162) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860150)

Many US defense analysts were more than happy to credit non-existent assets to the Russians to increase military spending.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomber_gap [wikipedia.org] : Realizing that mere belief in the gap was an extremely effective funding source, a series of similarly nonexistent Soviet military advances were constructed in a tactic now known as "policy by press release." These included claims of a nuclear-powered bomber, supersonic VTOL flying saucers, and only a few years later, the "missile gap."

Aha! (2, Funny)

gklinger (571901) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860176)

I thought the current estimates of Russian military spending were inflated.

same heat signature? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860208)

isn't a balloon with a heat source called a hot air balloon?

do fake russian balloon tanks still fool the enemy when they float idyllically by at 1000 feet?

Re:same heat signature? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860238)

Yeah, I’m sure it’s just loads of trouble keeping these things on the ground where they belong.~

Sounds Fishy... (1)

cavePrisoner (1184997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860368)

One problem with this new Russian secret weapon: They parade it in front of the world's cameras? It isn't too secret is it? Why would anybody in their right mind brag about the capabilities of a weapon that wholly depends on the enemy not being able to judge your capabilities?

If nobody knows that inflatable weapons can imitate heat signatures, the guy in the bomber doesn't even know he needs to be careful and might not notice signs that point to it being a decoy formation. That is the weapon I want, one that they aren't even prepared to deal with. Inflatable weapons are about deception and yet they come along with a list of things their new decoys can do.

Somebody is having fun playing with public opinion. It might not do the things they say, but they want the enemy to second guess itself before every move. OTOH maybe the weapon is already obsolete and they're trying to milk it for the last thing it's good for: publicity.

Re:Sounds Fishy... (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860742)

It makes very good sense. Doing this increases uncertainty.

That is very valuable in undermining all intelligence reports. This makes real movements and formations, while equally likely to be seen, less likely to be given notice.

Advice to other nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860404)

You might think It will make you look like a big shot, but wouldn't recommend blowing up any inflatable WMDs.

Inovation from SciFi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860422)

Can anyone say Gundam? They totally used inflatable decoys in the original & follow on Gundam series way back starting in '79.

..too bad. (1)

martiniturbide (1203660) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860610)

Too bad that are not for sale on ebay... just the Tony Montana gun.

What? (2, Funny)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860616)

No post about the "ballooning" military budget?

Sluggy Freelance anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860734)

This sounds like a plotline from Sluggy Freelance!

There isn't a professor Irving Schlock involved is there...?

Reminds me of a cartoon... (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860738)

This reminds of a cartoon I think I saw in Air Force magazine years ago.

As I recall, one panel shows some grunt putting the finishing touches on a wooden aircraft decoy.

Next panel shows people scrambling out of the way of an incoming enemy aircraft.

Last panel shows the result of the attack - with a wooden decoy bomb sitting in the remains of the decoy aircraft.

So, obviously that all we need is some good, inflatable bombs.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860806)

In Soviet Russia you blow up tank!

1/100 cost (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861024)

sounds pretty expensive for a big balloon. I kinda expect less than 1/1000 cost.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...