As the war in Ukraine continues to rage on, the demand for inflatable fake armaments has also surged. Inflatable tanks and missiles are becoming an increasingly popular option for military deception, and a Czech company, Inflatech is leading the way in producing these realistic decoy armaments.
Inflatech, which is based in the Northern town of Decin, has been creating inflatable military equipment for over a decade. Their products include inflatable tanks, missiles, helicopters, and even entire buildings. Their inflatable decoys are designed to look and feel like the real thing, making them a valuable tool for military operations.
Inflatable tanks and missiles are used to create a decoy army, confusing enemy forces and diverting their attention away from the real targets. These decoys are often used in combination with other deception tactics, such as camouflage, to create the illusion of a larger military presence than exists.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 6, 2023
Inflatech produces up to 50 decoys a month using a combination of lightweight, durable materials such as nylon or PVC. That’s why a decoy requires only 4 soldiers to operate, and 10 minutes to unwrap and inflate a piece of “military equipment”.
According to recent reports, Vojtech Fresser, the Chief Executive of Inflatable Concepts, has stated that his company has experienced a significant increase in business in the past year, with growth exceeding 30%.
He did not confirm if the company’s decoys are used by Ukraine against Russian aggression, but he expects a double-digit growth in demand of his products for the next three to five years.
He attributes the growing popularity of inflatable decoys to their cost effectiveness relative to actual military equipment. According to him, “If I force the enemy to destroy a thing of mine by using something which is four times, but in reality, it could be 20 times more expensive, than I’m the winner economically.”
Decoys can help saving costs, as it costs up to $100,000 to develop one decoy and they also allow militaries to reduce the number of real armaments, they need to deploy in each situation. They can also help to preserve actual military equipment, as the use of decoys can help to deceive the enemy and prevent them from targeting real targets.
While the use of inflatable decoys may seem like a clever and cost-effective strategy, it is important to remember that they are not a panacea. As the demand for these products continues to grow, it will be important for policymakers and military leaders to carefully consider the ethical, strategic, and tactical implications of using inflatable decoys on the battlefield.