Technology

Russia's Inflatable, Potemkin Military

Visual ScienceBy Rebecca HorneApr 9, 2010 6:30 PM

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What is this—a fairground toy? A contemporary sculpture? This balloon is in fact an element of military defense. Russian balloon maker Rusbal is working on an order from the country's defense ministry to supply full-scale inflatable military models. The realistic-looking hardware is used in battlefield positions and to protect Russian strategic installations from surveillance satellites, distracting snoops and protecting real combat units from strikes. They can look like real vehicles in the radar, thermal, and near infra-red bands, so they'd even look right through night-vision goggles. The units are light and can be set up in few minutes. Image courtesy Rusbal

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